SAN ANTONIO, Texas (March 16, 2017) – Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia has seen a shakeup in the Top Five after the completion of the first major Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series event for this season. This past weekend, 519 anglers from 84 schools descended onto Kentucky Lake for the 2017 Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley. There was no shortage of drama as the event was changed from a 2-day event to a 1-day event ahead of a possible snow and ice storm that was supposed to hit the Kentucky Lake area Saturday night. What everyone didn’t know was that the storm would move in early and play a big factor in the ever-changing conditions with which the college anglers we’re dealing with.
Going into the event, Bryan College was sitting at 5th place in the standings, and knew they needed to have a good tournament and take advantage of the double points event. Despite the weather, they brought in several quality bass to the scales led by Nathan Bell with a 6.81lb fish, which placed 7th overall in the event and helped gain vital points towards the Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia race.
Bryan College has seen the top of the Cabela’s School of the Year race before, placing 6th in 2016 and 18th in 2015. Coach Keen and the Bryan College community have had tremendous support and their eye on the big title since they’ve come onto the scene. “This is so big for us because we are still a relatively new program. We’re just in our 3rd year of competing and the recognition this would bring to our school and our fishing team would be huge,” said Michael Keen, Coach of the Bryan College Bass Fishing Team. “Our guys are really pumped about being #1 because they have worked so hard to get there,” Keen continued. “Our strategy has not changed. They are going to try and stay consistent and keep finishing in the top 10 of tournaments they have left.”
Moving into the 2nd place spot is the University of North Alabama, who are no strangers to the title of Cabela’s School of the Year, having won it twice before. “We feel great about moving back up to 2nd in the standings. We slipped a little bit at the FLW Southeastern regional on Seminole, so it felt good to get back on track with some good finishes,” said Nathan Martin, President of the University of North Alabama Bass Fishing Team. “Our main goal is to win an event and win School of the Year again, so we are strategically sending boats to tournaments to give us the best chance at doing that.” Martin went on to say, “We have a dedicated team and we hope to bring the title back to Florence, AL. The season is young though so there is still a lot of work to be done. We enjoy fishing with y’all and we really appreciate you giving us a platform to compete on.”
Rounding out the top 3 is Mississippi State University, who moved from 6th place to 3rd place after fishing well at the Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley. “It was a great feeling to move from 6th to 3rd after one tournament. We knew that the Big Bass Bash plays a huge role in how you finish in School of the Year rankings, so we knew we had to perform,” said Cody Peak of the Mississippi State University Bass Fishing Team. Hunter Hatcher helped gain crucial points to help MSU jump into the 3rd position, placing 4th overall. “Hunter Hatcher is a new guy to our team and he showed this weekend what a great asset he is. By having a 7-pound class fish, he added a very large amount of points to what would have been a mediocre finish,” said Peak. MSU knows this isn’t where they want to finish and Peak concluded saying, “Everyone on the team realizes that we have a legit shot at this and everyone is willing to work to achieve it. It will be a difficult task as we know that the competition this year is just as strong as ever.”Check out the remaining Top Ten in the current Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia Standings listed below –