Sports

Co-Captain Nick Demetroulakos ’19 “Cannot Imagine What Life Would Be Like Without Rowing”

Motivated by the energy and work ethic of his teammates, Andover Boys Crew Co-Captain Nick Demetroulakos ’19 worked his way up from the fourth boat his Junior year to earn a spot on the top boat come Senior year.

Demetroulakos said, “I think that particularly when I was a [Junior], there was a cool group of Seniors and I looked up to them. I started out in the fourth boat and a lot of the Seniors started out in the fifth or fourth boat and ended up in the first boat. And that was really cool for me because I had this mentality that as long as I worked hard, it would work out for me and I’d be a Varsity rower. So it was that example and mentality that really pushed me.”

According to Henry Hearle ’20, Demetroulakos is known for the way in which he balances his upbeat energy with a strong focus on the task at hand.

“He’s always very enthusiastic during warmups and while on the water. He’s always focused on the team and crew while he’s there, and he definitely reflects that in his attitude while he’s in the boat, said Hearle.

Demetroulakos displays his leadership through his focused and positive mindset during practices and races, according to Zev Barden ’20 and Hearle.

“He always has a constant humorous air about him; he’s a really really funny guy. He is always able to lighten the mood, but at the same time he has all the stern and serious leadership qualities that a captain would need. Off the water, he’s your typical Co-President. He’s really nice, friendly, and relatable. But once he’s on the water, he’s a monster,” said Barden.

Alongside fellow Co-Captain Jacob Hudgins ’19, Demetroulakos works to cultivate a light and comfortable environment.

Hudgins said, “I think we all show our leadership in different ways. Nick, in particular, shows his leadership by encouraging the younger people on the team, specifically. I think people look up to him, obviously, since he’s the Co-President, and so he definitely has a big role on leading the younger people on the team.”

Barden added, “I think he and Jacob really compliment each other really well because Jacob is super serious and dedicated, and Nick, while he’s also very dedicated, has a bit of a lighter approach to things. The team clicks really well with both of them and they click really well with the team.”

For Demetroulakos, crew has offered him a second home filled with competitive and uplifting teammates.

“I think that I’ve done a fair number of things here, but I cannot imagine what life would be like without rowing. Crew attracts, for some reason, the highest quality of people, in my opinion. There are so many people that are there, who just want to work hard and get better. They are all selfless, and they’re all generous and kind,” said Demetroulakos.

Demetroulakos continued, “They know when to push you and when you need support and it’s just an incredible team. Especially this year, I’ve been super busy and tired but no matter how hard I think I’m working, I go to practice and I see that these guys are really working hard. They constantly redefine what it means to work hard and they seem to push me more and more to places that I never thought I’d be able to go.”

Throughout his Andover career, crew has shown Demetroulakos the value of a work ethic and mindset constructed around commitment.

“The thing that’s so cool about rowing, is that like at a certain point, it’s just all about how much time you’re willing to put into it. You can be tall, you can be strong, or whatever, but you really have to put in the time. You just gotta push and that mindset cultivates in you. It helps you discover that next level of pushing through it and when you hit a wall, you’re able to just move past it,” said Demetroulakos

Despite the doubts entering season, Demetroulakos and the rest of B1 have shown their speed and promise.

“We have a team this year, particularly our first boat, and it wasn’t supposed to be fast. Our coaches said to us that we’re definitely not going to be as fast as last year’s first boat, but we’re so much faster than them,” said Demetroulakos.

“We haven’t won a lot of races this season but we’ve had some pretty close ones. We lost to Kent by four seconds and they usually smack us. Against Exeter, we lost by 2.5 seconds and we had no business being that close, especially without Jacob, who’s our fastest rower… I think we all just want to win and I think for the first time ever, I really believe that we can,” continued Demetroulakos.

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Zev Barden ’20

During practices, how does Nick show is leadership?

Nick definitely leads by example. He leads through a really positive attitude. I think he and Jacob really compliment each other really well because Jacob is super serious and dedicated and Nick, while he’s also very dedicated, has a bit of a lighter approach to things. The team clicks really well with both of them and they click really well with the team. I think Nick’s really well known, since he’s the co-president of this school and anyone who joins the team knows Nick. Even though he’s this role model figure, he’s just super relatable and super nice and just a great captain all around.

How about during races?

During races, it’s tough to say because he rows in the first varsity boat and the entire team doesn’t race in the same boat. But I’ve been in the same boat as him before and he’s a very positive influence in the boat. He’ll tell you if you’re doing a good job and he’ll compliment everyone in the boat. He’s very vigilant and he’s quick to point out if there’s something that can someone can do a little better. He will make sure that the person knows how to improve and he’ll say it in a super constructive way.

What is Nick like outside of crew?

I don’t talk to him too much, but when we do he’s always super friendly. He always has a constant humorous air about him, he’s a really really funny guy. He is always able to lighten the mood. But at the same time, he has all the stern and serious leadership qualities that a captain would need. Off the water, he’s your typical co-president. He’s really nice, friendly, and relatable. But once he’s on the water, he’s a monster.

What has Nick meant to the team in previous years, and especially now as a captain, what does he mean to the team now?

I think Nick really shows progression through the team. When he was a lower on the team, he pulled really well, he was on the second boat. He always talks about his previous experiences in his freshman year and how he felt intimidated by the bigger people. But he was fortunate enough to be in a position where they were very nice to him, just how he is very nice to the new kids now. Once he got into his upper year, he alternated between the first and second boat and he’s definitely been a top performer. He’s very dedicated and will always do all of the out-of-practice workouts we have. If the team’s having a bad day, Nick’s will be there with a smile. If team’s having a rough practices, Nick will be there pulling his hardest and encouraging others to do so as well. If the team’s feeling tired while doing planks in the gym, Nick will be holding his the whole time. I think he’s the perfect embodiment of what it means to lead by example.

Henry Hearle ’20

During practices, how does Nick show is leadership?

He’s always very enthusiastic during warmups and while on the water. He’s always focused on the team and crew while he’s there and he definitely reflects that in his attitude while he’s in the boat.

How about during races?

I think he’s just like everyone else during races. We’re all zoned in. He does speak up to make sure that we’re all on the same page and that we all know what our goal is.

What is Nick like outside of crew?

As a person, he’s nice and very personable. Just a generally good, all-around guy.

What has Nick meant to the team in previous years, and especially now as a captain, what does he mean to the team now?

Since I’ve been there, Nick has been in the top three boats. Last year, he was in the second boat and this year, he’s in the first boat. So he’s definitely been a pretty important part of the team. I don’t think the fact that he’s a captain really changes his perspective on the team. He still comes to every practice with the same goal, to make the boat go faster.

How does he compliment Jacob?

Jacob’s a little less outgoing than Nick, but he shows is appreciation and commitment through the stuff he does on the water and how focused he is. But Nick probably speaks out more during warmups.

Co-Captain Jacob Hudgins ’19

During practices and races, how does Nick show is leadership?

I think we all show our leadership in different ways. Nick, in particular, shows his leadership by encouraging the younger people on the team, specifically. I think people look up to him, obviously, since he’s the co-president, and so he definitely has a big role on leading the younger people on the team.

What was your first impression of Nick?

I didn’t really know him during my freshman or lower year or my upper year. Once I got to know him, I realized that he’s just a nice guy in general. He’s funny but he means well in everything he does.

How does he help you and compliment your role as a fellow co-captain?

I think Nick’s probably more outgoing. He’s definitely more talkative than I am, in terms of trying to help people with stuff or encouraging them. I’m a little more reserved on that front so I think that he compliments be as a captain pretty well.

What do you guys hope to achieve for the remainder of this year?

I think we just want to go as fast as we can. Make the boat go as fast as possible.

Co-Captain Nick Demetroulakos ’19

When and how did you decide to start getting into crew?

My dad was a collegiate rower and I always knew that, but I never really wanted to row before high school. During my freshman fall, I decided to give it a go and I did instructional crew, which I really liked. I thought I was really good so I decided to do it in the spring, and it turned out that I was not very good. But I still had a lot of fun. After freshman year, I never thought about not doing it. Crew’s a very weird sport because it sucks a lot of the time. It really hurts and you get really tired, and a lot of times you contemplate why you’re even doing it. But there’s always that one moment when everything becomes super clear and you realize ‘this is exactly why I row.’ There’s that one stroke in an entire week of practice and you realize ‘that stroke is the reason I row.’ I always tell people, crew is a sport that you should try. If you really hate it you shouldn’t because it sucks if you hate it, but if you love it, I don’t think that there’s a better sport to fall in love with. Crew just treats you really well.

Was there a significant person, or role model who motivated you to do or continue to do crew?

I think once I started rowing, it really helped me connect with my dad a lot more because we could just talk about rowing a lot. We didn’t really have a lot of shared interests when I was growing up so it was cool to have someone know what was going on. I could brag to him a little bit or share my anger about something and he would be able to relate. He had advice to give me and it was really fun.

Particularly, when you’re a freshman, you look up to all the bigger, faster seniors and admire them. I think that particularly when I was a freshman, there was a cool group of seniors and I looked up to them. I started out in the fourth boat and a lot of the seniors started out in the fifth or fourth boat and ended up in the first boat and that was really cool for me because I had this mentality that as long as I worked hard, it would work out for me and I’d be a varsity rower. So it was that example and mentality that really pushed me.

Throughout your Andover career, how big of a role have your teammates played in your experience here?

I think that I’ve done a fair number of things here, but I cannot imagine what life would be like without rowing. Crew attracts just, for some reason, the highest quality of people, in my opinion. There are so many people that are there, who just want to work hard and get better. They are all selfless, and they’re all generous and kind. They know when to push you and when you need support and it’s just an incredible team. Especially this year, I’ve been super busy and tired but no matter how hard I think I’m working, I go to practice and I see that these guys are really working hard. They constantly redefine what it means to work hard and they seem to push me more and more to places that I never thought I’d be able to go.

What is your favorite part or aspect of doing crew here at Andover?

I would just say the people. Crew’s a really fun sport, but it’s only fun when you’re doing it people who you want to be doing it with. It really sucks to be in a boat with people who you don’t like because it’s hard, you get mad at each other. But luckily, the people on the crew team are truly incredible and I’m eternally grateful for what crew’s done for me.

What are some lessons that you’ve learned during throughout your crew career?

Hard work. The thing that’s so cool about rowing, is that like at a certain point, it’s just all about how much time you’re willing to put into it. You can be tall, you can be strong, or whatever, but you really have to put in the time. You just gotta push and that mindset cultivates in you. It helps you discover that next level of pushing through it and when you hit a wall, you’re able to just move past it.

As a captain, what do you try to do in order to create a productive and overall positive team environment?

We do this thing after every practice where we huddle up by boat, and I try to keep it positive and highlight the things we did well because it’s pretty easy to get negative. I also think just for the younger kids, as much as I can’t ever live up to how the seniors when I was a freshman looked to me, I try to imagine that I’m that person for someone. I just think about how I would want to see that person carry themselves.

What is the main goal for the team this season?

It’s to win the whole thing. We have a team this year, particularly our first boat, and it wasn’t supposed to be fast. Our coaches said to us that we’re definitely not going to be as fast as last year’s first boat but we’re so much faster than them. We haven’t won a lot of races this season but we’ve had some pretty close ones. We lost to Kent by four seconds and they usually smack us. Against Exeter, we lost by 2.5 seconds and we had no business being that close, especially without Jacob, who’s our fastest rower. Everyone, particularly the seniors, it’s our last season. I’ve lost so many races and during my whole freshman year, I didn’t even win a single race. I think we all just want to win and I think for the first time ever, I really believe that we can. My teammates have shown me that they’re so ready to win and they’ve put in so much work to be where they are so there’s no doubt in my mind that that’s going to pay off.