AUBURN – Auburn University President and Mrs. Jay Gogue recently honored the university’s Bass Sports Club at the President’s Home in recognition of the club’s contributions to the Auburn University Foundation.
Since January 2009 the club has presented $44,500 to Auburn from funds garnered in the National Guard FLW College Fishing Series. Teams that finish in the top five of each event are awarded funds which are distributed to the foundation for general scholarships and to the club for expenses.
“We are very proud of the club members and their dedication to being student-athletes who represent Auburn so well,” President Gogue said. “The club is among the top organizations at Auburn that truly give back to the university and the community.”
The club, founded in 2007, participates in collegiate fishing tournaments across the Southeast in events sponsored by organizations such as FLW Outdoors and BASS.
FLW Outdoors Magazine editors in January named Auburn the number two club in the nation based on a survey of all anglers who competed in the 2009 National Guard FLW College Fishing Series. The survey looked at each club and school; fishing lifestyles; tournament opportunities; club activities; and other factors.
“We are very grateful to the tournament sponsors and to Auburn for providing the opportunity to participate in these events,” said Jann Swaim, club advisor. “The tournaments provide great experiences for our students and at the same time generate funds for Auburn. We don’t focus on winning prize money, though. Our goals are to represent Auburn to the highest standard and to have pride in being a part of Auburn.”
The club, which has 30 members, sends three, two-person teams to tournaments. The duo of Shaye Baker and Dennis Parker recently won third place in the inaugural National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship, while the team of Caleb Rogers and Richard Peek took sixth place. Also earning high-ranked finishes this past year were Sam Rochelle, J.T. Murphy and Jordan Lee.
Dedication to the community and sport fishing can be seen in the club’s efforts beyond the national tournaments. The club also has hosted local Boy Scouts to help them earn merit badges in fishing.
“We are very active as a club, but are very strict and tell them they must keep their grades up and they can only fish on weekends prior to a tournament,” Swaim said. “They are very upstanding young men and women who make us very proud.”
Swaim says membership is open to Auburn students of any major. More information is available at http://www.auburn.edu/bass.
CAPTION: Auburn University President and Mrs. Jay Gogue recently honored the university’s Bass Sports Club in recognition of the club’s contributions to the Auburn University Foundation. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Jordan Lee, Shaye Baker, Eugene Buckley, Auburn President and Mrs. Jay Gogue, Sam Rochell, Kevin Tignor, J.T. Murphy, Paul Davis, associate advisor Darrel High; (second row, left to right) advisor Jann Swaim, Clay Messer, Richard Peek, Nick Palerino, Caleb Rodgers, Chris Seals, Jake McNeal; (back row, left to right) Jonathan Adams, Kiron Browning, James Clayton, Robert Melvin, Heather Bell, Shane Powell, Andrew Wendt, Dennis Parker and Daniel Holland.