September 27, 2016 – The Bryan College fishing team made a big splash to start their season as they won the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference Tournament at Lake Chickamauga, the first major win in school history.
Cole Sands and Connor Cohran reeled in five total bass with a weight of 16 pounds, 3 ounces to seal the victory and qualify Bryan for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship slated for May 31-June 3 on Lake Wheeler in Rogersville, Ala. A total of 203 teams from the Southeast competed in the tournament.
“First off, a win at home is a huge blessing,” Sands said after the victory. “We had a lot of pressure on us for this tournament, and it’s great to start off the season with a big win. It was great having family and friends present and supporting us in such a big moment.”
“It’s a blessing to do what you love,” Cohran said. “It’s great to be a Bryan Lion, and it’s an honor to be a part of this team. It’s an awesome opportunity to qualify for the National Tournament in my first tournament at Bryan. We had some good practice and had some good spots, so that boosted our confidence going out Saturday. The first hour about every cast we had a fish in the boat. We leaned more towards throwing a jig with the top-water not really working.”
In the program’s inaugural season in 2014, Bryan achieved an 18th place finish in the running for Cabela’s School of the Year and followed it up with 6th place finish in 2015.
“Our guys have a lot of confidence and feel like they belong and can compete with any team. You’re supposed to win at home, but it doesn’t always work out that way. This time of the year probably favored us more than in the springtime. You can’t luck up right now, because the lake fishes tough and the knowledge of the lake truly helped us. Hopefully this win brought some notoriety to the college in some areas we may have not reached before. We are extremely thankful for the support we receive from the school, administration, and Bryan College Athletics.”
The top-10 team finishes on Saturday were:
1st: Bryan College – Connor Cohnran, Dalton, Ga., and Cole Sands, Calhoun, Tenn., five bass, 16-3, $2,000
2nd: University of South Carolina – Patrick Walters, Summerville, S.C., and Gettys Brannon, Gaffney, S.C., five bass, 16-2, $1,000
3rd: University of North Alabama – Sloan Pennington, Childersburg, Ala., and Martin McCravy, Killen, Ala., five bass, 15-10, $500
4th: University of Tennessee – Anthony Thorn, Knoxville, Tenn., and Scott Ellis, Madison, Tenn., five bass, 15-5, $500
5th: University of Central Florida – Caleb Bundy, Lake City, Fla., and Jake Carter, Clermont, Fla., four bass, 15-5, $500
6th: Middle Tennessee State University – Austin Wyatt, Gladeville, Tenn., and Mekiah Jack, Mount Juliet, Tenn., five bass, 14-14
7th: Bethel University – Evan Owrey, Jackson, Tenn., and Kristopher Queen, Catawba, N.C., five bass, 14-9
8th: University of North Alabama – Lake Blasingame, Killen, Ala., and Triston Crowder, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 14-1
9th: Jacksonville State University – Trevor Brown, Deltona, Fla., and Brandon Padilla, Roswell, Ga., four bass, 13-9
10th: University of Tennessee-Chattanooga – Patrick Hoskins, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Dillon Falardeau, Chattanooga, Tenn., five bass, 13-6
Written by Wesley Sanders, Sports Information Director