I have been around high school sports and outdoor stuff for a long time. And nothing has triggered the reaction caused by the Illinois High School Association's plans to make Illinois the first state to sanction a statewide bass fishing tournament in the spring of 2009.
On Saturday, fishing at LaSalle Lake, I stopped to talk to Sean Porter when I spotted his NordicTrack FourRunner. He turned out to be a first-year teacher at Morris Community High School. He said they had 150 kids for a meeting about a formation of a bass club, which would among other things provide the base for Morris' team.
A couple days ago, I stuck my head in the office (every couple months I like to let sports editor Stu Courtney know I am alive and empty my mailroom box before Albert Dickens gets bonked by falling books). Preps editor Steve Tucker asked if I thought any city schools would have teams.
Absolutely. I've heard from both public and Catholic schools in the city who plan to have teams. And I promptly added that I want the high school bass fishing beat next spring.
From readers, from fishermen, from people who just bump into me, I've had questions for months on how it will work.
Last month, I was covering a basketball game at Reed-Custer High School and I asked athletic director C.J. ``Skip'' Tarran if anybody from the IHSA had approached him yet about hosting a sectional. He said not yet.
Reed-Custer is the perfect setting with its big parking lots near the north ramp to Braidwood Lake to host the northeast Illinois sectional. As host of many regionals and sectionals, Reed-Custer officials are very experienced at handling media. The only problem is bass fishing at Braidwood sucks.
That got me thinking that LaSalle or Heidecke lakes would be good choices for a the northeast sectional site. And Morris would be a perfect host school. Morris athletic officials have much experience in handling big-time media from their annual summer basketball tournament and the success of their football teams over the years.
Lots of questions will be answered soon. Dave Gannaway, the IHSA's point man, told Prairie State Outdoors, the start-up committee will meet on April 3.
I really can't wait.