Every athletic season brings a host of enthusiastic prospects to each team. Coaches for all levels make cuts due to the limited amount of equipment, practice space, and maximum capacity.
This spring, however, the girls’ crew team did not have the luxury of such limitations. Rather than being faced with a need to make cuts, English teacher and first-year Coach Louise Kinder was required to recruit as many girls as possible.
The crew team has faced many obstacles this spring. It encountered its first dilemma in the beginning of the season, as many experienced rowers did not return to the sport.
Currently, the girls’ crew team is made up of approximately 25 students (including coxswains), which is a significant drop from last year’s total of 35 participants.
Ms. Kinder affirmed that “the team has lost many more experienced kids from last year.”
In previous years, the boys’ and girls’ crew teams each raced six boats. This year, due to the lack of rowers, the girls’ crew team gave its sixth boat to the boys’ program and is currently sharing its fifth boat with them as well. “Usually the fifth and the sixth boat are for beginner rowers. This year, however, the fourth boat is going to be a beginner’s boat,” said Ms. Kinder.
Seven experienced seniors and juniors decided to change their spring co-curricular this season, largely due to the sport’s tiring travel schedule and time commitment.
Former varsity rower Marly Morgus ’12 revealed, “Rowing is a huge time commitment that takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication from everyone involved.”
The team definitely has a demanding and rigorous practice schedule. Practices last the average co-curricular length—about an hour and a half—but add in the time it takes to head up to the river, get the boats on the water, and return to campus, and a good three hours has been taken up.
Another challenge the team must overcome is Mother Nature. Due to the lack of rainfall in the valley this year, the Connecticut River’s water level is far below its normal depth. As of April 15th, the team moved to Northfield Mount Hermon to row.
On the bright side, these difficulties have allowed the crew team to bond with each other and develop an enthusiasm for the sport. Coxswain Casey Butler ’13 said, “Everyone on the team is willing to put in the time and effort necessary to make some great boats.” Elizabeth Lawless ’12, a rower, added, “It is cool to see our upperclassmen rowers mentor our newcomers… a very talented group of students that are looking to make a huge impact on our team.”