By Christian Castillo
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
Enthusiasm and determination have driven some University of the Incarnate Word students to create the first and only collegiate-level fishing team, the Redbird Anglers, in San Antonio.
Senior marketing major Edward Garza, president of the organization, and Vice President David Aguilar, a junior majoring in psychology, said they worked hard to register “the first collegiate fishing team to compete in tournaments.”
“Eddie had the idea for a while,” Aguilar said. “The actual process started the first week of this fall semester.”
“It was long but I did the paperwork,” Garza said. “It was just the process of the actual school government that took a while.”
“While it is a process to become an organization, the Redbird Anglers Fishing Team was very patient,” said Ellyse Sanchez, student activities coordinator. “I loved seeing the passion and persistence that these students have. They knew what they wanted and they would do whatever they had to do to see that it was accomplished.”
With paperwork filed, members drafted, and time waited, the Redbird Anglers Fishing Team achieved its goal of bringing collegiate-level fishing to UIW on Oct. 10.
“It’s a way to spread something I love to do, something I was born into, to everyone that is either really interested or has always wanted to do it,” Garza said. “We’re excited about sharing the sport of fishing, share that love and see that spark in someone else’s eye.”
“Also, getting students who have never enjoyed the sport to catch their first,” Aguilar added. “ They’ll get hooked.”
“Our plan is to be educational, educational recreational,” Garza said. “It’s going to be educational to the unknown or the uneducated in the fishing world and then to the best anglers on the team will be competitive.”
“We will hold practices and mini-tournaments at agreed-upon lakes and river systems: Canyon, Braunig, Calaveras lakes, Guadalupe, San Antonio, and the Medina river systems just to name a few,” Aguilar said.
“And it’s a good time out, a way to earn your spots to compete in the regional tournaments that are coming up in January and February,” Garza said. “We’ll send out two fishermen per competition, per boat. So the top two fishermen will earn their spots to fish in the tournaments. You can consider it highly competitive.”
Competitive for the sportsperson and empathetic for the conservationist, the Redbird Anglers are a group of ambitious fishermen.
“We believe we can bring attention to conservation issues by reaching out to the community,”
“And like always we’ll clean up, try to get events going at Brackenridge Park when they stock it, take students so they can learn how to fish,” Garza said.
“We hope we can educate the community on the natural resources our lakes and river systems provide and the importance of preserving them for future generations,” Aguilar said. “We also want to bring UIW recognition in the world of collegiate sport anglers.”
Since becoming official, Redbird Anglers Fishing Team has held its first excursion. The team recently traveled to Corpus Christi during the fall break.
“It was a first outing for the team,” Garza said. “It was a first for many different reasons for each of the teammates — either someone’s first fish or someone’s personal biggest fish. For me it was a great experience to be on the teaching side and watching what I preach come to life. The joy and excitement that I receive from fishing is now passed onto the members of the team. I can tell as they continue to talk about how great of a time they had on our trip.”
“We had a good time, we all caught fish, some bigger than others.” Aguilar said. “We had a fish fry, hung out and it was great.”
Aguilar encourages all interested students to inquire.
“We’re all pretty laidback,” he said. “We want this organization to actually succeed so any input a new member could provide will be appreciated.”
Garza and Aguilar said they would both “like to thank the University of the Incarnate Word and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word for the opportunity to represent the school in the positive yet competitive world of sport fishing. Thank you to everyone for your support.”
Those interested in joining the Redbird Anglers Fishing Team should have above a 2.5 grade point average.
Some equipment will be provided. Members can receive a discount at Bass Pro Shop.
Currently, the group is meeting Wednesday evenings but that could change based on schedules.
For more information, call President Edward Garza at (361) 537-0995, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact OrgSync.com