category: Campus News

Carson-Newman hosts Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional

Members of the Carson-Newman University Eagle Anglers show off their new jerseys. Pictured from left to right are accounting major Tristan Stalsworth, of Jefferson City, business administration major Hunter Sales, of Blaine, business administration major Tyler Price, of Chilhowie, Virginia, accounting major Trey Torres, of Knoxville, and history major Alec Smith, of Hagerstown, Indiana. Not pictured is business administration major Alex Hutson, of Newport.

(April 30, 2018) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — When the Eagle Anglers spend a day out on the lake, relaxation is the last thing on their minds. The roar of the boat motor, the lap of the water and the smell of fish gets their hearts racing.

Carson-Newman University and the Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County will co-host with B.A.S.S., the world’s largest fishing organization, the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional, May 10-12 on Cherokee Lake.

“The College Series tournament was a great success last year,” said Lauren Hurdle, EDA tourism development coordinator. “There were 320 anglers from over 50 colleges across the U.S. who competed, and we are very excited to have this event back on Cherokee Lake and at Carson-Newman University for a second year in a row.

Presented by Bass Pro Shops, the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series pits teams of college anglers against one another for cash and prizes. The top 21 teams advance to the College Series National Championship. From there, the top four teams qualify to compete individually for a berth in the $1 million GEICO Bassmaster Classic — an event that, for the first time, will take place in Knoxville on the Tennessee River.

More than 150 boats are expected to compete in the College Series Eastern Regional in May. Two-person teams will try to catch the heaviest five-bass limits on each of the three competition days.

Carson-Newman will field three teams from the Eagle Anglers:
• Hunter Sales, of Blaine, and Tristan Stalsworth, of Jefferson City;
• Tyler Price, of Chilhowie, Virginia, and Alex Hutson, of Newport; and
• Trey Torres, of Knoxville, and Alec Smith, of Hagerstown, Indiana.

“I get really competitive about it,” said Sales, the team president. “It’s hard for me to get in that relaxed state of mind.”

Sales was the first to jump on board last year with the help of team sponsor and Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management Aaron Porter, who fishes in tournaments monthly. Both learned the art of competitive fishing from their fathers.

“When I was young, I fished tournaments with my dad — local bass tournaments,” Sales recalled. “He definitely got me into it.”

He plans to ramp up the number of competitions the Eagle Anglers participate in annually. This year, the team will compete in five tournaments, more than double that of last year. That’s not the only sign of the group’s growth. The team is set to increase from six members this year to a potential 16 next year.

The opportunity to travel, compete and meet new people — along with Carson-Newman’s bass fishing scholarship — are all powerful lures for team members, Sales said.

During the upcoming tournament, the University will provide lodging for up to 80 interested anglers as a fundraiser for the Eagle Anglers. For more information, visit

Boats launch from the TVA Boat Ramp near Cherokee Lake Dam Thursday to Saturday at 6:30 a.m. The final weigh-in at Carson-Newman University is Saturday at 3:30 p.m. All activities and venues are free and open to the public.

A tentative schedule of activities planned throughout the weekend at the Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional include:

Wednesday, May 9
• 1-5 p.m. Registration at the Maddox Student Activities Center, Carson-Newman University
• 5 p.m. Opening Session at the Maddox Student Activities Center

Thursday, May 10
• 6:30 a.m. Anglers launch on Cherokee Lake. Public launch viewing is available each day from the Cherokee Lake Dam and TVA Boat Ramp (28095 N. Highway 92, Jefferson City, Tennessee).
• 2:30 p.m. Official weigh-in takes place at the Cherokee Lake Dam and TVA Boat Ramp.

Friday, May 11
• 6:30 a.m. Anglers take off from the Cherokee Lake Dam and TVA Boat Ramp.
• 2:30 p.m. Official weigh-in takes place at the Cherokee Lake Dam and TVA Boat Ramp.

Saturday, May 12
• 6:30 a.m. The final takeoff will take place at the Cherokee Lake Dam and TVA Boat Ramp.
• 3:30 p.m. Final official weigh-in takes place on the campus of Carson-Newman University, at the intersection of George Avenue and Ken Sparks Way.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts university located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The University has over 2,500 students and offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.


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