SAN ANTONIO--For the seventh time in program history, the nationally-ranked Adrian College bass fishing team finds itself at the top of the college fishing world to end the dog days of summer. The Bulldogs are also leading the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year (SOY), presented by Abu Garcia, at a record pace with 3,670 points--that's more than 2,000 when Adrian led at this exact point in 2018.
College anglers are facing hot temperatures eclipsing the 100-degree mark across various parts of the country. But the weather isn't the only thing heating up as the calendar turns to August. Take a quick glance at the most recent standings for the Bass Pro Shops SOY, you'll notice the race to be college fishing's number one school is also heating up. In fact, through 12 events thus far, 15 teams have earned over 2,000 total points.
"The crazy thing is, this has been the trend for the last three or four years. It's great to be in this position as it's definitely an indication we have made the most of our opportunities thus far," noted Seth Borton, who is the only head coach the Adrian Bulldogs have known since the fishing program was founded for the 2014-15 school year.
The key to Adrian's success has been remaining consistent throughout the summer. Of the 12 qualifying events up to this point in the season, they have earned points at a total of 10. This most recent update contains results from eight new events to count towards a team's total. Adrian won two of those events and had top 10 finishes in numerous others, with rising juniors Zachary Manneback and Gunner Wilson leading the way at the Michigan College Bass Circuit event held on Higgins Lake (Roscommon Mich.) on June 23.
"We have had some incredible stretches starting in late spring through the summer where we have won or finished in the top five in every event we have fished," added Borton.
Former School of the Year champions McKendree and Bethel universities are hot on the Bulldogs' tails with 2,965 and 2,715 points, respectively, for second and third place. Interestingly, Adrian defeated archrival Bethel to begin its 2019 campaign on Jan. 9 in Texas during a "fish-off" at the Ranger Cup University Challenge before a national television audience, 87.30 pounds (31 fish) to 66.09 (25 fish).
Here is a look at the top 25 standings for the 2019-20 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia:
1. Adrian College
2. McKendree University
3. Bethel University
4. Murray State University
5. University of Montevallo
6. Sam Houston State University
7. Bemidji State University
8. Clemson University
9. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
10. Penn State University
11. Bryan College
12. Virginia Tech
13. University of Alabama
14. Grand Valley State University
15. Auburn University
16. West Virginia University
17. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
18. Clarkson University
19. University of Tennessee
20. Kansas State University
21. Texas A&M
22. Tennessee Tech University
23. Gannon University
24. Drury University
25. Blue Mountain College
(Editor's note: CarecoTV.com contributed to this news release.)