Crew is a growing sport at DeMatha. Crew season includes the fall and the spring, making it a year-round sport.
Junior Patrick Rogers explained, “It’s less about strength and more about energy and leverage. If you can get a long smooth stroke through the water, you’ll be able to go fast, as opposed to just rowing as hard as you can.’
He also explained the job of the coxswain, which is to count how many strokes per minute the rowers do, and also time their splits, which is how many seconds it takes to go a certain distance.
Junior Zack Shieh is a coxswain. Zack joined crew because he wanted to build his upper body strength. His plans changed after he first erged and was placed at coxswain. (Erging involves rowing on a machine that measures force and speed of each row.) When asked about his favorite part of crew, he replied “I really enjoy the camaraderie that you develop on the team.”
Kyle Stewart said that his favorite part is the competitiveness of the sport. “It not only gets you ripped but adds so much more through the bonds you make with those you row with. The competition is always super-fast so in order to win you must break yourself down and just go, leaving everything on the water. Learning to push yourself the way crew does teaches you more about those around you and building friendships that will last.”
When asked if he prefers erging or going on the water, he said “While I like to pull a fat erg on occasion, I prefer the water.”
Rowers practice both on the water, and in the gym, on an erg machine. This machine is able to measure the force and speed that someone rows. They compete in events against other WCAC schools, which are called regadas.
Each boat consists of four or eight guys, depending on the race they’re in. One man is the coxswain, and it’s his job to direct the boat, make sure everyone is rowing in sync, and keep everyone under control. The rest of the men row down the river in hopes of victory. The standard crew uniform is a skin tight onesie, which allows the boat to be as aerodynamic as possible in order to attain maximum speed.
Crew has become more popular over the years, and the crew team shares a bond that rivals any team at DeMatha.