YHC Bass Fishing Team Finishes Fourth in 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Media Contact: LeAnn Waldroup
(706) 379-5310, klwaldroup@yhc.edu

Young Harris College Bass Fishing Team Finishes Fourth in 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Young Harris College bass fishing team members and senior biology majors Grayson Payne, of Blairsville, Ga., and Joe Thompson, of Clayton, Ga., recently finished fourth in the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship held on Lake Keowee in Seneca, S.C., March 6-8.

The three-day competition included the top 49 college teams in the nation. The YHC team ended the first day in third place and finished fifth on the second day before the top 10 teams battled it out on the final day of competition.

Payne and Thompson had a strong showing over the course of the tournament with an impressive three-day total haul of 30 pounds, 12 ounces.

“Placing fourth in a tournament of this scale was incredible,” said Payne. “I hate that we didn't win first, but I'm proud of our top five finish. I wouldn’t have been able to do as well if it wasn't for the love and support of our friends and family. In fact, my mother is already planning a get-together so our whole family can watch the television special.”

The team, who fished with a combination of jerk baits, A-rigs and drop-shots, ultimately let the wind dictate their fishing.

“It was a tough day. The fourth place finish is still sinking in—we were fishing for the win,” said Thompson. “We swung for the fences instead of playing it safe, but it was a great trip.”

Payne and Thompson’s strong finish at the 2013 FLW Southeast Regional Championship secured the team a shot to compete for the national title and catapulted YHC to the top spot on Bass Rankings’ College Ranking list, which serves as a comprehensive and accurate multi-year ranking system for tournament bass anglers of all levels of experience.

“I don’t think many people at YHC know about this ministry that tries to supply locals with food and other necessities,” Tarpley said. “The people at Ledford’s Chapel recognized a need of the area and did something about it, and I think those of us aspiring to love others can follow this example.”

On Saturday morning, YHC students helped facilitate the distribution process in the food pantry and accompanied workers on food deliveries to families. They also supplemented these packages with additional canned goods and snacks.  

“More than simply raising awareness, events like this one allow students to understand their personal connection with those who suffer in the world, creating a visceral link between our students’ temporary hunger and the pangs for food and system transformation by the world’s hungry and poor,” said Dean of the Chapel and Minister to the College Rev. Dr. Tim Moore.

The team, founded in 2009, continues to rack up accolades while regularly competing in fishing events nationwide. In 2013, YHC hosted the Carhartt College Series National Championship—the first time the championship took place outside of Arkansas, where it has been held since its inception.

For more information on the bass fishing team, visit yhc.edu/bassfishing.

About Young Harris College
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 1,100 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 226-bed residence hall that is expected to earn LEED certification, a 248-bed, apartment-style residential village and a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics, and in 2012, was invited to become the 14th member of the Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2013-2014 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit yhc.edu.

Joe Thompson and Grayson Payne show off their catches during day two of the FLW College Fishing National Championship.

The bass fishing team of Joe Thompson and Grayson Payne are interviewed on stage during the official weigh-in. 

Young Harris College placed fourth in the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.