Rye High School Crew, a club sport, has recently completed their Spring season. Rye High School started the program in spring 2007, and the team is blossoming under the tutelage of Stan Nelson, parent of 9th grader Dylan Walker, who has generously volunteered his time and experience as coach since fall 2007 to help make this team a challenging and rewarding experience for the group.
As parents, we could not have been more impressed with Stan’s direction, as well as the dedication of the students themselves, rising for 5 a.m. practices during the school year at Greenwich Water Club on the Stamford border. We are encouraged that Dr. Rooney and Mr. Castagna will be looking into possible alternative sources of funding to support this growing co-ed sport.
We caught up with Stan recently to ask him a few questions:
MyRye.com: How many kids are on the RHS Crew team?
Spring 2008 we had 24 kids (9 boys/15 girls) and Fall 2007 we had 10 kids (5 boys/5 girls).
How did you get involved with crew as a sport?
My dad rowed in college and often told me stories of what a great experience it was. I was interested, but couldn’t get past the 5 a.m. practice time. I played football at University of Washington (1988), but tried rowing after I transferred to University of Puget Sound and after one day on the water, I was hooked, and my football days were over. I continued rowing for 3 years at UPS. I moved to New York City after I graduated, but with work I could not continue rowing, which I regretted. My daughter Dylan was looking to row on the RHS team, but without a coach it looked like the program was going to be canceled after only one season and I didn’t want that to happen.
Where did you grow up and what do you do as a living?
I grew up in Seattle, Washington, about a 15 minute drive from downtown. I graduated with a B.A. in business and accounting. During my rowing days at UPS, I fell into modeling which is what brought me to New York City and continue that now on a very part time basis. In the mid nineties, I partnered with a childhood friend and began a real estate company back in Seattle and in 2006 I began working full time on our development projects. Our company is Footprint Developments, LLC, and I handle all the financial aspects.
What are your ages of other children in Rye Schools?
Dylan’s older brother, Malcolm, is a junior at RHS. He plays football and lacrosse. Her younger brother, Lachlan, is in 1st grade at Milton.
Is there anything you would like to share about the kids?
First and foremost is their dedication to the 5 a.m. time frame. Most were there everyday and ready for action. They are all virtually new to the sport…the team made great strides during the season and the women’s novice 8+ even got a victory which was a pleasant surprise and well deserved. We all just have a lot of fun, work hard, and have a special camaraderie that only comes with 5 a.m. dedication and understanding. The dedication and support from the parents is the hidden backbone of the team because in our sport at this level the parents have to be willing to operate on the same schedule and provide the financing.
Thanks, Stan. We’re all looking forward to a great crew season next year. I’m inspired by recent reports of Fordham University’s Crew team (my alma mater). As a club level sport, Fordham achieved national recognition this year ranking higher than better financed and equipped Ivy League teams. Heading into our fourth season, hopefully Rye will follow the same path!
-Written by Judy Croughan, parent of Colin Croughan, 10th grade student and RHS crew member.