Two members of the Fairmont State University Fishing Falcons took top honors in the National Guard FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championship, which was Sept. 13 through 15, at Philpott Lake in Martinsville, Va.
In addition to the tournament title and the opportunity to compete in the national championship, Wil Dieffenbauch, a Civil Engineering major from Hundred, and Ryan Radcliff, a Criminal Justice major from Parkersburg, won a brand new, fully rigged Ranger Z117 for their club.
"It feels amazing," Dieffenbauch told the National Guard FLW College Fishing web site. "After last year, we wanted to win this title badly. now, I'm getting greedy. I want to win a national championship."
The FSU team was one of 20, two-person teams competing in the Northern Conference Championship. Dieffenbauch and Radcliff qualified for the regional championship on Philpott Lake for their performance in the qualifying tournament on Lake Champlain, where they placed fourth overall and earned the University’s bass-fishing club a $1,000 donation.
“I think we can do really well,” Dieffenbauch said before the championship. “Our club has proven that we can hold our own against the biggest schools in the country. This is my fourth consecutive year going to the Northern Conference Championship, and if we do not make a top five it will be my last college tournament. I really want my college fishing career to end with another shot at winning the National Championship.”
The Fishing Falcons team is a recognized Club Sport at FSU. The Club Sports Program promotes participation in a wide variety of activities, complementing the Intramural Sports Program and the Varsity Athletic Program.
“It’s exciting to see the Fishing Falcons doing so well. Both Ryan and Wil are to be commended for their representation of not only themselves and their club, but of the institution as well. Their success may help open the doors for future Club Sports on our campus," said Tina Mascaro, Director of Intramurals and Recreation.
Club Sports are designed to help students develop leadership, financial and organizational management skills through the opportunity to create, organize and run their own club. The Department of Intramurals advises the clubs and provides administrative assistance, but the success of each club depends on the dedication and commitment of its student leaders and members. All Club Sports are required to adhere to the policies set forth in the Student Organization Handbook. For more information about FSU Club Sports, contact Tina Mascaro at (304) 367-4291.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. For more information, visit http://www.flwoutdoors.com/.
College Fishing is free to enter and FLW provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.
To read more about the FSU team’s successful tournament, visit http://www.collegefishing.com/tournament.cfm?tid=6937&t=news&aid=154096.
Coverage of the Northern Conference Championship will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs Dec. 16 from 1-2 p.m. “FLW” is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
About the photo:
In this photo by Gary Mortenson from Fishing World.com, Ryan Radcliff and Wil Dieffenbauch and show off a portion of their championship prize.