Some rowers earn letters without being on varsity

Space Coast Crew has been awarding its first-year rowers varsity letters even if they are not rowing on varsity teams.

“I do realize that some of them don’t deserve it,” senior and team captain Emily Eastwood said. “But some people as novices put in a lot of work, maybe even enough to rival me.”

Senior Moriah Padgett said most rowers have earned their varsity letters by the end of fall, winter, and spring seasons.

“They go to practice six days a week all year round on top of keeping your GPA above a 3.0 because the coaches essentially bench you when your GPA drops. It’s not exactly easy for most,” she said. “We don’t take breaks really. Thanksgiving, winter, and spring break we still have practice, some optional and others mandatory.”

According to Eastwood, first-year rowers drop their novice status after the fall season and some even row in the varsity boats if they are experienced and advanced enough.

“We are committed to our sport. We live and breathe it,” Eastwood said. “So yes, I believe they have earned every varsity letter given.”

By Amanda Lally