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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Who Are We? It's a Newburgh Crew Team Thing

From June 1, 2013, right before Sectionals.  The NFA Girls and NFA Boys Crew teams each took Second Place overall.

"WHO ARE WE?" - today is going to be a great day, a special day, a tough day. Today is Sectionals for the sport of crew in the HVRL. It's the last day of crew season 2013 for NFA. I will never forget the day the team was eliminated. It was right after we had won a Regatta. The girls who were crying. The girls who knew they needed "varsity" on their applications to row in college, who knew they would have to move school districts to a public high school that had crew, hugging their friends. The boys who refused to cry and looked like they wanted to punch something but you knew were crying on the inside. 72 kids on a varsity team that had been eliminated rowed their entire season, knowing their team officially would not be back the next year, and finished as champions. Not one athlete left for another varsity spring sport. Not one. I remember when the team was reinstated on the condition that we seek funding from the community. I remember sitting at the Boathouse with a core group of crew parents, explaining that it was like this: we could all work very hard to raise the money and you might get families who don't lift a finger but they're as much a part of the team as your kids. My kids go to private school so I know how that kind of thing works. You need to understand that before taking on this massive undertaking to form a 501(c)(3), raise $60,000.00 in the off season, and make sure we are always in the news. We went around the table with about 10 parents, one after another they thought and said, "I'm in," I'm in," and so on. Fundraiser after fundraiser, Big Coach believes there have been 55 in total. But we did it, with the help of so many others, with the help of this community that the media gets down on, Newburgh, came out and helped us. We had our 2013 season. It was wonderful. By one point, we won Counties and remained Orange-Ulster County Champions. Today is Sectionals in Poughkeepsie. I can't believe it, the season we worked so hard for is over. I thought it was hard last year, saying hasta luego to Carlos and Allan and Bourne and the rest. Now, we will say hasta luego to Frankie, Connor, Illenberger, and Kyle and the other seniors. There are always a few that break your heart when they leave, that are like your own family, when they leave, and those would be the ones. They're all going on to blindingly great futures so it's happy but I will not lie to you, my loyal readers, I am sad. The people who were there for Crew Season 2012 and 2013, always remember: You are special. Nobody, but nobody except for you guys could have done what we did. I am so proud of you and I will always tell your story and honor what we did, our families, together, with the coaches. Remember what Big Coach always said: nothing good in life ever comes easy. When Big Coach does our special cheer remember, not only is there no other place we'd rather be, there's no one else we would rather have done this with than you guys. You are not just special, you are extraordinary, I will carry each of you in my heart forever, as will Big Coach. WHERE ELSE WOULD YOU RATHER BE?