The University of North Alabama currently occupies top spot in the Cabela’s School of the Year Race

Category: press release

 May 20th, 2015 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified May 20th, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Just as quickly as the school year started, it is once again coming to a close with a certain race left on top of the minds of many collegiate anglers. The Cabela’s School of the Year Race, the most prestigious title in college fishing, is still in full swing and even more competitive than the start of the season with the University of North Alabama in first, Murray State University in second, and Tennessee Tech University in third.

“It means everything to win this title,” stated University of North Alabama (UNA) Junior and Bass Team President, Dawson Lenz. “We’ve won it last year and we want nothing more than to win it again this year to prove how hard we work and to bring it back home for the school. I’m a junior this year and I want it to become a legacy of winning this title after I leave.”

“When we first started taking the Cabela’s School of the Year title, it kind of starting as a ‘bragging rights’ thing, because everyone wants to be the top team of course,” said UNA Junior and Bass Team Secretary, Andrew Tate,” but this season at our first meeting of the year we talked about the title and everyone wants to win it.”

“No question is my mind this is most prestigious and hardest title to win in the sport of college fishing. The Cabela’s School of the Year Title is based on performance over a year of events at all levels of college events from school run events to national level events ensures an added twist to next week’s BoatUS Collegiate Championship,” said Wade Middleton, Director of the Association of Collegiate Anglers and President of CarecoTV.

The UNA Bass team is no stranger to competing with the highest level of intensity. As the 2014 Cabela’s School of the Year victors, the UNA Lions look to repeat in their success this year, but the competition has been steep.

“We’ve had a good year,” added Lenz. “We haven’t had the best year we’ve ever had, but it has been very solid. We haven’t had that big win yet. We’ve had some top-tens, but I would love to see our teams get in the top five at the BoatUS Championship next week to help us secure the lead in School of the Year, but this lake is a lake that you can go out and find a giant school and win the tournament in fifteen minutes, just going to show just how good Pickwick Lake truly is,” said Lenz.

“Our year has been pretty great so far. We’ve had a lot of boat problems this year, like last year and it’s been tough competition this year, but it’s kind of like fuel to the fire. Murray State is a solid team and they have a lot of great fisherman on their team. We’ve had some boat troubles in the past and Murray state has royally helped us out and we can’t thank them enough but hopefully we get to return the favor someday. If there was a chance that UNA didn’t win the Cabela’s School of the Year title, I would have to believe Murray State would take it home,” Tate stated.

While the UNA Bass Team sits on top of the leaderboard, Murray State University had come from behind in true underdog fashion, putting the Racer Bass Team in second place in the Cabela’s School of the Year Bass Team. The Murray State team has been on fire about the program and wants nothing more than to be crowned not only the 10th Anniversary BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Champions presented by Cabela’s, but the Cabela’s School of the Year.

“Our season has gone great, just as we planned it as far as completing our goal of winning the Cabela’s School of the Year title,” said Murray State University Junior and now Bass Team President, Ryan Kirkpatrick. “The team is really excited on how it has been going and how it’s looking for the future.”

Kirkpatrick is excited about the race to the title, but he is also pleased with how his team’s performance has grown stronger throughout the season.

“As always the competition is stiff throughout each school, but they’re challenging us to do better. It’s also great to see this year that all of the guys on our team have stepped up and fished many tournaments to give us that extra edge for the School of the Year title.”

To the Murray State Racer Bass Team, the Cabela’s School of the Year Title is not just another trophy to show to their friends, family and school, but it is much more than that. Kirkpatrick explained the depth of the title and how it not only goes off of one person’s hard work, but how hard you work together as a team.

“This is the coveted title,” Kirkpatrick added. “Just like in the pros that want to win angler of the year, this title shows that you’re the most consistent team in the entire nation. It’s something special to say that everywhere you go, you and you’re team have been able to catch ’em and it really shows the hard work that your team needs to put in to win the title.”

Kirkpatrick and the Murray State Team have high hopes looking forward and expect to gain valuable points next week at the 10th Anniversary BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Presented by Cabela’s.

“Our goal is to have two boats in the top fifteen in the BoatUS Championship next week to give us that extra push in the rankings,” stated Kirkpatrick. “We fish a lot on Kentucky Lake throughout the year and while each Tennessee River lake is different, they have something that’s the same so even though Pickwick Lake is UNA’s home lake, it’s going to be game on!”

With just over a month left in competition for the prestigious Cabela’s School of the Year Title, there are plenty of points to be had including the double points Championship event next week. Rounding out the remaining Top Ten in the Cabela’s School of the Year rankings are the following schools:

4. University of Louisiana – Monroe

5. Bethel University

6. Clemson University

7. Mississippi State University

8. University of Tennessee – Chattanooga

9. University of Wisconsin

10. McKendree University
To see a list of complete School of the Year Rankings, click here

To find out more information on the action-packed week of events scheduled for the 10th Anniversary BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Presented by Cabela’s, including live coverage from all the events visit www.CollegiateBassChampionship.com.

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