It’s been a couple of years in the making, but there’s now a high school competitive fishing team in Maryville.
The Maryville High School Bass Fishing team is technically a club through MHS but competitively fish under Teen Anglers, a fishing circuit for Missouri high school clubs.
Matt Webb agreed to coach the team after he was approached by junior Jalen Sundell a few years ago.
“(Jalen’s) an avid fisherman and just loves fishing, literally does it every day if he could,” Webb said. “He and a couple other guys approached me about MSHSAA supporting competitive bass fishing as a sport and asked me to coach because they know I love to fish as well. It’s taken some time, but it’s finally at a place where we can go fish competitively.”
In addition to Sundell, the team is comprised of three other juniors, Will Walker, Jackson Sanders and Michael Immel.
“I’m excited to watch these guys do something they love in a competitive nature,” Webb said. “When you fish in these tournaments, it’s very competitive and the margin for victory or order of finish is very small, so they know what they’re doing. It’ll be fun to watch them compete against other teams.”
Webb said fishing is a lifelong skill and hobby that many enjoy but these guys have taken it to another level and are competitive about how they fish.
“It’s a lot of fun watching them get into something at such a high level that they can also enjoy the rest of their lives,” he said. “As the football coach, I know that’s not a competitive sport that most will ever do as a lifelong sport; but fishing is something the guys can do forever. It’s fun to see and help them do what they really love to do.”
The MHS bass fishing team’s first tournament at Lake of the Ozarks was canceled due to the weather. The Spoofhounds will compete April 1 and 2 at Truman Lake. Other upcoming tournaments will be at Lake of the Ozarks and at Smithville Lake.