Boyertown joins Owen J. Roberts rowing team

Owen J. Roberts has something Boyertown wishes they had. A rowing (crew) team.

Crew is not the most popular sport, however Owen J. Roberts has opened up to other schools in the area in an effort to fill vacant roster spots. Crew is not associated with the school, the PAC-10 league, or the PIAA.  The rowing team is an outside organization that practices on the Schuylkill River and participates in regattas (meets) in many different states.

Owen J. Roberts crew team includes athletes from Boyertown, Pottsgrove, and Springford high schools with freshmen to seniors.

OJR Crew president Kim Edleman runs the organization.  The program has been running for roughly four or five years.

Many people do not know about the sport of crew. Crew is a sport that originated back in the 18th century. The sport consists of a group of individuals working together in an boat (racing shell) to propel themselves further by pushing water away from themselves with oars. Boats usually consist of four or eight rowers and one coxswain all in line.

The coxswain is the coach or captain of the boat. He/she in the front of the boat, and has a microphone inside the boat that he/she uses to instruct the rowers. The coxswain is usually the smaller individual on the team, but is also the most important. The coxswain calls out commands to the rowers to keep the boat steady, and makes sure all the rowers are in synchronization with the rowing. Without the coxswain, the boat will not do well in a race.

A regatta is like a track meet. Rowing teams from across the world gather for a series of races. Regattas take all day, starting early morning and the last race ending early evening.

Crew teaches communication and teamwork primarily. Races on the water get very fast and everyone in the boat has to rely on each other to stay focused and in synchronization with each other. The coxswain has to judge the water and other boats around him to let his rowers know where he/she wants them to row.

Crew is becoming more popular each year, and can only grow bigger. It is a great activity to put on a resume, and a great sport to do for high school kids. It adds another dimension to an athlete, and is a great way to meet new people and bond with rowers from other schools and around the world.

OJR Crew, or Coventry Rowing, is always accepting high school athletes looking to have fun and compete with teams across the nation.