The latest Bass Pro Shop Collegiate Series team of the year rankings were announced on Wednesday, and Lamar State College-Orange ranked as the No.1 fishing program in the nation. It is the first time that the two-year college has been ranked this high at any point.

“It’s just really exciting to know that we can be a small school that no one knows about and we can still make big moves,” LSCO fishing team advisor Thera Celestine said. “We still have a long way to go but I hope they can keep up the momentum heading into the next event.”

LSCO fishing club is still in its first full season competing across all three college series — Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), Bass Pro Shop Collegiate Bass Fishing Series and the Association of Collegiate Anglers. Both four-year and community colleges like LSCO compete against each other in a slew of events throughout the year.

The school of the year rankings is calculated by how each team finishes in each event across all three eligible series.

The Gators’ current point total at the top of the leader board is 1,305 — 300 more points than second-place Adrian College from Michigan. The No.1 ranking also came with an appearance on the Rapala #Wearecollegiatebass podcast.

The Gators just finished an event FLW at Lake Erie. Dagan Leger and Trace Moore were the only two anglers to compete from LSCO at the event.

“We were going up there not to fish a tournament but we saw an opportunity. When in our lifetime will we ever get to fish Lake Erie,” Leger said in the Rapala #Wearecollegiatebass podcast interview. “We fished it like our normal bodies of water.”

In addition to their No. 1 ranking, the Gators are also ranked No.3 in the Southern division of the FLW series.

LSCO will compete in another FLW series event at Guntersville Lake in Guntersville, Alabama.

Celestina said despite the early success in the season, the Gators still have a chip on their shoulders and look to continue on the success.

“Sometimes I feel like our area is underestimated,” Celestine said. “We have good anglers in Southeast Texas. When you look at the list of other schools and we are No.1, it’s impressive. It’s a matter of putting the right anglers together.”

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