If some Port Aransans have their way, look for an addition to the venerable Port Aransas Boatmen Inc. soon - and this addition will be for middle school and high school students only.
"A couple of years ago we were talking to a student and asked him if he was going out for athletics," said Julie Shodrok, founder of Port Aransas Junior Boatmen. "He said no, he heads straight for the docks after school. So we said we need something for students who don't go out for athletics, but who do like boats and fishing."
Port Aransas Junior Boatmen was scheduled to have an organizational meeting on Wednesday, April 2.
The name came because Shodrok thought it fit a younger version of Port Aransas Boatmen. Boatmen themselves are enthusiastic.
"We think it's a great idea," said Mike Nugent, Port Aransas Boatmen Inc. president. Both Jack Nichols, who is being inducted this year into the Boatmen Hall of Fame, and Michael Miglini, the 2008 Boatman of the Year, said they thought the idea was a good one.
"We've already had offers from boat owners who are willing to take kids out and show them things," Shodrok said.
She said she talked to fathers of students, business people and charter captains before deciding to go forward with the idea of a group like Port Aransas Boatmen Inc., but aimed at youngsters. The response was so good that t-shirts are already being printed for the organization, she said.
"We plan to run activities through the summer," Shodrok said. "We might be able to put together some tourneys, things like kayak tourneys or canoe tournaments."
The group will be open to boys and girls, Shodrok said, and invited anyone interested to call her at (361) 290-0301 for more information.