Rowing with the THS Spirit: Students Show Interest in Non-FCIAC Athletics

Katie DeRose ‘22
EE Senior Entertainment Editor

As the 2019-2020 school year begins, Trumbull Athletic Department t-shirts, sporting the motto “PRACTICE LIKE A CHAMPION,” have once again become a common sight around campus, with students focusing on the fall athletic season. Whether it be for field hockey or football, a vast majority of the THS student body can be found eyeing FCIAC and CIAC championships, as they stay true to this motto and work a sweat at practice everyday. And this Golden Eagle mindset certainly does not end as the students step off campus.

At Great River Rowing, a local rowing program off of the Housatonic River in Shelton, CT, approximately 30% of competitive rowers are Trumbull High students, with other Trumbull students participating in the developmental rowing program and in programs with other clubs. Five days a week, not including regattas, these students get on the water to train with the same mindset they hold as a student at Trumbull High: Practice like a champion.

The high school may not offer rowing on campus due to the fact that it is not an FCIAC sport, but that does not stop students from following their interests. Sophomore Kyle Benjamin, who has rowed with Great River for two years, says, “From my first day, I knew it was a sport I was passionate about and wanted to give my all to.” Therefore, these students, including Benjamin, take their rowing skills elsewhere, working as hard as the students who train on campus and without the recognition.

Through strength and endurance training, Great River athletes, as Trumbull High students, ensure that they are in the best shape to compete in all of their races, whether it be in a Varsity, Junior Varsity, or Novice boat. However, like many sports, rowing does not merely require strong athleticism, which is where this mindset found both in school and on the water comes into play. Benjamin emphasizes, “You need to be able to work together well with everyone else in the boat and be committed to the program.” Rowing requires a strong mentality with a true sense of commitment and the ability to work as a team. These students hold the same responsibility to their boat as they do in their classrooms and grow to bond with their teammates in a short amount of time, as they have to build trust in one another in order to bring true power into a rowing shell.

Benjamin says, “We all have an equally important role. If one rower messes up, then everyone is liable for it.” They work as a team for perfection, just like our Trumbull High teams.

With over ten hours a week participating in only the most rigorous physical activity and the requirement of true self sacrifice in order to hold real trust in your teammates, one may wonder if the commitment is really worth it. And as any athlete will tell you, it absolutely is. Benjamin says, “Nothing feels better than a boat that can move well together. When you achieve that perfect balance and everything just clicks, there is no better feeling in the world.”

As Trumbull High students show, both representing the school and in activities not sponsored by the school, their commitment to their sport is irreplaceable, and their hard work truly does pay off. Rowing, being a year round activity, has many championship-like regattas, which Great River strives to win, with the closest one being the Head of the Hooch in early November. As students compete for the FCIACs and CIACs and for championships in non-FCIAC athletics, be sure to wish all of them good luck because while they may be competing with an outside club, all students represent Trumbull High with their hard work and Golden Eagle mindset.

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