After helping build a nationally-ranked bass fishing program at Catawba Valley Community College, CVCC anglers Lane Bailey and Caleb Lonca hope to do the same at Lenoir-Rhyne University.
The Red Hawk duo officially signed with the Bears on Thursday during a ceremony held at the Tarlton Complex.
“This is a really big step in both of our careers,” Bailey said of the college opportunity. “I want to take it to the next level, and going to Lenoir-Rhyne will help with that. We both helped start this bass fishing team at CVCC and helped make it into a successful program that is nationally ranked. We’re going to try to do that at Lenoir-Rhyne.”
Lonca called signing with Lenoir-Rhyne a "step in the right direction."
“Having Lane as a good partner — not only on a team, but in life — and having a good friend there helps out a lot,” Lonca said. “After starting a program at CVCC and now starting a program at LR, we’ll do it all over again. Going from not having a team to two years later we’re ranked 17th in the nation — it’s possible to do the same if not grow further at Lenoir-Rhyne.”
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Bailey, who has qualified for four national tournaments during his time at CVCC, is thankful for the journey he’s had at CVCC after signing out of high school.
“I came a long way from when I first signed at South Caldwell High School to here,” Bailey said. “When I look back on it, I wasn’t that good back then, but now I’m getting the hang of it. Caleb and I both helped start this team here at CVCC and helped make it into a successful team that is nationally ranked. We’re going to try to do that at Lenoir-Rhyne.”
From South Carolina to Alabama to Oklahoma to New York next month for another national tournament, Lonca says being a part of the bass fishing program at Catawba Valley Community College has been a blessing.
“Every trip for me has been an experience I’ll never forget,” Lonca said. Bailey agrees.
“Going to these lakes across the country, you learn different things at those lakes that you don’t around here,” Bailey said. “When you learn to put that together, that’s when you become successful. Having all of these different tournaments under our belt, we’ve learned how to practice and put it together.”
Bailey and Lonca join teammates Adam Seagle and Jeremy Dellinger as signees for the Red Hawk bass fishing team to four-year colleges and universities. Seagle and Dellinger recently signed with Erskine College.
CVCC bass fishing head coach Angela Mayo is proud of both Bailey and Lonca and knows she’ll be hearing about even more success from them in the years to come.
“I am extremely excited to see two more of our anglers move on to the four-year level,” Mayo said. “Lane and Caleb have both been leaders for our program and have helped take us from a new program to now being ranked 17th nationally. I am going to miss them both, but know they are each going to do special things on the water and in the classroom at Lenoir-Rhyne.”