Big Things come in Small Packages
tournament fisherman it is our responsibility to enhance the sport of
bass fishing. The best
resource we have is our youth. We
need to invest our time with the anglers of tomorrow in any way shape
or form we can. With all
the changes that have taken place
with the TBF, BASS, and FLW outdoors lets make sure that we get
involved locally with our own groups in whichever organization you are
a part of. I wrote this
open letter to BASS and I hope it will give you the hope and desire to
am the Boy’s Basketball Coach and Biology at Huntington North H.S.
. I am also an avid
tournament angler and I am starting my third year being associated
with the Federation. As a
member of the Syracuse Bassmasters I was asked to work the “Casting
for Kids” contest during the Indianapolis Boat Show.
Bass fishing has always been my stress reliever.
As you can imagine being a high school basketball coach in the
can be very emotional and stressful.
I deal with kids on a daily basis and I love what I do. I was a
little apprehensive because the timing of the event is right before
the State Tournament. Obviously,
this is a very important time. I
had worked the previous year and I really enjoyed it.
I would never have guessed that this year’s event would have
such a profound affect on my life.
2 hours of working with the contest I had the privilege of working
with a 5-year-old boy whose name I will not give for future obvious
reasons. This boy had
fished before and I could see his eyes light up when I handed him the
fishing rod. As mom and
dad watched, I showed him the basics of how to cast.
I watched as he attempted to cast at the target.
He told me about his biggest fish he ever caught and he was
beaming from ear to ear. We
moved to all the spots and he finally placed his lure on the target
and scored his first points. I
gave him a high five and at that point I knew why I came down to work.
I was not prepared for what happened next
five minutes later as I was working with a girl named Brooke, the
mother of the 5 year old came up to me.
She was visibly emotional and thanked me for being very patient
and kind. I thanked her
for the compliment. She
proceeded to tell me that her son had not been out of the house in
over a week. He was
diagnosed with Leukemia in the previous weeks.
This was the first time as a family that they had been out and
did something outside of the house.
I was completely speechless.
I was not prepared for anything like that.
To think of that young child as being stricken with cancer made
me sick to my stomach. I
had to go to the restroom to get my emotions in check.
have been very blessed in this world.
I have a loving and healthy family.
I have enjoyed success in coaching and in fishing.
All that seemed pretty meaningless with being a small part of
making a kid smile in times of tragedy and adversity.
Do yourself a favor. Get
involved. You never know
how it could change your world.