It has been five years since Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, stepped up to coach the bass fishing team at Saint Viator High School, and each year interest has grown. This year, nearly 25 students turned out in the beginning of the season, with 15 regularly participating in fishing competitions.
Br. Lamick drew so many interested anglers that he and his assistant coach, Mike Schneider, established a point system and had multiple competitions this winter and spring for students to earn a spot on the eight-student roster. They even held a casting competition in the Cahill gymnasium as one of the activities.
“I have enjoyed coaching bass fishing because there are many Viator students who want to connect with other students who share their passion for fishing — and experience fishing competitions which are not widely available to young people,” Br. Lamick says. “I provide a way for them to connect, form friendships, and develop their fishing knowledge and skills through the team’s activities and competitions.”
For the second straight year, the team placed among the top four at sectionals. One of its senior co-captains, Colton Faulkner, caught the biggest fish at sectionals, among the 15 boats that participated. At these Illinois High School Association tournaments, the team with the five heaviest fish, wins. Consequently, winning is based on the total weight of a maximum of five fish.
“For me it’s all about the excitement and competitiveness of the sport,” Colton says. “I love a challenge and fishing is all about adapting new skills and techniques to figure out what the fish are biting — and where they are going to be located.”
Only the top three teams advance to state, consequently Br. Lamick and his anglers are the first alternate team from their sectional. The state tournament takes place this weekend at Carlyle Lake in downstate Illinois. It is the largest man-made lake in the state, with more than 25,000 acres of water and 2,360 pounds of fish per acre. It is stocked every year with several varieties of fish, including one of its primary species, largemouth bass.
Br. Lamick grew up fishing with his father and uncle, and even during his year in the novitiate, he enjoyed fishing with his novice director, Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV. At Saint Viator, he teaches religion and coordinates its testing center, while he also is an assistant coach in football and basketball.
“People often joke about how my name is ‘Peter’ and I am the fishing club moderator,” Br. Peter adds. “The Apostle Peter was a fisherman, and of course Jesus called him to follow him. I guess I have been taking the Gospel very literally.”