CLINTON, Miss. (WJTV) – When you think of college athletics like football, basketball, and the Olympic sports, spring quickly comes to mind.
But did you know that America is home to nearly 400 college bass teams?
Mississippi College has one.
They are not on scholarship. The don’t earn a varsity letter, but they do represent their school on the some of the South’s most beautiful waterways, all while encouraging a healthy appreciation of the great outdoors.
Like a largemouth on a three-pound test, inspiration struck at Mississippi College back in 2010.
Jim Turcotte is the Vice President of Enrollment Services, Dean of Students and Director of Outdoor Programs at MC.
He says, “The Student Body President, that year, walked up to the President and myself and asked, ‘Would y’all be interested in starting a college bass team?’ and the President looked at me and said, ‘I think you can do that.’ and that’s how it began.”
Since then, the Choctaw team has grown to 8 fishermen, they take on teams from the SEC, ACC or anywhere else across the South.
“Our home lake is Providence Hill Farm. It’s a beautiful property, and we bring professional bass fisherman to that property, and they take our fishermen out on their boats and they teach them everything they know about fishing.” Jim explains.
Students are responsible for their own rods and reels for every conceivable situation. The team’s budget comes through fundraisers and donations.
“We have a 21-foot Ranger bass boat with a 125 horsepower Yamaha motor on it.” Jim proudly proclaims.
That’s just what you need for a wonderful afternoon on the water. Two or three MC fisherman hope to become pros one day, but the commitment to the water runs deeper than that.
“It seems like a great match. This college has been here from a long time, and we value our environment, so conservation is one of the main reasons that we do this, and it also matches with me personally. I have a passion for the outdoors.” Jim concludes.
If you are an MC bass fisherman, you do get a uniform cap and memories that last a life time.
The M-C Bass fishing team competes in both the spring and the fall, but spring is its busiest season. Some fisherman also receive a PE class credit.