Bulldogs Bass Fishing Reels In First YETI FLW College Fishing School of the Year Title

Adrian is a first-time winner of the YETI/Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing National School of the Year title. (Photo courtesy of FLW Communications)
Adrian is a first-time winner of the YETI/Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing National School of the Year title. (Photo courtesy of FLW Communications)

Complete FLW news release

BENTON, Ky.--Adrian College Bass Fishing are top 'Dogs in the college fishing world according to the final standings of the 2019 YETI Fishing League Worldwide season, released today. The Bulldogs compiled 2,350 points during the college fishing season to claim first place overall and earn its first YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year title.

To be the best in the country, FLW's national school of the year recognition program annually goes to the school that has the highest point total at the conclusion of the regular season. Points are awarded to the top two finishing teams from each school that competes in an FLW College Fishing tournament. Adrian secured the crown after three solid finishes in Northern Conference competition, along with a strong showing at the annual FLW College Fishing Open tournament on Kentucky Lake.

"To win an award based on the whole season – our entire body of work – is awesome and says a lot about our roster and our program as a whole," says Adrian College head coach Seth Borton, who founded the program during the 2014-15 academic year. "To win a tournament is great, but the National School of the Year is the most coveted award we can achieve because it means we had the best overall season.

"We've got 32 members in our program, and really good anglers in each class," Borton adds. "We try to put our best guys for each situation in the right positions to be successful. We've got shallow-water specialists that do better targeting docks or fishing the banks. We've got anglers that are better fishing deep water, offshore, targeting spotted and smallmouth bass with electronics and finesse gear. We run our club just like any other athletic (varsity) team" at the College.

Perhaps most impressive from Adrian College during the 2019 season is the fact that 15 different anglers contributed to the top finishes, and no single duo was responsible for more than one.

"I always tell my anglers that when you get the opportunity, you have to be ready to go – for the team," Borton says. "We are extremely fortunate to be as successful as we have been since launching the program in 2015, and I'm going to keep challenging our anglers – how can you help make us better, as a team?"

Adrian was also recently featured on Rapala Varsity Bass, an original YouTube-based reality series produced by FLW. The series documents the lives of high school and college anglers just starting out in the sport of tournament bass fishing. It allows fans to experience first-hand what life as a student angler is really like and feel both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The third episode showcased Adrian College anglers Nick Marsh and Jarrett Martin as they fought their way into the top 10 of the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Potomac River. The episode can be viewed here.

Adrian began its fifth season of competition on Jan. 9 on Fayette County Lake in central Texas against Bethel University (Tenn.) for the Ranger Cup University Challenge, and won the head-to-head matchup--televised to a national audience on tape-delay--by a score of 87.30 pounds to 66.09. Bethel ranked tied for third with 2,296 points in the YETI/FLW final school of the year rankings.


Northern Conference

April 26 – Smith Mountain Lake (95 boats)

11th Place – Juniors Blake Johnson & Myles Jackman

23rd Place – Sophomore Jarrod Layton & Freshman Matthew Davis

May 31 – Chesapeake Bay (49 boats)

1st Place – Senior Ryan Sharnas & Brandon Herzberg

4th Place – Jake Hippe III & Graduate Griffin Fernandes

Sept. 6 – Lake Erie (65 boats)

3rd Place – Senior Ryan Sharnas & Graduate Chase Serafin

4th Place – Sophomores Collin Torrey & Jacob Emery

FLW College Fishing Open

March 12-13 – Kentucky/Barkley Lake (194 boats)

5th Place – Junior Alex Henderson & Sophomore Zach Manneback

7th Place – Juniors Cody Batterson & Zachary Graham


The YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year title is determined by the total accumulated points from three regular-season conference events and the annual FLW College Fishing Open tournament. Three hundred points are awarded to the winning team in each tournament, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on. Each school receives the total points earned by its top two teams in each tournament. The top 10 schools in the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year standings: 

1st: Adrian College, Adrian, Mich. – 2,350 points

2nd: Murray State University, Murray, Ky. – 2,300 points

3rd: Bethel University, McKenzie, Tenn., 2,296 points

3rd: McKendree University, Lebanon, Ill. – 2,288 points

5th: University of North Alabama, Florence, Ala. – 2,280 points

6th: University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Ala. – 2,273 points

7th: Blue Mountain College, Blue Mountain, Miss. – 2,269 points

8th: East Texas Baptist University, Marshall, Texas – 2,257 points

9th: Radford University, Radford, Va. – 2,210 points

10th: Bryan College, Dayton, Tenn. – 2,186 points

In addition, Adrian also is in first place in the prestigious Bass Pro Shops School of the Year standings presented by Abu Garcia with 7,980 points for 13 events to outdistance archrival and second-place McKendree University of Lebanon, Ill., which has 7,610. The Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA) poll appears on CollegiateBassChampionship.com website.

#AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #BulldogProud

(Editor's note: Portions of this story by FLW Communications; photos courtesy of FLW)