The Crew Team

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The Crew Team

Annie Demetroules, School Page Editor

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What is Crew? Crew, in its simplest terms, is rowing. Rowing is defined as the sport of racing in long, narrow boats that are moved by using oars. Competitions, more formally known as Regattas, are 1500 meters long for high school students (just about a mile in length) which takes just about six minutes to row at full speed. There’s many small details about this sport, but basically crew is comprised of a boat, a coxswain, and its rowers. The most common boats consist of  Eights (8+), Fours (4+), and Doubles (2-). Eights and Fours have a coxswain but Doubles do not. The name of the boat tells you how many rowers are inside it. Now, you may be asking what a coxswain is. A coxswain, or cox for short, is the person, they’re generally the smallest on the team, who sits in the boat and tells you what to do. No, they don’t just yell “row” at you the entire time, they tell you encouraging words that are used to help you to push your hardest during races. Coxes are multitaskers; they steer the boat and keep you going in a straight line while they tell you what you need to do to get across the finish line. Sophomore Zack Bauman expressed his opinion about being a coxswain, “Coxes are like chihuahuas. They’re small, they bark, and they’re loud. They have sass, and not to mention a serious love for screaming. You sometimes hate them because they have an attitude and frequently have the wrath of Satan during a race, but in the end you still love them because they love you too and through all that screaming and yelling they are trying to push you to your limits and towards victory.” He also talked about the sport itself, stating, “Crew is the best sport around. It’s also one of those sports that you dread to go to but love anyway. From the burn of the 2k with the roar of the erg, to the satisfaction of beating rival schools. It’s one of the toughest races around. Crew is life.” Senior Will Duma said, “Crew is a challenging sport to compete in because it works every muscle in your body. It is also a mental sport, in races that can be up to 8000 meters or more, you have to tell your body to ignore the pain and keep going because there’s no stopping until you finish.”  Competitive rowing utilizes almost every muscle in your body, not only your arms. Although many people believe rowers use just their arms, in actuality, crew is a highly technical sport that encompasses not just immense physical stamina but also quite a bit of mental stamina as well. You have to have a strong mental and emotional mindset to be apart of this sport or else you won’t be able to get through it.
In WVHS, one of the lesser known sports is the Crew Team. This year there are upward of about 40 members. This team is coached by Jim and Kate Cody who happen to be national and world champions. You’ve probably seen them in the Hall of Champions during the winter season working out on the ergs (ergometer/rowing machine.)  Most of the Regattas take place on the Hudson River between the months of April and June. Mrs. Cody talked about how she felt after winning a gold medal at last year’s World Rowing Masters Regatta in Belgium, “It feels nice to see the hardwork you put in through the year pay off. It has its rewards.” She also shared why she decided to take up rowing, “I used to run. I ran past the EARC daily and decided to try it.” These coaches do their very best at coaching this team. Mrs. Cody also added,“Patience is key when teaching these kids. It’s rewarding to see how much people learn and grow to love rowing.”

Crew is a very expensive sport. Unfortunately, the school system does not entirely support the team financially and, much like other crews in the surrounding area, it has to fundraise to keep it afloat (pun intended). A brand new Eight can start somewhere around $20,000 or even higher.
Many rowers say that Crew is a sport that thrives on teamwork. You get up so early and spend practically the whole day with your team that most will agree the team members grow close and forever friendships are forged. Former Head Cox Shannon Ripp, now at Champlain College, stated that her favorite thing about being on crew was “…having a team that not only I got along well with at practice and races but also outside of school. I built friendships that I know will last a very long time because we are around each other so often that it’s not impossible to bond with the other teammates and be close with them.”

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The Crew Team