Rowing team showcases unique sport forging great experiences

Jake Sapp | Staff Writer

There are a multitude of well known sports teams at Mason High School, but rowing isn’t considered one of them.

The Great Miami rowing Crew based in Hamilton is made up of several athletes from Mason.

Junior Matthew Rought operates as a Varsity level rower for the group, and has been a part of the team since his friend introduced him to the sport.

“At first when I got into rowing, I liked it just because of the fact that it was different from what I was normally used to,” Rought said. “But over time I really think that the sport has been able to give me friends and experience that I normally wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.”

Great Miami rowing Crew competing at a ‘regatta’ in October. The team consists of Mason students, and students from other schools who join forces and compete. Regularly, the team practices 6 days a week and competes during the spring and summer.

The team has around 45 members from all over the Cincinnati area which isn’t a large number for this gruelling sport. 

“It’s a sport that really teaches you a lot about yourself,” Rought said. “Even though it’s not the biggest sport in the world, everyone in our group has learned to work with one another and bring out the best in ourselves. We’re all accountable for bringing what we have to the table and helping the team to succeed.”

Sophomore Nicholas DeGroff has only been a part of the team for a short time, but he feels rowing has been an extremely welcoming experience for him.

“I did track and baseball throughout 9th grade, but broke my foot which knocked me out for a while,” DeGroff said. “My Dad and I decided to go to one of the rowing practices out of morbid curiosity, and I haven’t left since. Rowing is more of a lifestyle to me than anything else.”

For rowers, the Spring and Summer season is when all of the racing happens, and Winter serves as the space between the two. When it comes to physical training, the colder months are critical for the team’s success.

“The winter season is our hardcore training period,” Rought said. “Even though we don’t do any regattas (Competitions), we are still entirely focused on what comes next. Everyday we are working towards training ourselves both mentally and physically for the spring.”

Photo contributed by Joslyn Sapp.