Fishing club enjoys strong season

BIG RAPIDS -- Coach Chuck Rathbun reports the Ferris fishing club only had five teams at most for any tournament this season.

"Those teams stepped up and finished higher than any of the previous years," Rathbun said. "Our top three finished above 20th in each event and in the top 10 several times. Even though getting organized and started was difficult with the pandemic rules and situations the members who were available did so with the goal of winning the College Bass Tour School of the Year and Angler of the Year."

The top Ferris State team was Dylan Matus and Henry "Collin" DeRidder, and the pair started out letting everyone know they were in the race and were contenders for Angler of the Year.

At the Elk/Torch Lake event they finished third and had the second biggest bass for the tournament. The two struggled at Houghton Lake and finished 24th. At Muskegon Lake they found redemption and finished third with a respectable 15.03pound bag of 5 fish.

"The pair knew they were in contention but had to step up their game for the final qualifying event which determines both awards," Rathbun said. "Their dedication paid off as they finished third just two pounds behind the top team at the Grand River. With their outstanding finishes they were within striking distance of the top team for Angler of the Year. When the points were tallies the pair were 19 points behind first place for a respectable and school record finish in second place.

"Grant Fry and Ethan Valdes make a big contribution to the efforts toward School of the year as well with three finishes in the top ten. At Elk/Torch Lake they finished in eight places. At Houghton Lake all the FSU teams struggled but still finished in the top 25 to help add to the points race. On Muskegon Lake, Matt Pomranky filled in for Ethan due to family commitments. The team still managed to finish in the top 25 with a 22nd place finish. The team finished 8th at the championship and 7th for the Angler of the Year.

Noah Stauffer and Eric Hannahs started the season by bringing in the Big Bass for the Elk/Torch Lake event. Despite this they finished in 15 the overall for the kickoff event. The two didn't let up, continuing 18th at Houghton Lake, 2nd for Muskegon Lake, and 19th on the Grand River.

"It was a very respectable season for the team finishing in the top 20 of every event and providing valuable points for School of the Year," Rathbun said. "Despite the outstanding efforts of the angler the team couldn't over come the much larger Western Michigan University team who had different teams in the top at weigh in and keeping them at the top of the School of the Year standings."