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COLLEGE FISHING: New PHCC bass team ready to cast
Members of the new bass fishing team at Patrick Henry Community College include (front, from left) Octavius Johnson, Beau Custer, Samantha Spencer, Derrick Scales, Jon Helms Jr., (back, from left) Trey Joyce, Brandon McAlexander, Dustin Wagner, Blaine Atkins and Matthew Davis. (Contributed photo)
Thursday, April 3, 2014
By SPECIAL TO THE BULLETIN -
Patrick Henry Community College Collegiate (PHCC) has formed a bass fishing team that is set to perform in area tournaments this spring, according to a release from the school.
Michael Bryant, a PHCC instructor for HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and building trades courses, will serve as an adviser to the group. Bassmaster will sanction the team and Bryant will serve as president for Bassmaster in Virginia, the release said.
The PHCC team has 10 members who have begun practicing on weekends, the release said. The team will compete in the college division at BASSfest from June 11-15 in Dayton, Tenn. Bryant said the team has a shot at winning.
“If they win the championship, they can win scholarship money for the college and for themselves,” he said in the release. “If they do well there, they can go to nationals. And the person that wins at nationals will go on to the Bassmaster Classic.”
Bryant said he decided to start a bass team after several individuals and students asked about fielding a team.
“I represent the entire state for Bassmaster, and we have a lot of youth programs across the region,” he said in the release. “We have collegiate teams in the state that came to Philpott (Lake) last year for a tournament. After that, we had many students asking if PHCC could have a team.”
Once he spoke with representatives at Bassmaster, Bryant said they told him to try it at PHCC.
Although the team held its first group meeting March 19, Bryant said the students have hit the ground running.
He said, “I’m just the adviser — they run it. I just make sure they follow all the rules and regulations,” he said in the release. “We have some really good fisherman, so I think they will do really well.”
Members of the team include President Octavius Johnson, Secretary Samantha Spencer and members Beau Custer, Blaine Atkins, Brandon McAlexander, Derrick Scales, Dustin Wagner, Jon Helms Jr., Matthew Davis and Trey Joyce.
This summer, Bryant said he hopes to have a college fish-off with teams from Virginia Tech, Radford and Roanoke College, according to the release.