USA Wakeboard’s Collegiate Top 20
Things are changing in college wakeboarding these days. The teams are getting better funded. The riding at each event is getting better. Even the parties are getting crazier at each event. Another thing that is changing is USA Wakeboard is moving nationals to the fall semester which is going to mean that every rider will be at their best since everyone has had all summer to ride! But one thing remaining the same is we have to have a ranking before nationals so that we trash talking can begin!
These results are based off of the 5 regional qualifiers that were held around the country this past academic year and our own knowledge of each team. The rankings that you see below, are how we are seeding this year’s nationals. Also if a team in the top 16 declines to attend, then we will move to number 17, then 18, etc. Until we have a full field of 16 teams to compete. We are proud of our list but as always, if you disagree, then we will see you on the sand at the Flora-Bama Lounge in Gulf Shores-Orange Beach, Alabama on September 14th for the start of USA Wakeboard’s 2016 Collegiate National Championships. Because the only ranking that really matters is the last one!
#1 Florida Gators. The Gators are the defending nationals champions. But they are in what they call a rebuilding year. From what we’ve seen, its more like reloading. Spencer Sinclair has the team headed towards another championship. And having Fred Wayne as your Men’s A is almost cheating. But this team is so stacked from top to bottom, they will be the definite favorites to take the title home again.
#2 Arizona State Sundevils. The Wakedevils are out for revenge and hungry to prove they are just as good as their previous team that won the title in 2014. But the last 2 times they met Florida in a tournament, the Gators got the best of them. They have a lot of upside since all of their best riders will be returning such as Chelsea Knox (2015 Women’s A Champion), Josh Coppinger and Jamie Hamrick
#3 Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee has a absolute lock on the East region. But that’s not hard to do since its basically them vs Virginia Tech each year in the regionals. Ryan Hammond has put together a heck of a team that didn’t lose much from last year’s squad. But has the lack of competition in the region dulled their riding?
#4 Michigan State Spartans. Team president Sam McClean is on to something up. The Spartans have come out of nowhere. Two years ago we had just heard that the team was getting started. Now they are a top seed heading into Nationals in September and riding behind a new team boat all summer. Austin Piwinski and Josh Edwards have them cruising to their best year yet.
#5 LSU Tigers. The Tigers have been down right scary this season in the Louisiana Collegiate Wake Tour. But that’s with a about 15 to 20 riders. Kyle Jordan and Luke Meadows led the team at regionals, so the Tigers have a chance with that team alone. But add in Nick Vicarri and they could be the toughest team in field. Vicarri made finals in wakeskate and podiumed in Men’s A last year.
#6 Oklahoma State Cowboys. The cowboys were hit hard by graduation this past year with the loss of Matt McCaleb and Reid Paxton. But Brooks Thompson and Sydney Pracht has stepped up to fill the void. They have been in the mix going into the last day of nationals for the last few years. Could this be the year they put it all together?
#7 Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies are in their first year with USA Wakeboard. But they are far from a new team. They have done exceptionally well in other events around the country. They took the hard way to get to nationals by making the trip to Gainesville to take on the Gators. They got roughed up but managed to get thru the regional with automatic berth at nationals.
#8 Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes have a solid group of top men’s riders that won the Midwest regional. They earned a spot in nationals last year but didn’t attend due to injury. Hopefully the team will be healthy and ready to compete. Evan Stein is ready to lead the team in his last tournament as a college rider.
#9 The West region has 3 teams with 1 national championship to date. Central Washington was the second to get their turn 3 years ago. They are consistently in the top 10 but haven’t been able to replicate that title run from 2013. With Theodore Zografos on the team this year, they are a solid team. Will they have the firepower to hang in there with the top seeds though?
#10 Ole Miss Rebels. Ole Miss has a new leader in Spencer Moritz. But that hasn’t slowed them down, but what will is graduation. The team is taking a huge hit after nationals in former president Ben Burch and Austin Pillow. If they are going to make a run for it, this is the year. They lack a wakeskater and Callie Watson, last years Women’s A runner up has been MIA at the last few LCWT comps.
#11 Chico State Wildcats
#12 Central Florida Knights
If you think your team has what it takes to make the top 20, then contact Nick McDonald at email@example.com or 318-381-2058 for more information on joining the USA Wakeboard Collegiate Tournament. USA Wakeboard Collegiate Nationals is hosted by the Louisiana Collegiate Wake Tour. If your company is interested in sponsoring the 2016 and/or future National Championships, please contact Anthony “Ace” Cox at Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org / text 225-610-6707 . USA Wakeboard is a part of the USA Waterski Family.