Lander University isn't widely known for spawning top-notch fishermen, but that is rapidly changing.
This fall, the Lander Bass Fishing team climbed a few more notches by placing three winning teams in six tournaments of the Clemson Fall Trail.
Freshmen Brenden Farley and Weston Bison set the pace, placing 2nd, 5th, and 3rd twice - despite being able to fish in only four of the Trail tournaments.
Not to be outdone, freshmen Britt Myers and Parker Wilton took 1st place at the tournament on Lake Greenwood with a catch that beat out the next highest team by more than two pounds.
"That was an accomplishment that is almost unheard of on this circuit," said Lander senior Chasten Beck, currently serving as the Bass team president.
Then came the "dynamic duo" team of Corey Waits and Tyler Lusk. Hailing from nearby Dixie High School in Due West, the two freshmen not only ended the tournament by winning the championship on Lake Hartwell, they were also named team of the year.
"Corey and Tyler are new to college fishing, but no strangers to big-time tournaments," Beck said. "They have a great background from high school fishing together and are doing what it takes to win - which they showed during the Trail tournaments."
The Clemson Fall Trail tournament is part of Cabela's Boat U.S. Collegiate Tour. It serves not only as an opportunity for teams within South Carolina to compete against each other, but to practice for other, bigger tournaments.
And now that the Bearcat Anglers have completed their eighth year as a Lander program, Beck said the team is looking to turn another corner in 2019.
"I'm really impressed with our showing this season," Beck said. "And I'm hoping it will propel Lander fishing into soon becoming a nationally recognized program."