June 16, 2021
One of only ten boats selected to participate in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic presented by Bass Pro Shops, sophomore criminal justice major Ethan Thurston and senior business administration major Cody Ross won the event at Eagle Mountain Lake on Sunday, June 13 with a four-fish bag that weighed 16 pounds, 6 ounces. This is the third championship tournament won by the ETBU Tiger Bass Fishing program in the last year, having the top boat at MLF qualifying tournaments on the Ouachita River (LA) and Lake Chickamauga (TN).
“Being a part of the Tiger Bass Fishing Team has made me a better person in many ways,” Ross said. “My coach, Cameron Burger, has made more of an impact on the person I am in the past few years here at ETBU than I can begin to express. I could never thank him enough for the person he has been to me and the opportunities he has presented to me in my time here. I love to fish for ETBU because it makes me push myself to new levels for more reasons than just myself. I strive to be better so that our team can be better. It means a great deal to my team and me to win this title. I have been blessed with a great college career and could not be more excited to bring this trophy back to the Hill to end another great school year of bass fishing for our team.”
The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops gives college anglers a platform for competing with their peers in a national setting. Anglers can compete in one of five regionals and in a Wild Card tournament for the opportunity to advance to the national championship.
“I love fishing at ETBU because of the opportunity to be a part of a team who cares about each other but also pushes each other to be better,” Thurston said. “Winning the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic was a dream that came true. Growing up, I would watch the professionals fish that tournament each year and be excited for those who would win. I never thought I would have the opportunity to fish at the college level, much less in a tournament like that one. The Texas heat was real that week, and we were not sure how it would go. We were so excited to be able to keep that trophy in Texas and bring it back to ETBU!”
The Tiger Bass Fishing team continues to add accolades to its impressive record after being named Southern Conference School of the Year in 2019, and earning the top title in collegiate fishing and making history at ETBU with the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) 2020 Tackle Warehouse School of the Year title in December of 2020.
“The college classic victory symbolizes the hard work and determination that the anglers in the years past and the current anglers on the team have shown for college fishing,” ETBU Head Bass Fishing Coach Cameron Burger said. “This is just the icing on the cake for them to show out on a national stage. Cody, a senior next semester, has continually shown growth over the past three years in his leadership and integrity, and he is consistently someone that can be counted on when things need to get done. With Ethan being a freshman and having success like this, I can only imagine how the Lord will bless him in the next three years. He has continually shown me that he wants to lead others and be successful at it.
Our team’s growth is directly related to recruiting, and I want to thank Assistant Coach Bryan Thomas for consistently representing the University and the Bass Fishing team in a manner that allows students to come here and show interest in the program. Their success on the water and in the classroom is a true testament to the anglers we have in the program who desire to be a part of a Christ-centered program competing at the national level.”
The ETBU Bass Fishing program continues to compete at a national level thanks to several sponsors including Sam Baxter of McKool Smith, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha, Symmetry Sports Construction, V&M Baits, Elite Tungsten Co., Lew’s Rod and Reels, Tackle Addict, Costa, and Hendrix Machinery Rental.