As summer winds down and students settle into their annual academic routine, a race is underway. The 2014 Cabela’s School of the Year program runs July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Although full 2014 schedules aren’t available yet, several of the major events have been identified and listed on CollegiateBassChampionship.com. With an FLW Central College Fishing Invitational and the 2013 Carhartt College Series National Championship already in the books, Kansas State has jumped out to an early lead with respectable finishes in both tournaments. Ultimately over 25 ACA sanctioned events will determine who is the best of the best in collegiate bass fishing.
According to Program Director, Danny Blandford, “The Cabela’s School of the Year program has been a great success and anglers are already thinking about how their club can claim a victory in 2014. We wanted to get some of the key events outlined so that anglers can start making plans. As the leagues release final schedules and provide dates, we’ll update our program accordingly. We also look forward to expanding the program and including more regional events in 2014.”
The current list includes major events from the three national collegiate leagues: the Association of Collegiate Anglers’ Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, College B.A.S.S., and FLW College Fishing. In addition, select student/school-run events with a history of quality and good participation have also been named in advance, with more to come.
The ACA Cabela’s School of the Year program was the first program of its kind to rank teams across all leagues and provide the first national collegiate fishing rankings. The program illustrates the continued growth in collegiate bass fishing, with over 200 teams earning points in 2013.
Wade Middleton, Director of the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, added, “The Cabela’s School of the Year program is something I’ve wanted to see since we formed the ACA and we are proud of its growth. To see how important it has become to these young anglers is a testament to the competitiveness in college bass fishing.”
Middleton added, “In the first two years we’ve had two great winners with Arkansas Tech (2012) and the University of Louisiana Monroe (2013). You don’t hear a lot about their sports programs through mainstream media, but when it comes to fishing, their programs are some of the best in the country. We’re looking forward to highlighting programs such as these on Americana Outdoors. Both on and off the water these students work their tails off, and I think stories such as theirs are great for our sport. It’s our pleasure to bring them, and the other top schools, the recognition they deserve.”
The remaining FLW College Fishing Invitationals and select regional student events will help to set the pace heading into 2014, but it will be anyone’s game right up until the end. With the race and points based on the number of teams beat in competition, it’s the larger national events that shape the final outcome.
According to ACA School of the Year Program Director, Danny Blandford, “We recognize all the leagues so that the ultimate winner has earned their title of Cabela’s School of the Year. The national events hosted by the ACA and the other leagues provide a great even playing field for teams across the country. With the additional student events worked in to supplement some regions, we feel like we have a good representative system.”
Blandford went on to add, “The BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship is a great example. As the largest collegiate fishing event in the nation, a school can pick up close to four hundred points by having two teams do well, but that doesn’t guarantee the Cabela’s School of the Year title. That was proven by both the 2012 and 2013 seasons. These events generate great point opportunities to those that compete, and it’d be tough to win without solid performance here, but the system awards points across a wide range of events and a full season. “
The 2014 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Championship will be returning to Florence, Alabama, once again May 19-23. Full event details are forthcoming, so students should be planning on visiting Pickwick again at the end of the school year.
For complete details on the 2014 Cabela’s School of the Year Program, please visit:
Image courtesy Cabela's