Crew team shares with longtime rival

Due to construction near the Melbourne Causeway, Melbourne High School’s crew team will share a practice area with Space Coast Crew for the rest of the month. The two teams have been rivals for years, but the coaches have agreed to work together and allow Melbourne to use Space Coast’s facilities at Oars and Paddles Park in Indian Harbour Beach for its water practice. Melbourne will remain at Ballard Park for its land workouts to prevent overcrowding at Oars and Paddles park.

“Cooperation is a huge part of this sport,” Space Coast Coach Heather Rogers said. “It is important to have good sportsmanship and be cordial to everyone, even your biggest rival. At the end of the day we are all people who all love to row, and we need to stick together.”

Junior Alec Luker, however, said he feels uncomfortable with his enemy so close.

“I guess it isn’t too bad, because they really just leave us alone,” Luker said . “I don’t know, it is just weird to have someone who you are used to racing against watch you practice. It is just hard to accept. I understand why we are helping them and I am glad we are doing it, but something about it is strange having your competition so close.”