Crew is one of the most unique sports in which a young man can participate. Success in the sport is not predicated on a boy's ability to run fast, jump high, throw a ball fast or far. His ceiling isn't determined by the innate athleticism, or lack thereof, with which he was born. Success in the this sport is determined by a boy's dedication to work in order to maximize his potential.
On paper, the sport of rowing should be simple to master. There are not different plays or positions to learn. There is neither an offense nor defense to study. The boy must simply do the same motion over and over and over....
The mastery of the sport hinges on the boy's dedication to mastering the almost unnatural, but fluid, motion of the rowing stroke. He must be willing to learn how to coordinate the use of the large muscles of the legs and back with the smaller muscles of the fingers and wrists. He must be willing to exert his maximal physical effort while trying to learn this motion on the moving and pitching platform that is the rowing shell. On land, he must push himself through physically and mentally exhausting workouts designed to maximize the strength that can be generated by his frame.
If he is willing to immerse himself in this sport, a boy will be rewarded for the rest of his life. He will be become part of a fraternity of like-minded young men who have found the almost addictive feeling of pushing themselves farther than what they thought was possible even the day before. The bonds formed during the training and the races last a lifetime. The boy will truly learn what his mental, physical and emotional limits are. He will be better prepared to tackle life’s difficulties having been pushed to his limits over and over again through training and racing. The boy will learn dependability and responsibility knowing that the other members of his boat are counting on him to put forth his best effort.
Why crew? Because there is nothing else like it. If you let it take hold of you, it will help you grow into the best version of you.
Fall 19 Preview
The Big Red Crew has been continually pushing to become of the top scholastic rowing teams in the country. This past spring, the boys took another step forward towards that goal by finishing as the #4 team in the Midwest region and qualifying 4 boats for the SRAA National Championships. 3 of the 4 boats finished the season ranked in the top 10. The fact that only 9 of the 44 boys on the team were upperclassmen makes their accomplishments even more remarkable.
This fall, the boys are looking to build on their spring accomplishments as well as top some of their victories from the fall of 2018. While the team will still be on the young side with only 4 seniors, they will be joined by 21 other boys who qualified to race at the Nationals in the spring. The new crop of 22 motivated freshmen will add depth and strength that is needed to build a powerhouse rowing program.
The first test for the up and coming program will be a daunting one. The team will travel to Cleveland to race against St. Ignatius on their home course. Even though there will be 30-40 teams present, taking on St. Ignatius, one of the top 2 boys teams in the Midwest, is their primary focus. Last fall, MBA finished a close 2nd to St. Ignatius in the team points standings.
The last regatta of the fall season, the Head of the Hooch, is the largest and most competitive one on the schedule. Last year, the boys won the program’s first ever medal at the regatta, a bronze in the Novice 8. Combined with 3 other Top 10 finishes and 8 automatic qualifying slots, it was easily MBA’s most successful outing at the regatta. This fall, the boys are looking surpass those benchmarks and come home with a few medals.
Spring 19 Recap
As crew continues to grow in popularity on MBA’s campus, the MBA crew roster has grown with it. This past spring, there were 44 boys representing MBA at races, up from 31 a year ago. Of these 44 boys, there were only 9 upperclassmen. With such a young roster, the success of the team this past year can be attributed to the strong leadership of the 5 seniors: Reagan Sparks (Captain), Marshall Summar (Captain), James Vest, Carson Reisinger, and John Preston. Despite being outnumbered 7 to 1 by the 9th and 10th graders, these boys helped the younger rowers buy in to the team philosophy of work, humility and accountability.
MBA Crew’s first test of the season was also its first of three trips to Zanesville, OH. The younger rowers were given their opportunity to shine early due to the majority of the upperclassmen missing the trip in order to attend Harpeth Hall’s Prom. The young MBA squad performed admirably winning the Freshman 8 as well as capturing 4 silver and 1 bronze medal.
The next opportunity to race came two weekends later with a trip to Culver Military Academy in Culver, IN. Culver finished 6th at the 2018 Midwest Championships, one spot ahead of MBA. Even though there were a total of 12 teams there, the boys hit the water looking forward to matching up against another top 10 team - Culver. At the end of the day, MBA left no doubt as to which was the better rowing program, winning 3 of the 5 races in which it was entered. The Big Red made the trip back to Nashville with a medal haul of 3 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals.
The following weekend had the boys racing in Chattanooga against Baylor and McCallie at the Mid-South Scholastic Championships, the de facto TN State Championship. The boys in Cardinal and Silver won the Freshman 8, Novice 4, Lightweight 8, Lightweight 4, and Varsity 2x. Those first place points combined with the two 2nd place and one 3rd place points gave MBA the highest point total and bragging rights as the top team in Tennessee.
The second trip to Zanesville for the Midwest Scholastic Championships came next. The boys were facing off against 50 teams from 8 states for the qualifying slots for the SRAA National Championships. The boys arrived in Zanesville with 2 primary goals: improve upon the 2 slots earned in 2018 and finish in the top 5 for total points. 5 of the 9 MBA entries made it through the heats and semi-finals to race in the grand finals. All 5 of those boats went on to earn a medal: Varsity 2x – Gold, Lightweight 8 and Freshman 8 – Silver, Lightweight 4 and Lightweight Novice 4 – Bronze. The boys earned 4 slots for the Nationals as well as finishing as #4 Boy's Team in the Midwest.
The final trip to Zanesville was the most important of the season as it was the site of the 2019 SRAA National Championships. MBA had 4 boats and 25 boys qualify to race in this year’s event. Although the team fell short of their goal of earning MBA’s first ever medal at the regatta, they raced extremely well. Three boats earned National Top 10 rankings: Freshman 8 (6th), Lightweight 4 (7th), Lightweight 8 (10th). The Varsity 2x finished with a #13 ranking.