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Young Harris College Bass Fishing Team Claim Top Spot in Bass Rankings
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – The Young Harris College bass fishing team was recently ranked No. 1 out of 117 colleges and universities on Bass Rankings’ College Ranking list. Bass Rankings is a comprehensive and accurate multi-year ranking system for tournament bass anglers of all levels of experience.
The College Ranking reflects the performance of the entire institution. To qualify, a college or university must have competed in at least five events in the past year with at least three different teams contributing to those events. Each tournament score reflects the average of the teams from the institution competing in that event.
YHC moved to the top of the rankings after Grayson Payne, a sophomore biology major from Blairsville, Ga., and Joe Thompson, a junior biology major from Clayton, Ga., recently finished fifth at the 2013 FLW Southeast Regional Championship, securing a spot at the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
The College’s bass fishing team was founded in 2009 by Brad Rutherford, a senior business and public policy major from Lavonia, Ga. The team has continued to rack up accolades through the years while regularly competing in fishing events nationwide.
“It is quite a feat for the team to be at the top of this list, and I am so proud that our anglers continue to grow and thrive as they compete on a national level,” YHC President Cathy Cox said. “We are thrilled that bass fishing teams from all over the country will visit our campus later this summer when we host an exciting national collegiate tournament.”
YHC will host the 2013 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship on Lake Chatuge, Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 1-3. This marks the first time in the tournament’s history that it will place outside of Arkansas, where it has been held since its inception.
According to College Series Manager Hank Weldon, the tournament “promises to be the biggest in the history of the series.” Competitors will weigh in their catches each day on the YHC Campus Plaza, and the tournament will receive national television coverage from ESPN.
“I think this tournament is going to be huge for the College and for the local community,” said Rutherford, who led YHC’s team to a 10th-place finish in the national championship last year. “Having the tournament on Lake Chatuge will allow us to show off this great lake we have and hopefully host more big tournaments in the future. I’m proud to be a part of this monumental moment for YHC.”
Four team members will participate in the final qualifying event for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship on Pickwick Lake in Alabama, June 14-15. The national championship title will be awarded to one college or university and determine which individual anglers will advance to the Bassmaster Classic bracket, Sept. 26-29, 2013, with a chance to represent collegiate anglers in the Super Bowl of bass fishing on Lake Guntersville in Alabama, Feb. 21-23, 2014.
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,000 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences—and plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 over the next few years. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall, Georgia’s first higher education facility north of Atlanta to achieve this certification, a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center, the second higher educational recreation facility in Georgia to achieve this certification, and a 248-bed, apartment-style residential village. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2012-2013 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit yhc.edu.