By Wesley Walter, Managing editor
On Sept. 29, Montevallo’s Outdoor Scholars and Fishing Team held a fish fry on Main Quad. Although the Outdoor Scholars have held fish fries in the past, this year’s event was unique because all proceeds went to help fishing team member, Easton Fothergill, and his family pay for medical treatment he received for a brain abscess earlier this year.
Fothergill, who was hospitalized in August because of the abscess, spent two weeks receiving treatment at UAB before returning to his home in Minnesota to recover.
“He started getting real bad migraines and he’s usually got migraines, but they just got progressively worse. Ultimately, it ended up being an abscess on the inside of his brain,” said fishing team member Tyler Cory who was present selling plates on Main Quad.
Cory continued, saying, “That’s why we’re trying to raise money for his family— trying to help with the medical bills—because obviously two weeks at UAB is a little expensive.”
From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Outdoor Scholars sold $10 plates that included fried fish, coleslaw, hushpuppies, fries and water.
The fish sold by the Outdoor Scholars was farm-raised swai from an Alabama hatchery, fried at the Outdoor Scholars pavilion behind Bearden House. All other food was donated, which according to Cory, helped cut down on the cost of the event—ensuring enough money reached Fothergill.
While plates were sold on Main Quad, Outdoor Scholars at the pavilion worked simultaneously to prepare plates and batter and fry fish.
Cory said, “All the frying equipment is ours and we’ve got a whole bunch of Outdoor Scholars down there working to get it done.”
Speaking on the significance of the event, fishing team member Tommy Loper, who was helping prepare plates, said, “It’s really important to us because you know, since we’re such a big team, it allows us to bring everybody together. And we bond over this, it’s something that we like to do—is cook and come together and listen to music and fry fish— and also it gives us an opportunity to give back to one of our teammate’s families.”
Fothergill, who has now recovered, went on to win the 2023 Strike King Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket Championship held on Milford Lake in Kansas from Sept. 29-Oct. 2.
Among the eight anglers present in the college bracket, four were UM students. Alongside Fothergill, UM Fishing Team members, Nick Dumke, Brody Robison and Jack Alexander also competed in the competition.
For winning the college bracket, Fothergill won $7,500, a 2024 Toyota Tundra and a Nitro Z20 Bass Boat and will be able to compete in the Bassmaster Classic, the highest-paying tournament in professional bass fishing.
Wesley Walter is managing editor for The Alabamian. He is a junior English major and mass communications minor. Wesley boasts a 750 credit score, boyish good looks and soulful eyes that contain a deep indescribable sadness. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, visiting gas stations and thinking about getting into surfing.