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YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Young Harris College recently awarded bass fishing scholarships to Mason McCoy from Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw, Ga., and Marshall Harrelson from Tallulah Falls School in Tallulah Falls, Ga. Previously a club team, the YHC bass fishing team will begin competing as an official athletic team for the College in the 2019 – 2020 academic year. Associate Professor of Biology Johnathan Davis, Ph.D., who has a degree in wildlife and fisheries science, will continue serving as the faculty advisor for the YHC bass fishing team.

“It is truly an honor and a blessing to be chosen to receive a fishing scholarship at Young Harris College,” said McCoy. “I am grateful that Dr. Davis believes in me, and I look forward to representing Young Harris as an angler.”

McCoy’s fishing accomplishments include 2016-2017 Georgia Bass Nation Angler of the Year, 2017-2018 Bassmaster All American Honorable Mention and 2017-2018 Georgia Bass Nation second place Angler of the Year. In September 2017, McCoy recorded an episode of Fishing University with Charlie Ingram and Ray Brazier, which aired on the Outdoor Channel.

“I am very thankful to have received a bass fishing scholarship—it has been a dream of mine since I started fishing when I was young,” said Harrelson. “I cannot wait to expand my knowledge of fishing and the outdoors at Young Harris while pursuing an environmental science degree.”

Harrelson’s fishing accomplishments include sixth place in Angler of the Year points, first place at the Georgia Bass Nation tournament at Lake Hartwell, seventh place at Lake Seminole, four-time state championship qualifier and national championship qualifier.

According to Dr. Davis, the YHC bass fishing team was formed as a club sport in 2009 by then-freshman Brad Rutherford. Since that time, the team has regularly competed in tournaments locally, regionally and nationally. Many of the tournaments are organized by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), as well as Fishing League Worldwide (FLW). In 2013 and 2014, YHC hosted the B.A.S.S. College Fishing National Championship, placing second in 2013.

“We have the perfect area for a bass fishing team with so many lakes close by,” said Dr. Davis, who hopes YHC can field a nationally recognized team. “Anglers can be offered the opportunities of a small school, a small team and the perfect fishing location.”

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution 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 an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has three academic divisions: Arts and Humanities, Professional Studies, and Mathematics, Science and Technology, with more than 1,400 students enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga. has completed major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth. LEED-certified campus improvements include the 121,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center, residence facilities and a 57,000-square-foot recreation and fitness center. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. For more information, visit