Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Message from the President, Carter Jones

The President, Carter Jones

After a long and very busy fall season, I finally have a moment to tell you about the team this year and what we have been doing over these past few months.

This summer started off with an intense round of recruiting, starting at the first Summer Orientation. We had a boat outside of the Curris Center, and numerous varsity members were in town to spread the word. The varsity took a different approach this year to do so - they were loud (lots of posters and talking to people), eccentric ("Yeah, we hang out by the lake all day!!!"), and a little obnoxious (but in a polite and endearing way). With that, they certainly did a great job in promoting the team - convincing over 120 students to come out to our interest meeting! We were Murray State Rowing - home to the "sport on the Olympics with the fancy boats".

The huge number of people that turned up allowed the coaches to really showcase the tryout sessions this year. After the preliminary training, there were 65 people left to try out. 40 of those people made it through the tryouts - allowing us to have two eights for both the men's and women's novice team.

After tryouts, we immediately got to work beginning with Coach Weaver’s concoction of the new recruits exercise – the golden “Handbook!” The handbook would have a series of questions about our teams history, explanation of how our team works and functions, fundraising plans, practice layouts, and of course our favorite traditions (Hill Billy Willies, Number 13 Challenge, Tacky Sweater Christmas, Homecoming!) The kicker to the Handbook was that these new Novice would have to team up with Varsity members to acquire this information. We gave them three weeks to work on these followed by a brief meeting with the coaches to see what they had learned. This first year for the Handbook turned out to be a success!

When erg training started, the battle for speed, strength, and technique followed! It was a fairly quick learning curve this year for our novice. They knew if they wanted the best spots they would have to push themselves day in and day out with no questions asked. They have continued to impress us over the past 5 months and show no signs of stopping. Juggling school, relationships, work, and rowing all at the same time can be very stressful and hard at times. We were very proud of our novice for learning the concept of time management as quickly as they did. They have showed us their passion for school as well as the sport of rowing.  

There were also some bigger trade offs for the varsity as well. The coaches reintroduced morning practices to the team. These weren't the easiest days for the varsity, but by Hooch, we came to realize that it would pay off after twenty wins later. When they say there will always be another team pushing harder, waking up earlier, and sacrificing more and more free time, the varsity can now say that’s them– Murray State.

Twenty wins - the fall season went incredibly well. We were very happy with our success which you read through Coach Weaver's posts here on the blog over the course of the year. Building off of that, we knew we had to move at full steam ahead. After Hooch, winter training began. The team showed how serious they were to continue building the foundation they had worked so hard for that fall semester. Our rowers have kept up with that, and were more than ready to kick off this spring semester right.

The spring season began the week after winter break ended. The initial return is always the hardest for our rowers coming back from break but after three weeks in McLean’s Basement of Pain, Coach Neeley’s relentless workouts, and the dedication of our rowers, we returned to Chattanooga Indoors 52 strong and medal hungry. We walked away with 25 medals, the team point’s trophy, and endless grins as we realized our sweat and dedication were paying off. The season has started off well but there is still work to do before we can reach the top ropes– ACRA. The team will be traveling to John Hunter Regatta, Washington University Invitational (in St. Louis), SIRA, and two scrimmages at Washington University finishing up the season in Gainesville, GA for ACRA.

There are always a lot of questions at the beginning of a new season. How will this group match up to the previous? Who will power through and graduate as a four year rower? Will these be the unforgettable years that lead our future rowers and current team back to the front page? Day after day, our team pours their heart and soul into this sport – to the point where we can’t escape it. If it’s not practice, lunch, or dinner, we’re dreaming about it. Twenty-four hours a day rowing is on our minds. We've set a foundation and we’re building fast! Through the long grueling hours and support that our coaches, Colin Neeley and Matthew Weaver, have showed to this team, I think I speak for everyone when I say we are more than proud to call ourselves Rowers of Murray State University and wish there were words to describe our gratitude to everyone that has pushed us to this point!

- Carter Jones (Team President)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update, Carter! The Alumni are very proud of all you and your teammates have done. Keep up the great work!