Kent State’s Tanner Ward, Arkansas Tech’s Austin Phillips and Eastern Kentucky’s Josh Boone shared honest perspective about what it will take for their teams to do well this week on largemouth-rich Lake Chickamauga in East Tennessee.

Each of them is 21 years old. Ward is majoring in engineering at Kent State. Phillips is studying business at Arkansas Tech. And Boone is focusing on risk management and insurance at Eastern Kentucky.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series?

Ward-Kent State: The people I’ve met, and the experiences we’ve shared traveling around the country fishing tournaments.
Phillips-Ark Tech: All the cool opportunities we’re given, like the chance to fish the Bassmaster Classic.
Boone-Eastern KY: The fun team environment, and all the fellowship.

Q: What will be the biggest challenge of this event?
Ward: Making yourself commit to either fishing shallow or deep, but not trying to do both.
Phillips: Staying with the pattern you know you should be committed to.
Boone: Staying focused when it’s tough, and grinding for bites.

Q: Name two lures you won’t leave the dock without tomorrow.
Ward: Football jig and a wobble head
Phillips: Magnum spoon and a hair jig
Boone: “Chatterbug” and a “big lazard”

Q: What’s the biggest Chickamauga bass you’ve had your hands on in practice?
Ward: 3 pounds 6 ounces
Phillips: 5 pounds 5 ounces
Boone: 5 pounds 9 ounces

Q: Carhartt is a brand for hard working people. What was your job this summer?
Ward: Carpentry for a home building contractor.
Phillips: Working construction for my dad.
Boone: Waiting tables at Steak ‘n Shake