After six intense races rowed by their Varsity 1 and Varsity 2 boats, Andover Boys Crew lost its scrimmage to Phillips Exeter Academy 2.5-3.5.
Going into the scrimmage, Jackson Wild ’21, who rowed on the Varsity 2 boat, and John Downing ’23, who rowed on the Varsity 1 boat, both felt confident despite expecting tough competition.
Wild said, “Before the race, I was feeling good, I was feeling excited. We haven’t raced Exeter in a long time. I know they’re a very strong crew and so there’s also that aspect of rivalry that was fun.”
Downing added, “Beforehand, we were all feeling pretty confident. We were expecting it to be a tough race because we knew that Exeter was fast. But, we felt like we could definitely hold them out and maybe even beat them.”
According to William Doucette ’23, the Varsity 2 boat’s game plan was to maintain high speed throughout the entire race since the pieces were short compared to the team’s typical races. However, because the team will be racing on a longer course in its next race against Exeter, the team plans on altering its tactics.
“Our game plan in general for the scrimmage… was to have a very fast start and then settle a little bit, but kind of maintain a high stroke rate and high speed throughout the entire piece since it was very short. Next week, we will be doing the full race course against Exeter, so it will be a much longer race. I think to kind of prepare for this race we’ll have to kind of devise a new game plan. It will probably be a fast start and we’ll have to focus on settling down and kind of getting into our rhythm, maintaining that for the majority of the race, and then building that speed up into a sprint at the end,” Doucette said.
According to Max Fang ’22, who rows on the Varsity 2 boat with Wild and Doucette, the team was successful in maintaining a positive attitude despite their defeat.
Fang said, “I think we did well with not being discouraged and always moving on to the next piece with a good attitude and treating each piece like a race… I think everyone kept intensity on every piece and didn’t give up.”
To defeat Exeter in its next meet, the team must take advantage of its power and execute on race day, according to Doucette.
“I think we’ve learned that our boat has a lot of raw power, but we need to learn how to polish our technique and harness that power because we have a lot of big and strong guys in our boat, but we are not really using the power we have to the fullest extent,” Doucette said.
According to Wild, the team plans on improving its technique and maintaining momentum for the next meet.
Wild said, “[I think we should] keep doing what we’re doing [and] try to perfect our technique and our strength. Like I said, if we can hold the speed in the middle of the race and not give up seats then I think we might have a good chance.”
Andover looks to face off against Exeter again this Saturday and bring home a win.