They call him “Coach”…with good reason. Bill Kays is not only a science teacher at the Mexico Academy, he also led their wrestling team to the 2014-15 state title. An avid bass angler for many years, he has been the NY BASS Nation Tournament Director for the past two years. So it wasn’t too big a surprise when he agreed to take on the position of Director for the NY BASS Nation High School Program.
The inaugural BASS High School Invitational Tournament was held in July 2013 at Wheeler Lake, Decatur, Alabama, and had participants from mainly southern states. High school bass clubs in this part of the country are now jumping on-board (pardon the pun) and forming all over New York. Bill Kays will now be providing guidance and leadership to these new clubs to make sure they get off to a good start.
It only takes two things to start a high school bass club: A minimum of two interested students grades 9-12, and an adult club advisor. That’s it! Both Bill Kays (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Fred Blom (email@example.com) can be contacted to get the paperwork you will need to affiliate your new club with BASS.
But now is the time to get clubs going. This gives time to set up programs, work with local adult clubs for support, make plans for fundraising and to schedule outings. Fundraising is a key element to getting your club the finances it will need for such things as team jerseys, trips, and to offer assistance to boat captains. New York BASS Nation has scheduled a major fundraiser for Junior and High School Programs as a tournament to be held on Lake Erie on 22 May 2016. Hopefully this event will provide the funding needed to send two teams to the High School National championships next summer.
Fundraising can be easy and fun. Any thing from car/boat washing to can and bottle collections. The possibilities are unlimited.
High School BASS clubs are also well represented on social media and the web. Bassmasters keeps tabs on high school tournaments through their web site and there is a FaceBook page as well. COMING SOON…..KissMyBass.fish will also begin a Junior category to the KMB Community Message Boards.