On the heels of hosting its first-ever state qualifier on Lake Hickory this Saturday and having five nationally qualified anglers, the Catawba Valley Community College bass fishing program received even more good news this week.
The Red Hawks are ranked 16th in the latest Bass Pro Shops School of the Year standings — their best ranking in program history. The new rankings were released this week by the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.
On the list of 140 colleges and universities throughout the country, the Red Hawks are the highest-ranked junior college — five spots higher than the second-ranked junior college team from Snead State Community College (Ala.).
“I was looking forward to seeing the latest Bass Pro Shop Collegiate School of the Year rankings after our success at the Hartwell and Guntersville tournaments,” said CVCC bass fishing head coach Angela Mayo. “I knew we would be in pretty good shape, but I had no idea exactly how good. When I saw that we had moved up to 16th place overall and were the top ranked junior college in the country, I was ecstatic.”
Despite just starting its second season, this has been a monumental year so far for the Red Hawk anglers, who have secured five national championship spots during the past month.
Sophomores Jeremy Dellinger and Nathan Smith become the first-ever Red Hawks to qualify for a national championship with their ninth-place finish at the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series on Lake Hartwell on Aug. 28-30.
The following week, Red Hawk anglers Nathan Dellinger, Caleb Lonca and Justin Eggers all qualified for the 2021 Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) National Championship by virtue of their top-14 finishes during the one-day Southeastern Division tournament on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Ala.
“Our Red Hawks have really started 2020-21 school year off right,” Mayo said. “Last year, there were several times that we had a team barely miss the cut for the national championship. Our team has worked hard, spending long hours on the lake, studying maps and talking with each other about patterns and baits that worked for them during practice. With five anglers qualifying for two national tournaments, they have proved to themselves and everyone else that they can complete with any school in the country.”
The Red Hawks hope to continue their bass fishing success when they host the 2020 B.A.S.S College Championship North Carolina State Qualifier on Lake Hickory on Saturday.