The Owls are led by seniors who have impressed coach Gavin White thus far in fall training.
As the men’s crew team wraps up its fall season, coach Gavin White said he hopes the success he saw during the past few months transfers into the spring.
“We’ve probably had the best fall we’ve had in five or six years,” White said. “It was really nice to see a lot of the guys moving well and doing a lot on their own.”
The varsity and junior varsity eight boats both finished first in the Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta in Camden on Nov. 13 in the last race before the team started their winter workouts.
White’s high expectations for the spring were raised after a second place finish by the varsity eight in the Navy Day Regatta this past October.
“I was shocked,” White said. “I knew they were quick, but not that quick.”
Temple is led by a large group of seniors who came together in a highly touted recruiting class four years ago. The Owls list 12 seniors on their roster.
“I knew four years ago when we signed all these kids that this would be the year that we could be pretty good, and I wasn’t wrong,” White said.
Having so much experience on the team has allowed for the Owls to roll into their season smoothly. With so many motivated upperclassmen, the team was able to transition easily from the summer without losing a step, White said
“They got right out there in the fall,” White said of the seniors. “They knew what we wanted to do and just started working out. Some of them rowed all summer.”
“When [the seniors] came back, we just took it and ran with it right away,” White added. “We didn’t spend as much time on all the nuts and bolts and techniques.”
With so much senior leadership on the team, White said he has decided to delay picking a team captain until the spring and will let the team decide. However, an early favorite may be senior Brandon Joyce, who will get a chance to row in the varsity eight after three years of spending time on the freshman and junior varsity teams.
“[Joyce] is the kind of kid who would run through a wall for you. Literally, he would,” White said. “He’s got an edge about him, he’s tough.”
Looking ahead to the spring, the team knows that its primary goal is to win the Dad Vail Regatta in May. Last year, the Owls’ varsity eight had a disappointing end to the race, just barely missing out on a spot in the grand final. Senior Alex Klein understands the importance of the Dad Vail and improving on last year’s performance.
“For Temple, it’s the most important race,” Klein said. “We have to win no matter what.”
With an experienced team coming off a strong fall, the main concern for White is that his men don’t lose it over the holidays.
“If they go home and get fat and lazy, it’s tough,” White said. “Some of them are getting in great shape, then they go home and mom gets ahold of them. They start eating home cooking and come back 10 pounds heavier.”
Daniel Craig can be reached at email@example.com.