CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Cody Thomas, a senior at Silverdale Baptist Academy, recently signed scholarship papers to fish on Bryan College's inaugural bass fishing team.
Collegiate bass fishing is becoming more popular each year, but most schools still consider it a club sport and do not give scholarships for fishing.
Thomas will be fishing again this year for the second-year on the SBA fishing team. In addition, he also plays football and baseball for the Seahawks.
Thomas said, "I had no idea that fishing would be a path to college. It's really neat how everything worked out and God let everything come together for me."
SBA fishing coach Brent Brady, who is also a 30-year pro angler loves the leadership that Cody brings to the team. In addition, he believes his development in knowledge and adaptability on the water has come a long way in the last year.
"I feel he'll grow in each aspect in college as well," Brady says. "This is exciting to me. These kids can't play football or baseball all their lives, but they can fish the rest of their lives."
Bryan College coach Mike Keen said, "A fishing team was a "natural" fit for our college. We're right across the road from the Dayton Boat Dock and this year we are putting a college fishing team together. "
"We feel we hit a home run with Cody. I'd like to have 10 or 12 more like him," Keen says. "It's easy to find kids who want to come and fish, but finding kids who are serious about an education and who love the Lord and want to grow spiritually is a little more difficult."