Red Hawks competing in BoatUS National Championship

Red Hawks competing in BoatUS National Championship

FLORENCE, Ala. — The Catawba Valley Community College bass fishing team is preparing for yet another first in its inaugural season — an appearance in a national championship tournament.

Red Hawk anglers are competing Wednesday and Thursday at the BoatUS National Championship on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala.

"The guys are really excited about this tournament," said CVCC bass fishing head coach Angela Mayo. "With this being our first national championship, we are not sure what to expect, but I have no doubt that these young men will represent Red Hawk Nation well. They have all worked very hard this year to earn the right to attend, and I am proud of each one of them."

Six Red Hawk anglers will participate in the event — Jeremy Dellinger, Lane Bailey, Adam Seagle, Spencer Black, Nathan Smith and Caleb Lonca.

All six earned the opportunity by finishing in the top six in points from CVCC's team tournaments throughout the school year. Each school participating in the tournament can send up to three two-person teams.

"I am very excited to go into this tournament," said Seagle, a freshman from Lincolnton. "It's always a fun time with the guys and catching some fish along the way."

This will be the first time that many of the Red Hawk anglers have fished in the waters at Pickwick Lake, including Caleb Lonca.

"Pickwick Lake is a bucket list lake for many anglers around the nation and being able to compete in a national championship on this lake is something special," said Lonca, a Bunker Hill High School grad. "With this being our biggest opportunity of the year, we are prepared to compete — not only as individuals but as a group."

The format for the tournament will be the total highest five-fish weight from both days of competition. The winning two-person team will earn the title of national champions.

Despite some equipment issues, Bailey is confident he and his Red Hawk teammates are going to perform well heading into the tournament.

"We feel pretty good about this week," said Bailey, a South Caldwell High School alumnus. "We had boat troubles, but you have to overcome that. We are grateful that our coach is letting us use their boat to be able to compete in the biggest tournament we have fished in in our college careers."