Last year, MPC athletics embarked on the inaugural season of the Mount Paran Christian fishing team. Our school ventured into sport fishing due to several students already fishing through local bass clubs. Because MPCS is blessed with having Lake McDonald on campus, it was a natural fit to have our own fishing team. Athletic Director, Mitch Jordan, and Outdoor Education Teacher/Coach, Connie Arnold, gave the green light to proceed with this amazing opportunity for our school.
In order to get started, it was very important to find a tournament trail that had Saturday tournaments to reserve Sundays for church and family time. This led MPCS to the Georgia Bass Nation Tournament trail which is a top notch organization for high school anglers. In its first year, the fishing team had an amazing season traveling throughout Georgia fishing the Bass Nation tournament circuit. Teams pair up by two with an adult boat driver for each of the all-day competitions. Our students have made new friendships with other anglers throughout the state and they all share a love for fishing.
MPC anglers were blessed with the opportunity to spend time with a St. Croix Rods pro-angler on our campus and be a part of the Wreckfish Productions video series that will air later this year. Learning from a pro has given our team insight to what opportunities are open for their future in the sport.
MPCS is one of only a few schools in Georgia that allow anglers to letter. More importantly, MPC anglers in grades 8-12 will have the opportunity to receive college scholarships for their achievements in high school. Our teams have received multiple top ten finishes and almost all of our fishermen qualified for the final State Classic tournament. One of our teams even received the highest recognition possible in the Georgia Bass Nation Tournament trail. Mason McCoy (grade 11) and Carter Koza (grade 9) attended all of the tournaments this season and were awarded the prestigious title of “Anglers of the Year.” Opportunities like this offer options for our anglers to obtain college scholarships or the chance to participate in the sport of fishing at the university level.
With all of the attention and accomplishments from this first year, the team has stayed focused on our school’s mission. We want to continue to grow the sport of fishing at MPCS — and through our growth, reach out to other anglers and share our love of God with them. This year, our most memorable moment was at Lake Lanier when we were getting the team together to pray. A couple of other young men from another school asked to join us.
It’s a reminder of our purpose from Matthew 4:19: “And He said to them, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
Donna McCoy is the Fishing Team Coach and Director of After-School Care at Mount Paran Christian School.
Mount Paran Christian athletics offers 64 teams in 15 different sports including the MPC fishing team. Click here to learn more about how to get involved with MPC fishing.