by Michael R. Watts
PIPPA PASSES, Ky. — The Alice Lloyd College fishing team is proud to announce that, following their performance at The Big Bass Bash on Kentucky Lake, they will be competing in the National Championship at Pickwick Lake! In less than 60 days, senior Michael Watts and sophomore Caleb Baker, both of whom hail from Whitesburg, KY, will join the best collegiate anglers in the country at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama to compete in the 2014 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Cabela’s. The week of May 19-23 will bring 400 collegiate anglers to the renowned lake and end with the crowning of the national champions.
After a strong start to the season at Lake Chickamauga, near Dayton, Tennessee, where the team finished in second place in the 2014 Moonpie Open, the ALC Anglers looked to ride their momentum all the way to Kentucky Lake where they competed in their first nationally-televised event of the year. Competing against a field of over 100 boats, the team set a goal to finish in the top 10 in at least one session and move into the top 100 school rankings. After a weekend of catching very solid fish but being eluded by the BIG fish, ALC was still able to find itself with two fish on the leader board in the final session with only ten minutes left on the tournament clock. At one point, while holding the 3rd and 6th place positions with only minutes left to go, it looked as if the team would accomplish its goal. However, bass fishing is anything but predictable, and the Alice Lloyd Anglers fell just short, missing a top ten finish by a mere 4 ounces.
Although the team failed to finish in the top ten, the guys were still able to qualify for the national championship, and it does appear they will crack the top 100 in school rankings for the first time in the College’s program history. This is a huge accomplishment for them as there are no size divisions in college fishing, and the ALC Anglers are competing against the biggest and most prestigious universities in the country. ALC will be the smallest school in the history of college fishing to rank in the top 100.
The team would like to thank all of their sponsors, donors, and supporters who have helped them reach their goal of putting ALC on the collegiate fishing map.
Special thanks to Dave Stivers of Cummins Inc, Mark Wright of Kentucky Farm Bureau, Scott Cornett of Alice Lloyd College for his generous donation, Top Gun Lures, Food City Pharmacy, Dr. Claude Crum, John Mills, and Stevie Fain of Fain Welding.