The National Guard FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championship took place Sept. 15 on Philpott Lake in Martinsville, Virginia. Two Xavier students gave a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Gone fishin’.”
Tyler Styons of Harrison, Ohio and Ian Goddard of Fairfield, Ohio were Xavier’s entrants from the Bass Fishing Club they started at Xavier. The two have been fishing together since they were freshmen in high school. Both graduated in 2009, Styons from St. Xavier High School and Goddard from Badin High School.
On the 423-mile drive from Xavier to Martinsville, Ian’s 2000 Saturn broke down. After waiting an hour on a mountain road to get rescued, the car finally got towed into R&C Towing & Repair in Wytheville, Virginia. The mechanic told them he could fix the car in a week for $4,000 or he would buy it from them on the spot for $200.
Goddard decided to sell the car and get a rental so they could make the tournament and get home again. “We actually got to Martinsville with only an hour left in our practice day,” Goddard said.” So, we weren’t late for the tournament but we did not get the practice day on the lake like all the other teams.”
“We don’t have a lot of experience fishing deep clear lakes like Philpott,” says Goddard, “so we finished last in this tournament.” But that is all part of the learning process with any activity. That includes car maintenance. “For starters, keep an eye on the fluid levels in your car on a long trip,” jokes Goddard. “I checked the oil before we left but apparently there was a leak or the car was burning oil and we didn’t know until it was too late.”
Styons is a special education major and Goddard is an education major at Xavier. They will certainly be able to instill virtues of persistence and teamwork in their future students.
The Xavier Fishing team is gearing up for its third season. The ten people on the team hail from Greater Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, South Bend and Illinois. They try to fish at least six tournaments a year as a club to decide who will travel across the country for FLW College Fishing Tournaments. Four FLW Regional Qualifiers send the top five teams from each to the Regional Conference Championship tournament and from there to the National Championship.