BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — School is out for the summer for the majority of college students across the country, but for 136 collegiate bass anglers, the biggest test of the year still lies ahead of them.
Sixty-eight two-angler teams representing 49 colleges and universities are doing their homework in preparation for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship to be held on Chatuge Reservoir in northeast Georgia Aug. 1-3. Up for grabs are scholarships, school bragging rights and a berth in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.
The college bass fishing championship will mark several “firsts.” This will be the first time in its eight-year history that the event will be held outside the state of Arkansas, the first time for a Carhartt College Series weigh-in to take place on a college campus and the first time a team from outside the United States will compete in the championship.
Since the inception of the college bass tournament program in 2006, the National Championship has been held in Little Rock, Ark. This year, Young Harris College in Young Harris, Ga., will host the championship competitors, including a team from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico.
Teams qualified through a series of regional championships or at the first-ever Wild Card tournament on Pickwick Lake, June 14-15. The Wild Card served as the anglers’ last shot at securing a National Championship berth.
Several schools will send more than one team to the championship. Bethel University in Mackenzie, Tenn., which offers scholarships to outstanding young anglers, will be represented by five teams, and New Mexico State University is sending four teams.
Once the anglers make their way onto Chatuge Reservoir and the National Championship begins, the entire field will compete for two days to determine which teams can weigh in the heaviest five-bass daily limits. The field will be cut to the Top 5 teams for the final round, after which the Carhartt College Series National champions will be crowned.
In addition, the Top 4 teams in the championship will advance to the Carhartt College Series Classic Bracket, which will be held in conjunction with the Bassmaster Elite Series post-season tournament: Toyota All-Star Week, Sept 27-29 in Muskegon, Mich. In the Classic Bracket competition, teammates compete individually for one berth in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic to be held Feb. 21-23 in Birmingham, Ala.
In the 2012 championship, the final two survivors in the single-elimination fish-off were teammates — and brothers — representing Auburn University in Alabama. Matt Lee outfished his brother, Jordan, and won the right to compete in the 2013 Classic in Tulsa, Okla. The Lee brothers will again represent Auburn in the upcoming College Championship. This time, however, they’re not teammates.
Below is a complete list of Carhartt College Series National Championship qualifiers.
National Championship Qualifiers
Southern Regional Qualifiers
Zach Parker and Matthew Roberts of Bethel University, McKenzie, Tenn.
Thomas Oltorik III and Scott Heaberlin of Daytona State College, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Myles Palmer and Dalton Wilson of Bethel University, McKenzie, Tenn.
Cody Spears and Charles Fee of Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.
Justin Darley and Casey O’Donnell of University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.
Jacob Nummy and Tom Frink of Auburn University-Montgomery, Montgomery, Ala.
Matt Lee and Chris Seals of Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.
Cody Ross and Dewey Swims of Bethel University, McKenzie, Tenn.
Kevin Lucas and Neal Combs of Seminole State College, Sanford, Fla.
Kenny Johnson and Brandon Larry of University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Ga.
Joseph Fuller and Joe Handley of University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Ala.
Justin Atkins and Lowell Gann of Mississippi State University, Starkville, Miss.
Dawson Lenz and Evan Horne of University of North Alabama, Florence, Ala.
Western Regional Qualifiers
Zach MacDonald and Ryan Sparks of Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.
Andrew Loberg and Brandon Walker of California State University-Chico, Chico, Calif.
Robert Harkins and Michael Braswell of California State University-Chico, Chico, Calif.
Anthony Lee and Morgan Newby of San Jose State University, San Jose, Calif.
Thomas Kanemoto and Kyle Derbish of California State University-Sacremento, Sacremento, Calif.
Justin Gangel and Alex Cox of California State University-Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif.
Nick Barr and Jared Walker of Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Wash.
Alex Pisarski and Alfredo Gutierrez of California State University-Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif.
John Zeolla and Kyle Greenlaw of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Seth Hausman and Weston Brierley of Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah
Eastern Regional Qualifiers
Shane Lehew and Eric Self of University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C.
Zachary Blalock and Kyle Albers of East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.
Carson Rejzer and Chris Carwile of Virginia Polyechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Mike Huff and Nick Huff of Georgetown College, Georgetown, Ky.
Justin Graben and Vincent Campisano of Murray State University, Murray, Ky.
Ronnie Moore and TJ Chafatelli of East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.
John Hunter and Vincent Timperio of Georgetown College, Georgetown, Ky.
Tyler Faggart and Tyler Mayhew of North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.
Kyle Raymer and John Smith of Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Ky.
Jody White and Sean Snow of Virginia Polyechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Cody Griffey and Joe Wilkerson of Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.
Midwestern Regional Qualifiers
Marshall Sandretto and Eric Logisz of Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, Wis.
Jackson Grabeel and Joseph Reilly of Western Illinois University, Macomb, Ill.
Nick Carter and Leo Dedering of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Stevens Point, Wis.
Cody Hahner and Stephen Maliborski of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Stevens Point, Wis.
Ben Zuk and Ethan Dhuyvetter of Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.
Kyle Gates and Daniel Butler of Saint Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa
Travis Wilson and Brian Lafferty of Western Illinois University, Macomb, Ill.
Sam Starr and Alex Fulkerson of Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.
Sean Gillenwater and Josh Collier of Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
Toney Lewis and Scott Sullivan of University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Mo.
Central Regional Qualifiers
Tanner Cooper and Memo Nunez of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.
Colt Farris and Hunter Randolph of Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas
Nicholas DiCamillo and Jesse Wilkinson of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.
Trent Newman and Cameron Burger of Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas
Cody Garrett and Colton Cavazos of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas
Coleman Crook and Joel Gray of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
Paul Muzljakovich and Landon Dixon of University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.
Nathan Cathcart and Jake Jacobs of Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, Ark.
Jesse Scarafiotti and Tyler Scarafiotti of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.
Luis Manuel Navarro Arizpe and Mario Patino Ruz of Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Kyle Price and Jeremy Bedford of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.
Wild Card Qualifiers
Jacob Hardy and Jake Lawrence of Bethel University, McKenzie, Tenn.
Andrew Nutt and Zachary Wiggers of University of North Alabama, Florence, Ala.
Jordan Lee and Shane Powell of Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.
Brad Rutherford and Matthew Peeler of Young Harris College, Young Harris, Ga.
Drew Long and Cody Garrison of Mississippi State University, Starkville, Miss.
Tanner Parker and Trent Palmer of Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga.
Nick LaDart and Brian Eaton of University of Louisiana-Monroe, Monroe, La.
Benjamin Freeman and Dillon McGee of Bethel University, McKenzie, Tenn.
Blake Deron and Brett Preuett of University of Louisiana-Monroe, Monroe, La.
Nathan Martin and Robb Young of University of North Alabama, Florence, Ala.
William Shipes and Alan Horwatt of Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.
Logan Shaddix and Ethan Flack of Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, Ala.
Byron Kenney and Brian Rosso of University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.