AMERICUS (Aug. 31, 2011)--Activities synonymous with university life include class, studying, social events, more studying and fishing tournaments. Yes, fishing tournaments and Georgia Southwestern State University’s Club Fishing Team placed first at the latest competition on Lake Eufaula Saturday, Aug. 27.
Team captain Chandler Ray of Arlington, Ga. and his brother Carson were the only two of the seven-man team competing in the event on Lake Eufaula, which is part of the Chattahoochee River system. Ten teams competed in all, with second and third place going to teams from the University of South Alabama and fourth place to Georgia Southern University.
“With this being my home lake, I knew I had to grind it out with some tough fishing,” Ray said. “I had been practicing hard two weeks prior to the tournament. From midday Thursday until Friday night, I was on the water every second trying to figure out what the fish wanted. All the hard work and sweat finally paid off, earning us our first win as a team and college.”
“I am very proud of Chandler and the GSW Fishing Team,” said Angie Hobbs, GSW director of Intramurals and Campus Recreation. “Last fall, Chandler came to me wanting to establish the team as a club sport. Since starting the club team, Chandler has been able to recruit individuals to come to GSW and fish. Who would have thought that fishing would aid in recruitment of students? I am excited for the team and since I love to fish as well, I hope that they continue to win big!”
The Georgia Southwestern Club Fishing Team has been competing since Spring 2011. Team members include brothers Chandler (sophomore) and Carson Ray (freshman) of Arlington, Ryan Wakenigg a sophomore from Catalua; Emory Greene a sophomore from Americus; Patrick Hutchinson, a freshman from Monticello; Tyler Rodgers a sophomore from Perry; and Nick Alligood a sophomore from Albany. Chandler serves as club president and treasurer, while Alligood serves as vice president.
“I had always dreamed of fishing in college one day and had never heard of college fishing before,” sad Ray. “One day, I started doing research on how to start a club. All that was needed was seven members and a set of by-laws, and we were ready to go fishing. Once I started the club in January 2011, I was living my dream of becoming a college angler.”
To compete, the team must provide their own boats and gas in order to travel to tournaments, some of which are held in Tennessee, North Carolina and North Georgia. Georgia Southwestern helps provides support with funding for entry fees and some overnight stay. To offset their out-of-pocket expenses, the team works at acquiring corporate sponsorships. Last spring, the team garnered sponsorships from organizations including Big Bite Baits, Kistler Rods,The Rod Glove and Costa Del Mar.
Students interested in joining the GSW Club Fishing Team should GSW Camus Recreation at (229) 931-2365.
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