The Catawba Valley Community College bass fishing team reaches another milestone this week with its first-ever appearance in the Major League Fishing (MLF) Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship on Grand Lake in Oklahoma.
Five Red Hawk anglers — Caleb Lonca, Justin Eggers, Adam Seagle, Lane Bailey and Nathan Dellinger — are competing at the event, which started on Wednesday and continues through Friday.
“I am pleased to have three teams representing CVCC at the MLF Abu Garcia National Championship,” said CVCC bass fishing head coach Angela Mayo. “All of these guys have worked had to get there and are certainly deserving.”
Red Hawk angler Jeremy Dellinger, who is participating in his second national tournament at CVCC, is excited for the opportunity that he and his teammates have.
“Making the MLF Nationals for me is a dream,” Dellinger said. “We have had great weather, but a terrible practice. Fishing conditions here on Grand are tough. Despite all of that, this is an awesome opportunity and an honor to be here. I am looking forward to seeing what this tournament brings our team.”
A historic cold front in Oklahoma, though, has made the fishing conditions extremely difficult for all five CVCC fishermen.
“It’s been tough, but we are here for a reason,” Bailey said. “We’ve got to keep our heads down and grind out five bites a day. We are blessed to have this opportunity.”
Despite that difficult, including a tough first day of competition, the Red Hawks are remaining positive in hopes of a solid finish at the program’s second-ever national tournament.
“We are blessed to be able to fish the national championship and not only represent ourselves, but the school and our community,” Lonca said. “We made it this far, now we just have to finish it out.”