Why You Should Join the “AMHS” Rowing Team

In essence, Academic Magnet has a rowing team. There is an article from last year that details the history of the club, so I will provide a brief summary regarding that. However, the point of this article is to showcase the club as it stands today and give you an opportunity to join the club yourself for the upcoming spring season—which happens to be the most exciting season where we participate in 2k sprints across many states. Our fall season just concluded last week and saw our participation in two 5k races in Virginia. Unfortunately, our two other regattas in Georgia and North Carolina were canceled due to the hurricane and the recent tropical storm. Nevertheless, we enjoyed great success in our two Virginia regattas, winning four races overall to bring home many gold medals. 

The club was founded in 2007 as the Raptor Youth Rowing Club as part of Academic Magnet High School. Here, it was exclusive to us Raptors, being led by parents and students at the school. In 2012, the Charleston City Rowing Club was founded and led by some active rowers in the Charleston area. Of course, rowing is a sport that requires constant repairs and maintenance. New purchases for things like boats, seats, and oars are a heavy burden. It only made sense for the two clubs to combine to form the Charleston City Rowing Club (CCRC) that we all know and love today.

Our Academic Magnet Raptors still enjoy active participation and influence in the club today, with 6 active rowers on the team. I am actually the team captain of CCRC. However, with only about 15 rowers on the team, we are always in search of new high school students. You may have seen some new posters set up around the school about our Learn to Row Program that we are offering this winter. In order to join the team for our upcoming spring season, it is necessary that you participate in this Learn to Row program. No experience is necessary and the program is quite short! I have attached the poster below:

After you complete the short Learn to Row program, you will be able to join the club. I would love to give you some information about our practices. This fall season, we practiced everyday after school (except Friday!) from 5 PM to 7 PM. We enjoy an ideal location at Brittlebank Park right on the Ashley River under the great Charleston sunsets. Sometimes we even get to aesthetically row up the historic Charleston battery, depending on which direction we go from the dock. Just take a look at this picture from one of our practices. This is the dock that we launch from every day. 

During practice, we benefit greatly from the direction of our fabulous coaches. Our head coach rowed D1 at Clemson and has changed our team for the better in the recent seasons. We are now a truly competitive team that leaves their mark at each regatta we attend. 

Now, let’s hear from our very own CCRC Raptor rowers about why you should join the team! Senior Oliver Biddle says, “The rowing team is a tight knit community where we all push each other to stay in shape.” Oliver has been on the team since his freshman year of high school, so he certainly is a great source of information. As a smaller team, we all know each other pretty well and get along greatly. From sharing a van on the way to regattas and staying in the same hotel, we have all gotten to know each other and experienced great team bonding and memories. This helps us on the water because we know that the fight is shared between us all. Rowing is about pushing and pulling together to move water and bring the boat across the finish line. It’s great seeing your team cross the finish line and cheering for them from the shore as they desperately pull the oar through the water in the last couple strokes. Academic Magnet Sophomore Laurel Wallace, who also joined the team her freshman year, says, “I think people should join the rowing team because it’s a close knit team that welcomes new people who want to experience a fun but challenging sport in a supportive environment.” It’s no surprise that rowing is a very difficult sport—but it will whip you into shape! My first 5k at Head of the South in Augusta, Georgia was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. However, our team has great support systems through our peers and coaches that make it all endurable. We push each other to our limits while constantly staying optimistic and offering support. Simply, you should join rowing “because it’s great,” as stated by AMHS senior Finlay Palmer. 

Because it’s great.

— Finlay Palmer

Our club is constantly searching for new rowers like yourself! Are you looking for a tough workout? Are you looking to get some gold medals across multiple states? Are you looking to impress colleges? I have been rowing since my freshman year of high school, and it felt great to list all those years off on my college applications—just saying! Of course, there is the infamous case of some rich people trying to get into college by faking that they were on a rowing team! (It’s just so great that some people have to pretend that they did it!) Are you looking to improve your mental health? It’s unmatched—the way the oars glide above the water in a synchronous sweep, droplets streaming from the blades to form concentric ripples on the surface. Then there’s the gradual roll-up to the catch and the quick rise of the arms as the blades slip under. At the end of the drive, the oarlocks click in euphony as we propel toward the bridge. The bow ball bobs as the wake of a nearby boat splashes my face. No matter the conditions, there’s something therapeutic about this chaotic harmony. Whether you are a senior, junior, sophomore, or freshman, rowing provides a place for everyone to improve. If you are looking for a leadership position, you could even come on as a coxswain. Please visit charlestonrows.org for more information about our Learn to Row program. Also make sure to follow our instagram @ccrc.rowing in order to stay up to date! If you have any questions, feel free to DM the insta, email me at bidnic3132@ccsdschools.com, or drop a comment on this article.