SAN ANTONIO, Texas--For the second time this calendar year, the Adrian College bass fishing team is No. 1 in the national rankings by the Association of Collegiate Anglers poll. That marks a new benchmark for the Bulldogs because they also were No. 1 in the ACA poll in August to give them four No. 1 rankings in their history.
Adrian has compiled 2,270 points over seven events to outdistance second-ranked Grand Valley State University with 1,790. The rest of the top-10 includes West Virginia University, Bemidji State University, University of Pittsburgh, Bethel University (McKenzie, Tenn.), Ohio State University, Northwestern State University, Murray State University and Kent State University.
"Obviously momentum is a huge component of any sport and we are definitely excited to have such a solid lead heading into the winter months," stated Seth Borton, the only head coach the Bulldogs have ever known. "We have put ourselves in a great position to achieve the highest end of the year ranking in our program's history, and we are really looking forward to the second half of the season. It basically means that we have done all we can to set ourselves up for a great run here this spring. There are obvious geographical hurdles that we have to overcome as the tournament schedule hits the winter months, so it is always imperative to take care of business in the first half of the season."
Adrian has been on a hot streak this summer. Numerous victories and top-10 finishes have helped to propel it to an early lead of just under 500 points over Grand Valley. The team has taken care of business on both national and regional levels. A good bit of Adrian's success has occurred through school-run events. These type of events provide an opportunity for teams to compete against others in their area more frequently, as well as offer a shot at gaining more valuable School of the Year (SOY) points. The Bulldogs earned 640 points at the Fishing League Worldwide Collegiate National Championships, 360 at the BassMaster Championships and 500 at the FLW Northern Conference Event#1 to achieve their earliest top billing ever in August. Since then, the 'Dogs earned big points (495) Northern Conference Event #3 held on Lake Erie. Of the seven events Adrian College has earned points from three have been from events fished as part of the Michigan College Bass Circuit, a group of qualifying school run events.
"The sanctioned collegiate events are huge for a number of reasons, but first and foremost they give us a chance to compete on some more familiar water without having to travel quite so far," continued Borton.
The Adrian anglers challenged for the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing School of the Year title, presented by Abu Garcia, last year, and they appear poised to make a run for it all this season.
The Bulldogs' last confirmed event on the schedule to end 2018 is the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Open on Lake Dardanelle in Rogersville, Ark., on Oct. 13-14.
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(Editor's note: Collegiatebasschampionship.com contributed to this story.)