Monday, March 13, 2017
Bethel Bass Team dominates Cabela’s tournament
The Bethel University Bass team won the Cabela's Big Bass Bash held this past Saturday at Paris Landing State Park near Paris, Tennessee. The tournament is based on both the largest fish weighed in each hour of the eight hour tournament as well as the largest overall fish brought to the scales for the tournament event.
Tournament practice had been sunny and warm for the 519 competitors for the event up until the final day of pre-fishing, however strong back to back cold fronts would see almost four inches of snow fall on the anglers as the tournament hours approached Saturday morning.
Braving the cold and snowy weather and as other anglers attempted to cope with the sudden change of temperature, it almost seemed as if the storm played right into the locally favored Bethel University Wildcat team.
The Bethel anglers started the day with Wildcat team members Evan Owrey and KJ Queen tying for eight place in session two.
Session three brought Bethel's freshman angler Tristan McCormick to the scales to finish in second place. McCormick would also weigh in another giant Largemouth Bass in session four to also finish in second place during that session.
Session five would see Wildcat team mates Kyler Chelminiak and Alec Piekarski finishing in seventh place and tenth place respectively.
Session six would see the Bethel Anglers really start to dominate the overall competition as sophomore angler Cody Huff took first place while teammate Tucker Smith took eight place and Evan Owrey took tenth.
Session seven would see Owrey walk to the scales with a giant Largemouth Bass weighing nearly eight and a half pounds, the largest bass of the tournament and the one that would win both Owrey and the Bethel Bass Cats the coveted championship. Bethel was not finished racking up tournament scores however as a total of five Bethel Anglers would finish in the top ten of the session seven. Alec Piekarski in fourth place, Garrett Enders in fifth, Cole Floyd in seventh, and KJ Queen in eighth place all Bethel wildcat team members.
Session eight, the final session of the tournament would find four more Bethel Anglers making the top ten of the session. Freshman Tyler Black third place, KJ Queen fifth place, Tucker Smith eighth place and Ty Dyer in tenth place for the session.
All in all Bethel University would have eighteen top ten finishes during the session portion of the tournament and set a new tournament record for the most top ten finishes by one school or university in the history of the tournament.
“This type of tournament is designed to give anglers an opportunity to test their skill on targeting big Bass,” said Coach Garry Mason, Head Coach of the Wildcat Team. “Our guys fished and competed cast for cast against some of the greatest college anglers in the nation during this event in an extremely harsh weather environment and they not only won but dominated the day. We are so very proud of the performance both on and off the water. These guys continue to prove just why they are called Champions.”
Congratulations to Evan Owrey on leading his team to the tournament win and to all of the Bethel Wildcat squad.
This is the second time in the past five years that Bethel has won the Cabela’s Big Bass Bash and the Wildcat Team has finished in second place three times in the past.