Georgia Southern University anglers Justin Hewlett, of Statesboro, and Geoff Hill, of Kennesaw, recently secured the second and final slot in the Ranger Cup University Team of the Year finals.
As the highest-finishing Ranger Cup University-qualified team with a total weight of 28.24 pounds during the two-day BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship on Alabama’s Lake Pickwick, the duo will receive an expense-paid trip to Texas’ famed Choke Canyon Reservoir later this year where they will compete for more than $2,000 in cash and prizes.
Hewlett and Hill will face off against Carson Rejzer and Wyatt Blevins, collegiate anglers from Virginia Tech University, to determine the Ranger Cup University Team of the Year.
Rejzer and Blevins qualified with their fifth-place finish in the FLW College Fishing National Championship on South Carolina’s Lake Murray earlier this spring.
“I think it’s great what Ranger is doing," said Hill, a mechanical engineering major heading into his junior year at GSU. "College fishing is a growing sport and this program is available to all of the anglers, whether they own a Ranger or not.
"Plus, it teaches us college guys that we need to stay on top of the little things — there were 14 teams ahead of us that probably wish they would’ve done it. Justin and I are blessed to benefit from the Ranger Cup University program. We didn’t have the big bites we needed to win the (Pickwick) tournament, but we won a $500 cash prize and get to fish Choke Canyon.”
Both teams will receive an expense-paid, grand-prize package, which includes travel, lodging and meals, as well as the opportunity to compete from fully rigged Ranger boats.
The made-for-TV fishing event will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network’s Americana Outdoors, representing a unique opportunity for the collegiate anglers — complete with more than $2,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the winner.
Modeled after the most lucrative contingency rewards in the industry, Ranger Cup, Ranger Cup University is the first program of its kind exclusively for collegiate anglers and is open to those fishing in either FLW- or BoatUS-affiliated competitions.
Registration is free, regardless of which brand of boat they own. To remain qualified in the program, anglers need only adhere to clothing and logo requirements. And as part of the Ranger Cup University program, participants will be able to receive specially discounted tournament gear through Angler Skins and Gemini Custom Apparel, with no artwork or set-up fees. Through these vendors, Ranger Cup University anglers can purchase fully customized tournament jerseys for as low as $48.