My kids were on Spring Break this past week and, although we didn’t go on vacation, we had plenty of sports excitement. Here are Mrs. Lo’s Top Sports Highlights for the past week:
#5: WONERING IF MY SON PLAYED ENOUGH BASKETBALL. Let’s see. Christian had AAU basketball practice for the Newburgh Panthers three times this week, played pickup games at Gold’s Gym almost every day this week, played pickup at Chadwick, met his friend Jarrett on the courts in Washingtonville, and is in an AAU tournament in Kingston all weekend. Let’s not forget that he now dribbles in the street and throughout the house (yes, we have given up on trying to stop him from dribbling in the House under the “Pick Your Battles” Theory of Parenting). However, there is one place even he doesn’t dribble: from the entrance of Gold’s to the basketball gym. “Hey kid, you can’t dribble here, hold it til you get to the basketball gym.” Where does he think he is, at Home?
#4: HELD A MEETING AT THE NEWBURGH ROWING CLUB BOATHOUSE, about the future of the Boathouse and the Waterfront, that was attended by NRC parents, coaches and Board Members, and representatives from Congressman Maloney’s office, NYS Assemblyman Skartados' Office (who we thank for saving our season), and Shantal Riley, a reporter from the Mid Hudson Times. I won’t steal Shantal’s thunder, she is doing a feature story on the whole topic. However, I do believe it counts as a Sports Highlight.
#3: PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT. Mrs. Lo made it to the Boathouse for Recreational Rowing, where I did a Broken 10K on Tuesday and a Broken 10K on Thursday, which even Big Coach will admit is, for someone my age, “pretty good.” (For those of you who don’t know how understated he is, this is the second highest compliment you can get from Big Coach. The highest compliment is a tie between telling a rower they are a “Rowing Machine “ and telling them “You’re all right, I think I’ll keep you around.”)
#2: I’M SORRY, IS THIS THE VARSITY FOOTBALL MEETING? On Wednesday night, I attended what I understood to be a Freshman Football Parent Meeting at Don Bosco Prep, in Ramsey, NJ, where Christian is enrolled for Class of 2018. The opening remarks from the coach started with: “We know a lot of your kids are in California right now for the All American Bowl Game.” I turned to the football mom next to me, and said, “Did I accidentally walk into the Varsity Football meeting?” She laughed. “Oh no, she said, this is Freshman Football.” I started chatting with “Mrs. H,” whose son was in fact in California for the All American bowl game. I googled her son after I got home. He is 5’11” and 250 pounds at 14 years old and was one of the 2018 “Elite 101” high school football prospects. The newspapers were following him, and reported as to which high school he would commit to. When he committed to Don Bosco, there was a series of articles about him and the other Elite 101 players who committed to DBP.
“If your son is not the most competitive kid you know, then this is not the school for him nor is it the Football program for him,” said the Coach. “Oh yeah,” Mrs. H and I both nodded to each other, “our sons are at the right school, no doubts.” There must be more competitive kids than my son, I just haven’t met them yet. I’m sure he will meet them on his Freshman Football team. Personally, I’m looking forward to the tailgating parties. Although I will miss my fellow Goldbacks YFL Moms and Grandmas.
#1: I’VE GOT ONE AT STROKE AND ONE AT COXSWAIN: Finally, the top sports highlight of the week would be the America Rows Newburgh’s morning practice. As you may know, Mr. Lo and I, and Mrs. Guerrero, are taking 6 rowers down to Baltimore next weekend for the America Rows Mid Atlantic Invitational inclusion Regatta. Then to Washington DC, for a tour of Capitol Hill courtesy of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. (My press release about the trip, and photos, were in Barbara Bedell’s Communities Page in the Times Herald Record on Thursday). The 4+ will be Christian, Kelvin, Soup, and Richard, with Michael at coxswain. Then Chico and Kelvin in a 2x. We brought everyone down for morning practice 5:30 am Tuesday but the water was rough, so they had to erg instead. We came down 5:30 am Thursday for practice and the water was like glass. Chico and Kelvin went out in their double. Two female rowers, Natasha and Arianna, subbed in for Soup and Kelvin. The coaches took me out in a motorboat so I could take pictures and see how the boat was doing. Christian has been playing basketball and football and hasn’t rowed on a regular basis since football started in July of 2013, other than subbing at a few regattas. The kids in the 4+ (pictured above) blended together beautifully, in every way. Male rowers and female rowers, public school and private school, on scholarship and not on scholarship, a 4th grader, middle schoolers, and high schoolers. On the water they melded together perfectly. As I watched them row, and watched my rowing kids, Chico and Kelvin, fly by in their double, the majestic Hudson River seemed to speak to me, to all of us. There were maybe 70 kids total on the Hudson River at the time, including the NFA High School team and NRC’s competitive rowing division. There is something magical about rowing, especially rowing on the Hudson River, and most especially at 5:30 am before the rest of the world is up. I can’t explain it. Now add in the fact that your oldest kid is at stroke and your youngest is guiding them at coxswain, no cox box, just voice commands, his little hand on the rudder at all times. It was such a feeling of Joy, of Maternal and Team Mom pride. How many mothers across the world have ever had this experience, two kids in a crew shell, one at stroke, one at coxswain, the two bookends. It gave me Joy and it gave me Hope. I do not know what the future holds for the Newburgh Rowing Club, how long we will be in our current location, or where we will ultimately end up. I do know this. We will stick together and we will continue to bring the Joy and the Magic and the Pride of rowing to all in Newburgh who have the commitment even if not the funds. None of the sports highlights of this week, not the basketball, the football, Don Bosco, or any of the rowing moments would have happened if it hadn’t been for the Newburgh Rowing Club. This is where it all started for the LoBiondo Kids and America Rows Newburgh. That’s why my new hashtag is #SavetheNewburghRowingClub. Have a great day, everyone, and go Newburgh Panthers! <3 Mrs. Lo – for more of the Mrs. Lo Blog, visit www.lobiondopage.blogspot.com