Captain’s Corner: Aaron Bosgang and Alex Herron

Dillon Nissan, Staff Writer

Dillon Nissan:  I’m here with the Port Rowing captains, senior Alex Herron and junior Aaron Bosgang.  So when did you guys start rowing, and what made you stick with it?

Aaron Bosgang:  I started rowing right before eighth grade.  I had never really been much of a physically active kid beforehand, so I was pretty nervous.  I didn’t want to be a part of the rowing team, so I decided to pretend to like it for about a week, and then I planned on quitting.  But by the third day I was hooked.  Rowing is a sport where the magnitude of reward is equal to the magnitude of effort.  I’ve always enjoyed competition but never in the field of sports, so to join the rowing team and see that there was such an intense competitive atmosphere was what got me to come back to practice everyday.

Alex Herron:  I started rowing the fall of my freshman year.  It was an awesome community and the team was full of great people.  Also, it was the first fall season for Port Rowing, so everyone on the team was getting better at a really fast rate.  I’ve stuck with it partially because it’s been so cool to see how far the team has come in such a short time.  Another huge reason I’ve stuck with it was the thrill of neck-to-neck races, and the excitement of coming out on top.  I’ve been in tons of close races these past four years, and those moments really make you feel alive.

DN:  Wow, that sounds great!  So what is a typical practice like?

AB:  Most practices begin with the team working together to bring down oars and launches.  Some of the rowers get to practice early, so if we move fast enough we can get hands on the boats by 4:00.  From that point on, it’s all about meters.  Most boats right now are working on shorter distances.  Spring season is known as the sprinting season, so most of the races last about six minutes.  The coaches have been trying to emphasize a higher stroke rating as well.  This just means that there is a greater frequency at which the boat is taking strokes, which is possible during this season because of the shorter races.

AH:  A normal practice runs from 4:00 to 6:30.  We start by bringing equipment down from the boathouse to the water, stuff like oars and coaches’ launches.  Then we’ll take the boat down and head out into the bay.  We normally do a warm-up with stroke progressions with six out of the eight rowers in the boat, or two out of the four, and then will get into the main workout that the coach has for us.  This can be anything from longer steady state pieces to shorter sprint pieces.  Now that it’s getting into racing season, we’re starting more of our sprint training for 1500m races.

DN: Those sound like some intense practices!  So have you seen the work you’ve been putting into the practices translate to the races?

AH:  Absolutely.  We just finished our first regatta of the spring, the Row for Autism, which we host.  The guys varsity four-man and the varsity eight-man both won gold by substantial margins, and it was a very strong showing overall for the team.

AB:  It’s hard to say that all the practices are as productive as we’d like them to be.  Often times factors such as wind or people not showing up to practice can affect the lineups of the boats, and that just makes getting faster as a team much harder.  But with all things considered, the team has been doing pretty well so far.  At the Row for Autism, the women’s team also received silver in their race, which was another great accomplishment.  Although what I’m most excited for is the freshman.  I had the privilege to be in a very fast freshman boat only a few years ago, so I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for a solid freshman boat this season.  So far, the freshman guys and girls have been doing really well, which is great to see.

DN:  It sounds like this team has a promising future.  Compared to previous seasons, how do you think this one compares?

AB:  I think this team has a lot of potential.  Coming off of last year’s season, there was a lot more we can work on.  However, we lost a large portion of our team last year because of the graduating class, so it’s been a struggle to find new leadership within the team itself.  But we have a very strong junior class and also an impressive upcoming sophomore class.  So we have a lot of younger guys stepping up to the plate to row in the varsity categories.  With that being said, the potential is sky-high.  I have a lot of faith that some of our boats could put up a good fight at the state championship, and possibly even qualify for nationals.

AH:  We did lose a very strong senior class last year, but we have a great group of younger guys taking charge this season.  I think we have a great shot to be very competitive in our varsity four-man.

DN: Great! One last question: what are some of your goals and expectations for the team this season?

AB:  My biggest goal is to win states.  Winning states means qualifying for nationals.  This team has accomplished goals of this caliber before, and I do not have much doubt that if we put in enough effort, we will see results.  Rowing requires a lot of focus and determination.  Ultimately the boat that takes home the gold is the one that didn’t waste any time at practice, never had a lapse of judgement, and just went after it, no questions asked.  As for the race itself, it’s very short.  Rowers don’t have the time during a race to call a time-out and re-strategize.  One of my coaches always told our boat before a race to “get out ahead and stay out ahead, right from the start.”  So that’s what I think we need to do to win.  I believe we have some athletes who are motivated to dedicate that level of focus to the sport in order to achieve our goals.

AH:  My goal coming into this season was to medal at states.  I’ve done that the past three years, and I really want to make it four straight.  It’s definitely not going to be easy, and there’s a tough road ahead, but I’m confident that the guys in the varsity four-man can make that happen this year.

DN:  That sounds awesome.  Thanks for your time guys!