Andover Girls Crew Co-Captain Reese DiBiase ’23 aims to develop trust and tenacity within her teammates this season. Ever since starting the sport seven years ago, DiBiase has found herself coxing Andover’s G1 boat (G1), alongside earning seats in U.S. Rowing’s Olympic Development Program and Under 19 National Team Selection Camps.
“I rowed for one year, and then I’ve been coxing for the past six years. I started in sixth grade. I was either eleven or twelve years old, and honestly I just could not imagine my life without it. So starting crew at Andover just seemed like the only path I would take because it’s always just been an amazing and huge part of my life,” said DiBiase.
DiBiase is the only coxswain from both the Boys and Girls crew team that was awarded captaincy this season. Fellow coxswains often look to DiBiase for her experience leading rowers on both teams, according to coxswain Maya Lai ’23.
“She’s definitely one of the more experienced coxswains and we have a lot of novice people both on the girls and guys team this year. And I think she’s been really good about making sure all of us are informed, and as a starting point, understanding the fundamentals of the role of the coxswain. And I think I’ve also learned a lot from her,” said Lai.
Emily Turnbull ’24, a rower in G1, shared a similar sentiment to Lai, expressing appreciation for DiBiase’s knowledge and passion for the sport. Though not a rower herself, DiBiase still leads by example, according to Turnbull.
“She does everything that she does to a very high degree. And she works very hard to make sure that she’s giving 100 percent of what she has to give and that everybody is also kind of following that standard. And it’s difficult because she’s a coxswain, so it’s not like she can show us a standard by pulling the fastest times on the erg or by having the most perfect technique in the boat,” said Turnbull.
With six races on the schedule for the team this season, DiBiase spoke on how she hopes to help the team succeed. Andover’s G1 looks to improve upon their fourth place finish at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Regatta at the end of the season.
“Having that trust in your teammates and just the respect and knowing that everyone is going to have your back is what makes this sport so special. And I think because you have so much teamwork that goes along with that, and you know that you really can’t get the boat to move unless you have all nine people in the boat working together, all on the same page, [sharing] the goals you want to achieve. I think that cohesion and teamwork is what makes it so special,” said DiBiase.
In the boat, DiBiase is responsible for steering and coordinating the rhythm of the rowers. Turnbull reflected on moments when DiBiase played a crucial role in the outcome of a race with her calls.
“In terms of motivational calls, there was this one time when we were coming around the bend of the island, which is the last minute or two in the race. And she goes like, ‘Girls, I want big legs here. We’re going to show them why we do not lose on our home course.’ And I love that call. I remember getting an extra surge of energy as we were starting our final sprint,” said Turnbull.
DiBiase further commented on the importance of camaraderie within the team.
“You really need to have that teamwork and that special bond to be able to sync up. Yes, it is a matter of following the person in front of you, getting your oar in at the same time, but if you want to have that dynamic, you need to be friends and trust each other both on and off the water. And just keep building that teamwork is really how you match up and get the rhythm together,” said DiBiase.
DiBiase will be continuing her academic and athletic career at Stanford University next fall.
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