Georgia Southern Wins FLW Collegiate Bass Event

Wesley Maples and Jed Thigpen win $10,000

Saturday, September 18, 2010
<i>Wesley Maples (left) and Jed Thigpen from Georgia Southern Bass Team won the FLW Collegiate event on Chickamauga Lake Saturday.</i>
Wesley Maples (left) and Jed Thigpen from Georgia Southern Bass Team won the FLW Collegiate event on Chickamauga Lake Saturday.
- photo by Richard Simms

The Georgia Southern team of Wesley Maples and Jed Thigpen won the final qualifying National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division event on Lake Chickamauga Saturday with six bass weighing 12 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the university and the university's bass-fishing club.

Click HERE for a Photo Gallery of Saturday's weigh-in.

The win also helped them advance to the Southeast Division Regional Championship where they could ultimately win a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower engine wrapped in school colors for their school's bass club and $25,000 for the school they represent.

“It actually, surprisingly went according to plan today,” said Maples, a senior geography major. “It’s one of the first times that’s ever happened.

“We originally thought we were going to go to the grass and possibly get some on a frog, but that didn’t pan out,” Maples added. “So we abandoned that and went deep the rest of the day.”

Maples said the team threw homemade football-head jigs and Carolina rigs tipped with green pumpkin Zoom lizards deep. Maples said the team caught about 20 bass throughout the course of the day.

Thigpen said he came into the Chickamauga event with hopes of qualifying for the Southeast Regional.

“That’s all I wanted to do,” said Thigpen, a junior biology major. “I would have been as happy with a fifth-place finish, but to get here and come in first is unreal. It really hasn’t hit me yet.

“It’s incredible what FLW and the National Guard have done with this (series), Thigpen added. “This is hard to beat. This is awesome.”

Rounding out the top five teams and also qualifying for the Southeast Regional Championship are:

2nd: Georgia College and State University – Jared Kutil and Josh Futch, four bass, 10-13, $5,000

3rd: Kennesaw State University – Thomas Frink and Jake Akin, six bass, 10-2, $4,000

4th: Freed-Hardeman University – Nathan Pirtle and Brad Martin, three bass, 7-3, $3,000

5th: Troy University – Jeremy Knight and Connor Bedsole, three bass, 6-11, $2,000

The National Guard FLW College Southeast Regional Championship is scheduled for Oct. 21-23, at Lake Monroe in Orlando, Fla. The three-day tournament will be hosted by the University of Central Florida and will be televised on VERSUS Nov. 21 from 12:30 to 1:30 EST.

Also qualifying for the Southeast Regional were:

Auburn University - Shaye Baker and Jordan Lee

Florida Gulf Coast - Drew Underwood and Garrett Farmer

Lagrange College - Torre Pike and Ryan Wakenigg

Middle Tennessee State - Nolen Spencer and Tyler Barnes

Southern Polytechnic State University - Dustin Holland and Zachary Dixon

Tennessee Tech - Cody Gass and Adam Goodwin

University of Central Florida - Leonard Gordon and Miles Burghoff

University of Florida - Jake Gipson and Matthew Wercinski

University of South Carolina Upstate - Michael Smith and David Scruggs

The top five teams from each regional championship will advance to the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship. The National Championship is a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. Teams will be provided jerseys and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition.

College Fishing is free to enter, boats and drivers are provided by FLW Outdoors and all collegiate teams receive a travel allowance. For a complete list of tournament results visit collegefishing.com


New Study Says Water Vapor Is Global Warming Amplifier

A new study from scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues says rising levels of water vapor in the upper troposphere – a key amplifier of global warming – will intensify climate change impacts over the next decades. The new study is the first to show that increased water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere are a ... (click for more)

Tellico Wild: A Weekend Of Wilderness In The Cherokee National Forest

Tennessee Wild is hosting a weekend of free outdoor activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act of 1964, and to support protecting special forest places while promoting the Tellico Region and Cherokee National Forest as the ideal destination for outdoor recreation in the southeast.   Come learn more about a key effort to protect special places in ... (click for more)

County Commission Chairmanship Up For Grabs After Exit Of Henry, Skillern

The chairmanship of the County Commission is up for grabs after the exit of two commissioners who have held the post in recent years. Larry Henry is moving on to serve as Circuit Court clerk. Fred Skillern was upset by Randy Fairbanks in the Republican primary. Most of the returning commissioners have their eye on the possibility of taking over as chairman, or at least getting ... (click for more)

PAST Act On Horse Abuse Stalls Out In U.S. House Despite 70% Support

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, issued the following statement today regarding the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518:   “I regret to inform you that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, currently refuses  to bring the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to the floor for a vote.  His decision ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mark’s 50th Anniversary Toast

In the new book that celebrates the first 50 years of baseball’s Southern League, its splendid author Mark McCarter recalls that very early in his career as a sports writer, he was riding with his boss somewhere and mentioned that if the legendary Allan Morris ever needed help covering the Chattanooga Lookouts that he’d love to help. Today, as he looks back, he ruefully adds, “I ... (click for more)