Tanner Cooper (left) and Nicholas DiCamillo (right) pose with their bass after the team club qualifier at Elephant Butte Lake.

Story and video by Zane Klemo

University life can be full of negative experiences, but some athletic clubs at New Mexico State University provide an opportunity to enjoy different recreational activities.

The NMSU bass fishing team, started in the fall 2011 by sophomore mechanical engineering major Tanner Cooper, is one of those clubs offered at NMSU.

Cooper, the president of the team, started the club because of his love for the sport.

“I started it because I though there would be some interest in (bass fishing),” Cooper said.  “I also thought the club could help out the community, and I wanted to share my passion for bass fishing with others.”
                                                                                             For the love of fishing

A part of club teams’ requirements to be sanctioned at NMSU are community and on-campus service.  The NMSU Bass Fishing team got together to clean up the area around the Duck Pond where they practice as part of their campus service.

“Every other week we have meeting, and right after, we go out to the Duck Pond and practice and apply the techniques we learned in the meeting,” Cooper said.

Like other athletic club teams at NMSU, the bass fishing team competes against other schools in several competitions.

“During the fall, we compete within our club,” Cooper said.  “In the spring, we compete at the West Texas Divisional for a chance to go to regionals.”

The only requirements to be on the team are a $20 annual membership fee and have full-time-student status at the main campus.

Other sports opportunities on campus

Along with the NMSU Bass Fishing team, other clubs do exist for students.

Rugby, a sport that is not so well-known in this area, has made its way to NMSU in the form of a women’s rugby team that is always looking for new members.

“We have about 15 – 20 members,” Lindsey Englehart, president of the NMSU Lady Chile Rugby team, said.  “We do seem to be growing.”

Members of the NMSU Lady Chile Rugby team take part in the scrum during a game. (Photo courtesy of Derek Lucero)

Like the bass fishing team, the lady’s rugby team travels to competitions through fundraising.  The team practices two – three times a week and plays around two games a month.

“It’s really fun, and it is a good way to stay active and fit,” Englehart said.  “We are always looking for new girls – we recruit all year long.”

Billiards taken seriously

For students looking an indoor activity, the NMSU Billiards Club is a lesser-known club that has taken hits from the university lately.

“We seem to get a lot of interested people, but no one showing up to meetings because we don’t have tables anymore,” said President of the Billiards Club Mitchell Goss.

With the construction of the 24-hour fitness gym that took the place of Pete’s Place, the Billiards Club has had to move its play to other sites.

“We play in Garcia a lot,” Goss said, “especially after meetings.”

Photo Illustration courtesy of Google Images.

In a struggling national economy, it could be hard for club teams at NMSU to find funding, but Goss believes the future be promising.

“We feel we will offer a lot eventually, given that we find funding and good direction,” Goss said.

The only requirement Goss said for the Billiards club is to simply “like pool.”

Other than the bass, rugby and billiards teams, NMSU offers clubs in areas like badminton, bicycle racing, judo, mixed martial arts, men’s rugby, polo, race and tennis.

For more information on joining any one of the athletic club teams at NMSU, visit the student organization list and look under the “Sports” section of the Web page.