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NGU's Latest Club Heading for Fresh 'Shoars'

The love of fishing is making a splash among NGU’s campus community. Dakota Shoars, Fishing Club president, and his roommate, Josh Bradley, decided their mutual pastime was the perfect reason to start a competitive university team. The 2017-2018 academic year was the first of the club’s existence, but the group has already made impressions amongst the sport’s highest competitors at the 2018 Geico Bassmaster Classic, held on Lake Hartwell in March.

Shoars explained, “About a month before the Bassmaster Classic, which is the super bowl of bass fishing, a gentleman by the name of Steve McCombs from Tabernacle Baptist Church just north of Atlanta, contacted the school and eventually got in touch with me about getting some volunteers together to help and work the Classic.”

The seven students who volunteered met the tournament’s professional anglers, assisted with official weigh-ins, and visited Jason Aldean backstage during the Classic’s celebratory concert. The club’s duties were crucial to the tournament’s conclusion. During competition, three team members served as marshals. They rode with the pros in their boats, and ensured tournament rules were not violated throughout the day’s fishing.

While volunteering, the club’s members wore fishing lures around their necks made with three crosses.

Shoars stated, “We used these as tools to help talk to people about Jesus and they worked tremendously well! We started the weekend off with 900 of the lures and ended up with only 150, so 750 people got to hear the gospel that weekend!”

Collegiate competitions have also occupied the group’s time.

Last semester, Josh Smith and Greyson Edwards finished 4th at the 2017 Clemson Bass Fishing Team Trail at Lake Keowee. The event was part of Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Tournament Series. Upcoming events include two in Tennessee – a FLW event on Lake Chickamauga, as well as a Carhartt College Eastern Tournament on Lake Cherokee.

“We don't just go and fish at these big bass tournaments, we also get together as a group and have casting competitions, or camp out and make a weekend trip,” Shoars said.

Plans for next season will be similar, although the group is planning fundraisers to offset the costs of attending these events. Shoars is graduating this semester, but incoming freshmen will most likely meet him at next year’s tournaments. He has plans to keep contact with group members.

Anyone interested in joining or making a donation to the club, contact the Office of Student Life at student.life@ngu.edu or 864-977-7121.

Photo: Fishing Club team members pose with pro angler Casey Ashley at the 2018 Geico Bassmaster Classic held in Greenville in March. From left: Josh Bradley, Dakota Shoars, Casey Ashley, Josh Smith, and Noah Carter.

            

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