Tarleton State University’s Bass Club completed their 2018 tournament appearance campaign among the Top 20 collegiate fishing teams in the nation, earning the No. 15 spot on the annual Cabela’s School of the Year rankings and finishing as the second-highest team in Texas.

The final standings and School of the Year title were announced May 30, with Bethel University (Tenn.) taking top honors for 2018. The Tarleton Bass Club collected 2,649 total points to garner Top 20 honors among 250 recognized collegiate bass clubs from across the United States, with Dallas Baptist being the only Texas school ranked higher (No. 9 – 3,098 points).

Touted as the “true pinnacle of the sport,” the Cabela’s School of the Year — presented by Abu Garcia — is what every school is competing for beginning with the start of the collegiate angling circuit.

The Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA) manages the multifaceted Cabela’s School of the Year program, which serves to reward and recognize teams that compete on the water in numerous national-level trails. Designed to truly crown a School of the Year champion based on performance, the program gives the winner the right to be called the best of the best.

Tarleton’s anglers earned points toward the School of the Year title in 11 separate tournaments dating back to May 2017, including the FLW Championship, the B.A.S.S. Wildcard and Championship tournaments, several FLW Southern Region events, the B.A.S.S. Central tourney, the Texas Lunker Challenge, Cabela’s Big Bass Bash and the BoatUS Championship tournament.

“Collegiate clubs are awarded points based on the performance of their teams. The higher a team places, the more School of the Year points they earn,” explained Cason Kelly, president of the Tarleton Bass Club. “There is no question that the School of the Year title is the most coveted in collegiate fishing, bringing a high volume of media coverage and national recognition to the winning university. However, it takes several dedicated teams to bring it home.

“It’s imperative that we have at least one team finish favorably in roughly half of the 35 to 40 events throughout the season to have a shot at the title,” he explained. “To do this, we’re almost doubling our fundraising goal for the upcoming season. If we can assist more of our anglers with the financial burden of competing in these tournaments, we will have ample opportunity to bring this coveted title to Tarleton State.”