Reeling in good grades

Published 4:32 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009

With the sun shining, the wind blowing a comfortable breeze, and just a pop-up shower or two last Thursday, the sponsors, students and teachers alike could not have asked for a more beautiful day for the annual Lawson Richards Fishing Rodeo, sponsored by the Luverne Rotary Club.

This year, the club members had 80 sixth grade honor students from Luverne School, Brantley School, Highland Home School, and Crenshaw Christian Academy to come out to the Crenshaw County Lake and try their hand at “catching the big one.” For some students, this was the very first time they had experienced fishing first hand.

Rotary members put 530 pounds of fish into the smaller pond for the students and then worked hard to help untangle fishing lines, pull fish ashore, and teach students how to bait their hooks.

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The project started about 18 years ago. Hicks, Inc. donates the fishing rods and reels, catfish bait, fishing lines and hats each year. McDonald’s supplies lunch, Pepsi Cola supplies the drinks, and Ranch House Bar-B-Q supplies plates and cups for the students.

Art Wise, Chris Johnson, John Dicks and John Wise, Jr., comprise the Rotary Club’s Fishing Rodeo Committee.

“We are really proud of our honor students,” Rotary President Allen Phillips said. “This is just one way we can reward them for working so hard all year in school.”

The Rotary Club’s annual Family Fishing Day was also held last Saturday, May 2.

For Brian Compton, the valedictorian of Brantley’s 6th grade class, Thursday’s fishing rodeo was a fun time to “get to fish with everybody and to see everybody else fish.”

“Rewards like this show that I’m working hard,” Compton said. “I like field trips like this.”

And did Compton have any advice for other students?

“They can do all sorts of stuff when they grow up if they keep their grades up and apply themselves,” he said.