Coach on a mission to expand program

Coach Tom Prowant, of Lewisburg, is on a mission to place a bass-fishing program in every high school he can.

The B.A.S.S. High School Nation and FLW High School Fishing programs allow high school clubs or teams to compete from a state to national level of fishing.

Prowant has been promoting the program to high schools all across the region, trying to get them to bite. It’s so simple to start a team, he said. Not much is needed other than approval from the school board.

“All a high school needs is two kids under the B.A.S.S. (program). If you want to start one under the FLW (Forest L. Wood), you need six kids,” he said.

There is no cost to the school nor any liability.

“Once the kids join these programs, they are covered (against liability) under their dues,” he said.

The B.A.S.S. and FLW programs are open to teams from high schools. Students must be between ninth and 12th grades, or a graduate of eighth grade.

“All the high school needs to do is find one (adult) to organize it and, after that, the responsibility goes to the kids. They need to find their fishing partner and boat captain,” he said.

Parents help by transporting the youth, supporting them during events and helping organizers.

Once part of a team, members can hold their own fundraising events to offset any costs and alleviate any expenses that may occur.

“It really does not take hardly anything to get this program started,” Prowant said. “It’s my goal here in Pennsylvania to get maybe 50 or 60 high schools. (To the point) where I can run two, three or four events through the summer a qualifier here and there, and so on, and we have a state championship in the end,” he said.

Programs such as B.A.S.S. High School Nation and the FLW open up huge opportunities for high school students, including the chance for collegiate scholarships.

Those who aren’t into major sports such as football or baseball can find an outlet to showcase their skills and earn success from fishing.

“The thing is, not all of our kids are football and basketball or baseball players, and there are a lot of kids in every school … (who) would jump at a chance like this to represent their school,” Prowant said.

For more information, call Prowant at 570-713-8128 or Rick Gabb at 570-337-3723 or visit