Fishing Goes from Club to Competitive Sport
Submitted on October 9, 2018
The team of freshman Sam Clark and senior Trevor Lewis finished 11th out of 111 boats in a fishing competition recently held at Lake of the Ozarks, Osage Beach, Missouri thereby qualifying for the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) National Tournament. The teams of Hunter Osborne and Conner Johnson finished 21st and Jacob Locke and Cameron Cornelius came in 53rd. The Lake of the Ozarks competition closed the 2018 tournament season for the Georgetown College fishing team. The 2019 season officially begins in October at Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas with the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open ACA trail.
Thrilled at their team success on the water, Sam said, “I believe a lot of how well we did was a gift from God and a little bit of luck. Two fish catches can be attributed to that, one being having the luck of the draw with the early boat number as we had a keeper in our boat before all the tournament field had even launched, and the other completely God-given.” That, he explained, was “because I had cast under a dock and was not paying too much attention to my bait when it suddenly dropped like a ton of bricks. That fish had every opportunity to bite and leave but he stayed on to that D&L Jig all the way to the boat.”
Sam also praised teammate Trevor’s leadership. “Trevor and I had never fished together before this, but I learned so much from him in just this one tournament, my first college tournament.”
It turned out to be a most fulfilling experience for Trevor, too. The only senior on this year’s fishing team, he expressed his appreciation for the team success as well, saying, “This was my last chance to qualify for the national championship so I was definitely excited to finally get it done. I feel like this won’t be the last solid finish that the Georgetown College fishing team has this season as we have a very good group of guys.”
Trevor also said being part of the fishing team has been a great experience over his four years at Georgetown. He commented that he had met many lifelong friends and made many connections along the way and offered encouragement to any student interested in fishing to investigate GC’s fishing program.
Team chemistry among the anglers has been great, Sam added. “On practice days, we have been sharing information between our 3 boats, and this helps us to figure out what the fish are doing and how to catch them the best. It is different from high school fishing in that we are really on our own, and that is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because we are able to make our own decisions but a curse because we have to make our own decisions. If anything bad happened as well, we have to fix it ourselves.”
Shawn Combs, completing his second season as coach, applauded his team’s efforts. “I feel like we finally came together as a team and the results show. I’m proud of how each of these young men prepped and performed for the tournament. The communication between the guys during practice was flawless.”
Equally pleased with the fishing team’s success and camaraderie is Terry Clark, Professor of Religion, the faculty academic advisor for the team.
“The Georgetown College Bass Fishing Team is still, technically, in its infancy,” Dr. Clark said. “The team began as a student-led initiative, originally just a student club, but one whose accomplishments on the tournament trail quickly proved worthy of the adoption of a new, official college sports team.”
That the team thrives is a compliment to the support received from President Greene for it was he who affirmed the importance of this rapidly growing sport at Georgetown College. Bass fishing at the college level is fiercely competitive noted Dr. Clark, who expressed his appreciation for the dedication of team members.
Dr. Clark also said the establishment of the club was significantly aided by the support of his faculty colleague and early team co-advisor, Professor of Religion Jeff Asher, adding that the transition to an official college team was primarily due to the key leadership provided by Combs as an undergraduate. “I’m proud to say, Combs was a former student of mine,” said Dr. Clark.
Combs came to Georgetown College as a non-traditional student in 2012 and joined the bass fishing club team. He quickly became a well-known face on campus and one of the team's top fishermen. When he finished his undergraduate studies, it became obvious that coaching the team was the next step for him and he was hired.
“I’m excited and ready to start my 3rd season,” expressed Coach Combs enthusiastically.
Any student, male or female, wanting to learn more about being on the Bass Fishing Team may contact the Office of Admission. Admissions@georgetowncollege.edu. Or phone 800-788-9985.
Lake of the Ozarks team results:
Trevor Lewis, Sam Clark, 11th, 14-0
Hunter Osborne, Conner Johnson, 21st, 12-09
Jacob Locke, Cameron Cornelius, 53rd, 7-07