There's a new fishing club at Mid-Plains Community College. Members will compete in tournaments across the nation.
Move over anglers, there's a new kid in town.
Mid-Plains Community College has launched a new fishing club, and members are wasting no time preparing for the competitive circuit.
"Their first tournaments will be March 29-April 1 at Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri," said Paul Knopick, MPCC area enrollment coach.
After that, club members plan to compete in Kentucky and Wisconsin. If they earn enough points, they may be eligible for a championship at Wheeler Lake in Alabama.
"This whole thing started because we have a lot of students who fish after class," said Knopick. "It's a great way for them to get together and build relationships."
Two of the students, Kylan Rhodes and Grant Pavelka, both of North Platte, have been fishing competitively since they were in high school. Rhodes won the state championship his sophomore year of high school, and Pavelka won as a junior and again as a senior.
Back then, they were part of the Lincoln County Bass Bosses, a high school bass fishing club associated with the Student Angler Federation (SAF).
At the collegiate level, the men will compete as part of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series and in the Central division of the Fishing League Worldwide.
"College fishing is huge in the southern part of the U.S.," said Knopick. "Every major school has a club or team, and there are a lot of community colleges that have them as well."
Rhodes said he's excited about MPCC's fishing club because it will allow him to meet people with similar interests.
"What I like about it is that you don't have to be athletic to join," said Pavelka. "You also don't have to have any previous fishing experience to join. We all learn from each other. Teaching people how to fish is almost as rewarding as catching a fish yourself."
The MPCC Fishing Club is area-wide, meaning it's open to any MPCC student within the college's 18-county service area. Those interested in joining or receiving more information can call Knopick at (308) 535-3608.