Georgia Teen Bass Anglers Take Second At World Event

High school seniors receive a combined $266,000 in scholarship offers from three different colleges.

Brad Gill | July 4, 2020

The Morgan County High School bass fishing team of Cole Holloway and Ryan Thomas recently placed second in the TBF Student Angler Federation High School Fishing World Finals on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. As a result, the team was offered a combined $266,000 in scholarship funds from three different colleges.

“It feels great. I’ve worked toward this kind of goal since I was young. It was a great experience for me,” said Cole Holloway, 18, of Madison. “My dad was my boat captain, and it allowed the both of us to do what we both love to do the most and spend time together while doing it.”

It was a tough road to qualify for the World tournament. The Morgan County team first competed in a three-day National Championship event June 24-26, where they placed fourth out of 194 boats. The high finish qualified them for the World event tournament the next day where they placed second, finishing just 3 ounces out of first place.

“The feeling of finishing fourth in nationals is awesome,” said Ryan Thomas, 18, of Madison. “Then getting to go on and fish the final day in World Finals and finishing second is like icing on the cake, although it was tough to know we were only 3 ounces away from first place.”

The MOCO Bass Fishing Team Facebook page reported, “This finish earned them scholarship offers from Kentucky Christian, Bethel University and Simpson University. They also took home some impressive hardware and other prizes.”

Cole Holloway (left) and Ryan Thomas placed second at the TBF Student Angler Federation High School Fishing World Finals.

The boys received the following college scholarship offers: Bethel University ($56,000), Kentucky Christian ($90,000) and Simpson University ($120,000). Amounts would be divided between the two young anglers and factored over four years.

In addition, Cole and Ryan won large trophies but also got to choose from a pile of different prizes. They each won a 58-inch TV, a $250 gift card to Cabela’s and a rod. Their captain Mark Holloway was awarded a prize as well, and he chose a 7-inch Lowrance graph.

“I plan on fishing in college, which will hopefully then lead to my ultimate goal of becoming a professional fisherman one day,” said Cole.

Cole told GON he has already committed to attending and fishing with Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs. Ryan, who also said fishing professionally would be a dream come true, will be attending the University of Montevallo in Alabama.

Even with the new scholarship offers available, both anglers said they had already secured financial support to attend their selected colleges, and it still makes better financial sense for them to continue with their original plans.

The take-home message for GON parents is that colleges are in search of college anglers willing to fish on their teams, and they are willing to fork over some pretty impressive money to get them to attend their campus. If your kids are showing an interest in competing in bass tournaments at the high school level, contact the TBF Student Angler Federation.

“Anyone who is thinking about fishing this tournament in years to come, I would highly recommend it. It was a great experience and a very unique tournament to be apart of,” said Cole.

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