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The University of Montevallo (UM) and Auburn University (AU) bass fishing teams finished the 2020-2021 season as the first- and second-best teams in the nation, respectively. A total of 211 colleges and universities competed in the collegiate ranks at more than 60 bass fishing events during the season.

Montevallo won the distinction of the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year, presented by Abu Garcia.

Following the final tournament of the season at Lake Murray in South Carolina on May 27, UM had amassed the most cumulative points of any team in the nation, taking home the team’s first School of the Year honor. During a dominant season, the UM team, which is a part of the UM President’s Outdoor Scholars Program, took over the top ranking in the national standings in November 2020 and never relinquished its lead.

The Auburn bass fishing team finished the 2022 season in second place in the nation. This was the all-time best finish for the Tigers at the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. The final season team standings were released after the final weekend events concluded on May 27.

Montevallo finished second in last season’s School of the Year rankings.

William Crawford is the UM Outdoor Scholars Program Director and bass team campus advisor.

“I am extremely proud of what this team has accomplished,” Crawford said. “These guys have been so focused since the season started. We had the goal at the beginning of the year to be the number one team in the country, and since November they have done just that.”

UM finished with 19,275 points in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia standings. AU finished second with 18,080 points.

This year’s runner-up finish eclipses the Tigers' all-time best performance, which was a fifth-place finish just last year.

While UM has led in the points standings through much of the season, Auburn finished the year strong with their culminating event on Pickwick Lake in Florence. The Tigers landed two teams in the top 10 and four in the top 41 in the culminating event of the 2021-22 season.  

The team of Logan Parks and Tucker Smith finished second in the two-man tandem standings. Parks and Smith won the $1 million first-place prize at the Bass Pro Shops US Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships in November. Parks used some of his winnings from that event to establish the Logan Parks Bass Fishing Endowed Scholarship. Smith and Parks finished with 44.69 pounds of bass at Pickwick Lake in Florence. Bryar Chambers and Clent Blackwood of Wallace State University won the event.

Auburn's Garrett Warren and Hayden Marbut finished ninth at nationals with a final weight of 33.56 pounds, making the Tigers the only team with two tandems in the top 10 at the two-day event. AU's teams of Carson Maddux and Rob Cruvellier finished 34th and Connor Jacob and Sam Smith finished 41st. Auburn was one of just two schools with four teams in the top 41. Sam Hanggi and Sam Hoesley also qualified for nationals and finished 63rd in the final standings.

Parks and Smith were named the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Team of the Year. Parks, who just graduated with a degree in supply chain management, was thrilled to finish his Auburn career with a strong showing.

“It was an incredible experience fishing my last collegiate bass national championship,” said Parks. “I would have loved to bring home the win, but to end my five years fishing the Collegiate Bass Trail with a second place at the natty (national championship) is pretty special, too. We gave it our all and left it all out on the water on Day Two. Tucker and I had an incredible day and one that we won't soon forget.

“It was one of the most fun days I have ever had on the water. I am thankful for my time at Auburn and all of these incredible experiences the Auburn Bass Team has brought me. I am excited to see what this team accomplishes over the next few years!”

Smith just completed his sophomore year and still has two more years of collegiate eligibility.

“The Collegiate Bass National Championship was a fun one for sure,” Smith said. “We ended up in second place, right behind two of our good buddies. It was one of the most exciting tournaments I have ever had, so that makes me not as upset we didn’t pull off the win. All I know is that Logan and I had a blast and caught them, but just didn’t catch them quite good enough. Make sure to tune into the ... Collegiate Bass Show to watch us crush them — we got it all on camera!”

The BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops will be televised on the Outdoor Action TV app later this summer, and episodes featuring the championship will be available on Outdoor Action TV in mid-to-late July.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.

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