This past Saturday, Andover Boys Crew fell to Boston College High School, putting its record at 1-1. Despite the loss, however, the team had a positive outlook both going into the race and after the race. Team spirit was high and prior to racing, teammates were cheering each other on as individuals were getting their boats out from the boathouse.
According to Trevor Moss ’23, the cheering was evidence of Andover’s supportive team culture.
Moss said, “I want to highlight one key moment: as we’re taking our boat out of the boathouse, everyone’s standing around, getting warm, preparing for their own race, but they cheer us on as they’re launching from the dock, they make sure that we’re hyped up, we’re energised, we’re ready to go for our race. I think that great team spirit, and overall excitement, just really helped us get into the right mindset.”
Ishan Patel ’23 agreed, adding that the support of his teammates provided motivation in the final stretch to the finish.
“I feel like crew… [is] something you really need a lot of hype for. Unlike a lot of sports… in crew, the race itself is six minutes, max––that’s if you’re going slower. When you’re bringing the boats out, a hundred people cheering you on––when you’re at the finish line, the last sprint, you have fifty kids on the shore and parents just cheering you on, I think that always motivates people,” said Patel.
John Downing ’23 feels that this supportive culture is what makes the team feel more like a big family.
“I would probably use the word community [to describe the race;] probably more accurately family. The team is just like one big family,” said Downing.
According to Patel, despite losing to B.C. High this past Friday, there were positive takeaways from the race, as it served as a learning experience for the team.
Patel said, “Overall, I honestly don’t really mind [the loss]. I feel like going in as a novice––this is my second race––I think that in the heat of the moment, my boat specifically kept going, we got everything together, I think we really improved. There’s a lot of lessons that we can learn from this. I think overall, [the experience] was pretty good.”
Additionally, the race served as a confidence booster for the team, as they were able to execute despite struggling in practice during the week, according to Patel.
“I think it was kind of rocky throughout the practices, but on… race day, I think everybody got everything together, and that was a positive because it was good to see that, in the heat of the moment, everybody has the capability to do it, they have the ability to go in, they can give it their all. When they do, they make massive improvements. I think that’s something that was really good,” said Patel.
According to Moss, the team needs to stay focused and continue training hard going into its next meet against Phillips Exeter Academy despite currently having the better times on paper.
“I think all of us are very motivated. We definitely know that we’re going to have a bunch of intense practices this week just to make sure that we’re ready to go. I’ve taken a look at Exeter’s times on the water––they aren’t too impressive! I think we’re probably going to have a tough race, not going to deny that, but I think we can do it, I think we can come out on top… The mentality is cautious confidence… You’ve just always got to keep in mind that no matter what happens, race day, it’s still the most important day of the week, and you’ve just got to row as hard as you can even if you’re against someone who you’re confident [to race,]” said Moss.
Andover Boys Crew will face off against Exeter at home on Saturday, May 15.