Minooka High School Wins “Plano/Frabill Illinois High Schools Fish Here” Team of the Year Award

The Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show hosted by Jim DaRosa and Don Dziedzina has a weekly segment dedicated to Illinois high school fishing. The segment is titled, Plano/Frabill’s Illinois High Schools Fish Here.The Illinois High School Association approved bass fishing as an official activity here in Illinois in 2009. Today, the number of high school fishing teams throughout the state has grown to over 235.The Radio Show hosts have keyed in on bringing high school fishing news and human interest stories to the show listeners, on the Illinois Outdoors TV show, and even on the Illinois High Schools Fish Here Facebook page. It's all to promote fishing and to give some recognition to young anglers.
“Our goal with this segment is to be the clearing house for high school fishing news.” said Jim DaRosa, the radio show founder. “We will interview coaches and others who have high school fishing related news every week so that we can acknowledge the accomplishments of the student anglers be it while fishing the IHSA tournaments, local fishing competitions, involvement in the community, or about their individual accomplishments in angling.”At the end of the school season, the radio show honors two high school teams, one north and one south of I-80, with the “Plano/Frabill’s Illinois High Schools Fish Here – Team of the Year” Award.On April 17th, the south division Team of the Year award was given to the Minooka High School Fishing Team. They truly exhibited the greatest effort to promote fishing not only at their school but also within their community.

At the awards ceremony, Minooka Village President Patrick Brennan and Channahon Village President Joe Cook gave proclamations for the Minooka Angler's Club.

What was it that made this team stand out to win this award?

Well,  this team was established in the inaugural year of high school bass fishing in 2008-2009.  in the 2011-2012 school year there were a total 35 student anglers.  In 2013-2014  the club grew to 60.  The number of freshmen anglers grew from 13 to 30.   The team and coaches have been focused on growth and promotion of the sport.

Here are just a few examples of Promoting Fishing in the Community and School

  • 60 student anglers, many with little/no fishing experience. One of the largest sports teams in the school
  • Only 8 student anglers move on to the sectional to compete in the IHSA tournament.  All including the 52 other club members participate as club members
  • The team meets almost year round program taking only a few months off
  • Minooka Anglers Club attends the  Minooka Fest, Channahon River Days, and the Bedford Sales Open House to promote their club and the sport of fishing.
  • Area 8th grade students are informed of the club before they enter High School
  • The club has field trips to attend fishing shows, work events at fishing shows, build and place fish habitats in local bodies of water, taking part in training seminars, fund raising events, and fish numerous Adult/Youth event in the area.

The Community Service projects include:

  • Each year the MAC has river cleanup days on the river bank along the Des Plaines River.
  • MAC anglers help local residents with clean up after the spring river floods.
  • The MAC fishing program has through soliciting the help from many volunteer groups have enabled these volunteers groups and clubs to get involved with fishing.
  • Clubs that help out include The Happy Hookers Bass Club, Anglers Dream and Anglers Choice.

The future of fishing lies in the hands of young anglers and with our support, they will grow and be able to enjoy the sport for the rest of their lives.

Sponsors of this event include: Plano, Frabill, Abu-Garcia, Bass Pro Shops, Strike King, Bass Minder Pflueger, War Eagle, Daiichi, Real Magic, Havoc, Trilene, Stand Out Hooks, Shakespeare, Ugly Stick, Reel Magic, Road Runner, Berkley, Rayjus Outdoors and Evon’s Trophies.

The Radio Show hosts established an “Illinois High Schools Fish Here” Facebook group for anyone interested in high school fishing, especially team members who are encouraged to join. At this time high school team members from all over Illinois post fishing reports, photos, ask questions, do some bragging and even share some fishing videos that they’ve made while on the water.

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