HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Ethan Flack and Logan Shaddix, anglers on Wallace State’s fishing team, each imagined the college’s inaugural BASS fishing club being successful and popular after it was launched in early February.
Neither individual fathomed, though, they would be preparing to fish in the Carhartt College Series National Championship five months later. Flack and Shaddix will represent Wallace State at the national event beginning Thursday at Lake Chatuge in Young Harris, Ga.
“Our goal was to get Wallace State’s name out there, join together to do something we all love and fish competitively. We knew we would have the opportunity to be a strong group, but I can’t say I thought we would be where we are at,” said Ethan Flack, the BASS fishing club student president. “We’ve seemed to establish ourselves earlier than we thought.”
Flack and Shaddix qualified for the national event after earning a wild card berth at the regional competition at Pickwick Lake in late June, reeling in a combined 28 pounds, 6 ounces over a two-day span. At Pickwick Lake, Wallace State competed against teams from Auburn, Alabama, UNA, Clemson, Mississippi State, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Bethel University, Young Harris College, Louisiana Monroe, Lamar University and Kennesaw State.
“When we were fishing at the regional, it was interesting to look up and see all these teams from bigger schools. It was almost overwhelming. Most have been competing for a few years, while we were fishing for the first year,” Shaddix said. “We’re proud as a club to be where we are at. It’s very exciting to me. I’m eager to see how we do in Georgia.”
Flack and Shaddix departed for Georgia on July 26 and are allowed five days of practice on the lake before the tournament begins Thursday. The top five fishing pairs advance to the third day of the competition, on Aug. 3, and the top four teams qualify for a bracket division tournament in Michigan.
“Our goal is to make the cut and be fishing on the third day. We’re going to give it all we’ve got from daylight to dark every day we are there,” Flack said.
Shaddix added: “We are ready to put in some 14-hour days.”
Shaddix, a sophomore originally from Atlanta, believes he and Flack complement each other well in the boat because they attack the water with different approaches. Flack, a Cullman graduate who recently wrapped up his freshman year, will continue to fish for Wallace State for one more year.
“Ethan grew up fishing mainly on Smith Lake. He’s better at spot fishing than me. I’m more about picking up a big jig or flipping docks. Ethan found the spots in the Pickwick tournament and I played off that,” said Shaddix, who will continue his academic career at Alabama beginning with the fall semester.
Wallace State will be one of 13 colleges represented at the national championship.
Both Wallace State anglers emphasize how proud they are about representing the college at the national event, but they’re even more appreciative of the friendships they have developed with other members of the inaugural BASS club.
“We’ve all become close friends and fish together in our spare time,” Flack said.
Jordan Tuten, Bryant Quattlebaum, Colton Henderson, Greg Dean, Ethan Rose and J.R. Sapp have all fished competitively for the club this year.
Flack encourages Wallace State students to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org if they’re interested in competing for the college’s BASS fishing club.
“Once we get back from Georgia and when the fall semester starts, we are looking forward to year two. We’ve got plenty of people coming back, and I’ve already been talking to a lot of people who are interested in hooking on with the club next year. We are going to grow some,” Flack said. “One of my main goals for next season is to draw some sponsors and maybe get some more money flowing in. We’ve had a few growing pains during the first year, but we’ve feel like we’ve got that all situated for the future.”
In order for an angler to compete for Wallace State, the individual must be a full-time student.
Wallace State’s BASS fishing club competed for the first time ever in February at Guntersville Lake.
The primary purpose of the Wallace State BASS Fishing Club is to encourage camaraderie, sportsmanship, integrity, conservation and development of the skills and knowledge needed to be successful anglers by competing with other schools in FLW National Guard College Fishing tournaments and other fishing tournaments on a local and regional basis.
Wallace State faculty club sponsors are Joe Hendrix, Jeremy Smith and Brian Hall. Those interested can also call 256.352.8154 for more information.
For more information about Wallace State, visit wallacestate.edu.
PHOTOS of Wallace State anglers Ethan Flack (shown left in the picture with both of them) and Logan Shaddix attached.
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
1-866-350-9722 256-352-8443 direct
256-352-8314 fax 256-339-2422 cell
Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu