Evan McLearen is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to science.

The Copperas Cove Junior High sixth-grader has taken first place in the science fair every year since the third grade. His project always focuses on one of his favorite pastimes: Fishing.

“I take what I previously did for my project the year before and I pile more on it and just kind of re-create it,” said Evan, whose project this year demonstrated the best way to catch the most fish. “I discussed the weather conditions, what bait to use, and what time of day is best to go fishing.”

Evan’s love of fishing stems from time spent with his father on river banks and lake shores when Evan was a toddler.

“When my dad took me fishing, he would put me in my booster seat and we would fish together,” he said. “I caught my first fish when I was either 3 or 4. It was a 6-inch large-mouth bass.”

On one of his regular summer weekend fishing trips, he reeled in a 6-foot blacktip shark and a gar he described as being almost as big as he was.

When Evan is not sitting in the sun with his fishing pole in the water, he can be found competing on the mat. Evan is involved in gymnastics and competes on a GymKix traveling team that recently took first place in a meet. As an individual competitor, Evan captured first place in the floor exercise, rings, vault and parallel bars. He also placed second on the high bars and fifth on the pommel horse, which all added up to a first place overall win.

Evan also shares first chair for percussion in the school band. He also enjoys playing the guitar, admitting he is not good at it but he still tries.

CCJH teacher Catherine Sharbeno said Evan is a very energetic and enthusiastic student.

“His creativity truly comes alive in his artwork and writing skills,” she said. “Evan always has a smile on his face, which helps keep his teachers upbeat and positive throughout the day. I can’t wait for the day that I see him on the Olympic team and get to brag about teaching him.”

Of all of the things Evan is involved in, fishing remains his favorite.

“We tried soccer and football, but I didn’t really like it much,” he said. “They expected the same thing out of everyone. No more, no less. And that’s just not for me.”

Contact Wendy Sledd at wsledd@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476

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