Alsop, a native of Overland Park, gained entry into the Forrest Wood Cup after he and teammate Blenn, of Westmoreland, won the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship this June on Alabama’s Lake Wheeler. The win marked Kansas State’s third national title victory in five years, with Alsop becoming the first college angler to win multiple national titles. He also won a title fishing alongside Taylor Bivins during the 2016 Bassmaster college championship on Kentucky’s Green Lake. Prior to that, Ryan Patterson won an FLW title in 2012 while fishing solo.
“We honestly didn’t think we had enough weight on the final day,” Blenn said. “Sitting at the tanks, both me and Kyle really didn’t think we had it won, because Bethel had a limit and they were only sitting about 5 ounces behind us, and while we had a little bit of cushion over South Carolina, they brought a pretty decent bag to the scales on the final day that had us thinking we didn’t have enough weight.
“It wasn’t ’til closer to the end when I was seeing some of the bags go across the stage and hearing some of the weights that I thought we might still have a small chance. It really wasn’t ’til the very end when we were doing some quick math in our heads figuring we only needed about 10 pounds that it really set in that we had it won. Kyle and me kinda looked at each other thinking surely we had at least 10 pounds. I think we ended up weighing 11-11 on the final day.”
As part of the prize for winning the program’s latest college title, the teammates were able to compete in a fishoff on Alabama’s Wilson Lake to determine which one would get to fish for the Cup. Alsop won the fishoff by nearly three pounds, which freed Blenn up to compete alongside Rogge at the Bassmaster national championship.
“I really was happy that Kyle ended up winning because he really deserved it,” Blenn said after the fishoff. “He has put a lot of time into this sport, and especially since he’s done with college and really thinking hard about making fishing into a career — even though he has two national championship wins, the Forrest Wood Cup is the stepping stone he needs to make that big leap to go pro. If he can go out and have a good showing at the cup, it will really go a long ways for him.”
Rogge will have a chance to add his name to the list of K-State’s national title winners if the Wildcats put up a good showing in Minnesota. The St. George native, a graduate of Rock Creek High School, coached Blenn and teammate Spencer Bowers during their 2014 win at the TBF/SAF Kansas High School State Championship at Kansas’ Wilson Lake. Rogge was then a freshman at K-State.