SAN ANTONIO, TX – In today’s feature, we will be highlighting teams ranked 16th – 20th in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.
16.Catawba Valley Community College
Total Points: 10,395
Pre-Season Ranking: 18th
Catawba Valley Community College is the first team we highlight in this breakdown of the teams currently ranked 16th – 20th in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. CVCC checks in at 16th, two spots higher than where they were projected entering the season. On the year, the team has grossed 10,395 points.
Halfway through the current season, CVCC is improving on the foundation that the program has built. The team from Hickory, NC earned just 670 points at the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley, but then backed up that lackluster showing with an excellent event at Lake Dardanelle during the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open. CVCC placed two teams inside of the Top 35 at the second ACA event of the season. Jadon Spencer & Cade Mackey claimed 6th, and Hunter Keller & Wes Smith finished in 35th. Those two Top 35 finishes earned CVCC a total of 3,110 points that weekend. CVCC was just one of nine teams to earn 3,000 points or better at the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open.
17.Tarleton State University
Total Points: 10,315
Pre-Season Ranking: 17th
Tarleton State University becomes the second team in this series of rankings reveals to match its pre-season ranking to this point in the season. Tarleton State entered the season ranked 17th in the pre-season poll, and they are currently ranked the 17th best bass fishing team in the country. The team from Stephenville, TX has amassed a total of 10,315 points.
Tarleton State has made the most of both ACA double points events on the schedule to this point in the season. More than half of the team’s 10,315 points this season were earned at ACA double points events. Tarleton earned 2,470 points at Kentucky Lake for the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley, and 3,050 points at the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open on Lake Dardanelle.
Coming in to the 2022-23 campaign, Tarleton State was motivated to climb as high up in the standings as possible. “Being ranked in the Top 20 has a lot of our members motivated to make as many events as possible,” said Clay Osteen, a member of the Tarleton State Bass Fishing Team. “With us being solely funded by the members of the club, we have seen the amount of dedication our guys are willing to put in outside of tournaments to create funding to travel. We have a really strong freshman class again this year so we’re hoping to continue to move up and get back in the Top 10. Our goal this year is obviously to make a run at the SOY title. We have really talented anglers who all have the confidence that we can compete against any other university in the country.”
18. Bethel University
Total Points: 9,410
Pre-Season Ranking: 7th
Bethel University is the first past winner of the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia(2018) to check in through this series of rankings reveals. Picked 7th entering the 2022-23 campaign, Bethel University checks in at 18th now with 9,410 points.
The lone ACA double points event the team has competed in so far this season is the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley. Bethel left Paris, TN back in September with 3,440 points. Levi Mullins finished in 3rd place and Gage Sherrod took 5th. Those two Top 5 finishes combined for a total of 3,440 points.
Out of the four major events Bethel has competed in this year, they’ve earned over 2,000 points at three of those. The upcoming spring schedule across all three major college circuits suits Bethel’s strengths. Multiple stops at Tennessee River fisheries could play into their favor as they look to continue to climb up the ranks.
19.Arkansas Tech University
Total Points: 8,595
Pre-Season Ranking: 21st
Checking in at 19th in the latest update to the standings in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia is Arkansas Tech University. Arkansas Tech entered the year with a pre-season ranking of 21st and has bested that mark by two spots upon earning 8,595 points.
Arkansas Tech will forever hold a special place in the history of collegiate bass fishing as the team from Russellville won the first ever Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia just over 10 years ago.
This past fall, Mat Higby and John Foster Case used their home lake knowledge to take home the tournament title at the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open. Their fellow teammates, Remington Lawrence and Jade Craft, claimed 18th to give ATU two Top 20 finishes. The stellar showing earned the team from Russellville a total of 3,330 points.
20.Kentucky Christian University
Total Points: 8,475
Pre-Season Ranking: 20th
The last team to be highlight in the feature revealing teams ranked 16th – 20th in the Bass Pro Shops school of the Year presented by Abu Garcia is Kentucky Christian University. Upon earning 8,475 points this season, KCU has managed to equal its pre-season ranking of 20th.
Kentucky Christian competed in both of the ACA double points events this past fall. The team earned zero points at the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley, and 1,070 points at the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open in October.
Though the team from Grayson, KY has earned over 2,000 points at just one event this season, they have fished a large quantity of major college events. Having fished a total of six major college events this past fall, if the team can compete in that many events this spring and manage some better-quality finishes…this will be a team to watch that could make a giant move up in the standings.