Deer Valley High School Anglers Qualify for National Championships

Photo provided by Antioch Unified School District (AUSD)

Two Deer Valley High School students have qualified to fish in the National Championships in Alabama this summer after qualifying in the state championship tournament.

The team of Isaiah Roddick and Enrique Herrera will now represent Deer Valley High School after placing 4th place in the team event out of a total 53-teams.  The California High School Fishing Championship, through the Student Angler Federation, was held on May 14 out of Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island.

According to the results, the qualifying teams include:

  1. 20-3 Balbas Fishing (Kyle Balbas & Johnathon Balbas)
  2. 16-1 Yuba Sutter Fishing Club (Adrian Murar & Ryan Jeager)
  3. 15-3 Vista Del Lago (Luke Johns & Brandon Burkey)
  4. 14-15 Deer Valley (Isaiah Roddick & Enrique Herrera)
  5. 14-1 Delta Teen Team (Clayton Galassi & Michael Alaga)

The other Deer Valley Teams of Cody Warren and Joshua Amavizca took 22nd overall while Alex Lewis and Brian Topete took 53rd.

Also competing were Freedom High School, Liberty High School and Heritage High School. Full results.

Photo provided by AUSD

The two are now raising money with the help of their club to raise $10,500 to make the trip to Pick Wick Lake in Florence Alabama from June 27 – July 1, 2017. He also is working on ensuring they have a boat for the tournament.

Last year, more than $60,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded at the tournament.

According to Coach Bob Scudero, who is site safety at the school, says the club team was formed just 7-months ago and consists of anglers of all skills and ability—some who had never cast a line before.

“This was brand new this year,  for the last 3-years, there has been a couple of students that had been wanting to do this with Ken Roe. Ken fished the pro circuit, but unfortunately for us he moved back to Ohio,” explained Scudero. “There were a couple of kids who are now seniors who back when they were freshmen said they would like to do this. It took some time to get going to get administrative approval.”

He noted that the biggest obstacle was insurance and liability, but found out through the process that other local schools had teams and that through the Student Angler Federation they would be covered.

Photo provided by AUSD

Once the club was approved, they had a total of six-members which required them to get three boats volunteered—one of them being Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley who also donated six fishing rods.

According to Scudero, at the very beginning, they used the Deer Valley pool as a practice facility to cast lines before going to Contra Loma Reservoir and finally hitting the delta.  He says it’s a pretty big jump to go from a pool to the national championships in just a few months.

“It’s been a dream really to be able to do this for our kids.  We are new at it and the youths we have are passionate about fishing,” says Scudero.

Scudero explained that it make sense to have a fishing club because the delta is in Antioch’s backyard and said some kids have never even been down to the river.

“It’s amazing to me that we have so many kids who live right here and they have never been down to the river, let alone on the delta itself. We should be working to keep youths busy with what they enjoy doing,” says Scudero. “With this club, however,  I do have some rules, you have to keep the grade point average up and stay out of trouble or you are not coming onto one of our boats.”

He noted that one of the club members had never even been on the water and the state championship was the first time he had fished in open water.

He called the entire experience rewarding and a dream come true.

“It’s been wonderful, for me it’s a dream come true because I’ve always been about outdoors and fishing,” says Scudero. “With the kids I’ve been working with, a lot of them have come from urban areas and never been anywhere near a river or lake, I can pass down what I have learned over the years. The actual sport of angling gets passed down. It can become a lost art if no one is teaching it.”

He was quick to point out he could not take all the credit as he has had lots of help from Barry Sterud of the Delta Teen Team and Dan Mathisen, along with many people with boats who helped them out and sharing of information.

“Every fisherman has their own trade fishing secrets and so when they work with our team, they have helped our anglers become well rounded,” said Scudero. “The Deer Valley Staff, same thing, they are always offering to help anyway they can. I want to thank both Ken Gardner and Scott Osterholt who have supported and helped facilitate this program.”

Next fall, Scudero hopes to further expand the club up as long as Deer Valley High School and the District is okay with it.

To donate to the National Championship Fund, click here.