KVS Kids Day Enjoyed By All
Inside the Outdoors, May 6
, 2011

It was certainly a day of fun and excitement as 91 youngsters and their families attended the annual Kingston Veteran’s Sportsman’s Club’ annual Kid’s Day at its pond in Derry Township to see who could catch the biggest fish.

Moms, dads, uncles, aunts, grandmothers and grandfathers were seen helping youth bait and instruct each participant ranging in ages from one to fifteen. And even though most of the morning was overcast with eventual sprinkles of rain, that did not dampen the spirits of all who continually cast out their bobbers hoping to tag the big ones.

“We put in a little over 500 fish,” Walt Poole said, “200 brook, 200 rainbow and 100 tiger trout, including two eight pound rainbow trout, purchased from Rolling Rock Fish Hatchery. President of the Fish and Game Committee, Poole said each fish was red inside, something one doesn’t find when most trout are filleted. He also commented, “Today is one of our better days” in making reference to the amount of fish caught.

There was no debating as what the fish hit on – butterworms and waxworms were the most popular, however, one couldn’t convince seven year-old Ryan Hood of that. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Hood of Derry and first time participant at this derby, the lad said, “I want to catch a big one and eat it. Little did he know that using a half of a crawler would produce the biggest fish caught not only in his age group, seven to ten year-olds, but overall. When asked if he had any previous experience fishing before, the youth told me he had done so in the Loyalhanna Creek. He was all smiles when he held up not only hisprize catch, but the rod and reel prize he won as a result of his efforts.

There were two other first-timers who had big ideas of catching what they had hoped would be winning fish. Jonathan Shawley, 6, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Shawley, of Ligonier, said, “I want to catch one as big as me!” Fourteen year-old Chase Stevens, son of Nathan Dawson of Derry, said, “I’m looking forward to having fun despite the weather.” He added, “I’m not going to keep any, but throw all I catch back.”

It is hard to say which of two youth caught the first fish after the “go” signal was shouted by Skip Shawley, president of KVS, for the reason that as soon as the baits hit the water, fish consumed them immediately. It seems to be somewhat of a draw between David Burd, 10, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Burd, Sr., Latrobe, who caught a 17-inch tiger trout on a waxworm, and Brenna Springer, 8, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Don Springer of Ligonier, who caught a 14-inch rainbow trout on a butterworm. The young lady told me she was definitely going to eat her fish. Burd won third place in his division of fish caught in the seven to ten year-old group.

Well over 225 fish were hauled in by the young anglers from three different age groups – one to six, seven to ten and eleven to fifteen. Those taking first place of each category got a prize of a spinning rod and reel. Those who placed were, one to six – first place, Kendyl Piper, 15 inches, second, Addison Polinsky, 14 ½, and Owen hammers, 14 ½- inch trout, seven to ten-aged group – Ryan Hood, 20 inches, Von Gundaker, 15 ½ and David Burd, 14-inch fish, and age 11 to 15, first place went to Amanda Shawley with a 15-inched trout, Christan Shugars, 14 ½ and Abby McCracken, 14 ½ fish.

Head Trustee and secretary of KVS Leo Henry pointed out that last year kids’ day, youth could fish all day after the tournament ended at 1 p.m. This year, the officers decided to let members fish after 3 p.m.

Those making contributions to help make successful were: Jackie, Abi and Leo Henry, Jessica and Skip Shawley, Cheyenne Long, Walt and Janet Poole, Jim and Tawna Sarver, Keystone Candy Company, KVS Archery Committee, Wiles Shawley, Miller run Conservation Society (the landowner division of KVS), Loyalhanna Trading Post, Melissa Smith, Army Navy Store, Dale Taylor, Pete Moscow, Jeff Osnok and Paul J. Volkmann.

When a couple of mothers were confronted as to how they were going to prepare the fish, Jennifer Reeping of Derry said she was going to mix eggs and flour together and then bread and deep fry the fillets. Jody Sanderson, also of Derry said, “I take flour, salt and pepper and then fry ‘em up!”

Barb Shugars, Derry, said it was her first year here at the fishing derby at Kingston spelled out how she felt, “It was well managed for the kids, they all had a good time, it was done very well, they all had a lot of nice presents, it was wonderful and we will definitely come back."

Skip Shawley finalized the day by saying, “A good time was made by all!”

- Paul J. Volkmann
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