Oars Hit The Water Under New Coach

Under the lead of new Head Coach Stewart MacDonald, Andover Boys Crew is striving to avenge the disappointing end to last season.

B1 finished sixth place at NEIRA with a final regular season record of 3-4, and B2 finished third place at NEIRA with a regular season record of 5-2.

Both boats are striving to improve on last year’s records. Robert Irvin ’15, Ben Hawley ’15, Cooper Hurley ’14, Grant Bitler ’14 and Rome Arnold ’14 will lead the team through their combined experience on the water and extensive knowledge of the sport. Mark Sevastopoulo ’15, a returning Varsity rower, is currently out with an injury. Chandler Washburn ’16, Nick Faulkner ’16, Dylan Norris ’16 and Jake Taylor ’16 will play also a key role on the Varsity boats.

“Being able to row with the Varsity boats throughout preseason has been awesome. It feels great to be in the boat with everyone; the older guys are all incredibly talented rowers. I am really excited to begin the season. Every year we have a good shot at New Englands, but this year we have an especially talented group of rowers,” added Faulkner.

The team began training on the Merrimack River on March 21 and will continue to train intensely until its first scrimmage on April 5 against Essex Rowing Club.

“We want to have a strong base and to be in good physical shape, so that we can go into the water and finesse our technique. It’s hard to tell how good we truly look because we have only been on the water for a short period of time and have not had a chance to do any power pieces yet,” said Bitler.

In addition, the rowers are getting more familiar with the new coaching style of Coach MacDonald.

“Everyone is adjusting well to Coach MacDonald, and when it comes down to it, it is all about us coming together as a team and getting the job done at each race,” said Hurley.

The team chemistry will be crucial for Andover’s success this season.

“We are really clicking as a group this year; our team chemistry is great. Everyone is really coming together, which is great because Crew is a sport that really relies on teamwork,” said Bitler.

Following its scrimmage against Essex on the 4th, Andover will race Kent at home on the 12th in hopes of reclaiming the Dent Oars, the Kent race’s prize.

“We lost to Kent pretty badly last year, but this year the race is at home, and we are ready for redemption,” said Bitler.