Crew was such an excellent way to compete athletically.  It is an amazingly tight-knit and supportive community, not just amongst the East team, but all rowing teams that I have met share immense respect and pride in their own team as well as their competitors; that is really quite honorable.

As far as teamwork goes, in no other sport do teammates depend on each other as much as with crew. Granted, it was a struggle to get the whole novice eight to work together when I first joined the team :P. But, I found that as time went on, there were great levels of improvement. I first experienced a sturdy, well-rowed boat the summer before senior year, and it was such an amazing feeling: the whole boat worked together perfectly, and we found what is known as our “swing”.  Everybody moved in sync with one another, and it was a thing of beauty.

My favorite memories, besides all of the fun team-bonding, were when our boat would be fighting another boat, we’d be neck and neck, and then our coxswain would call out the “power ten!”, and we’d all surge through the temporary pain, and pull ahead; it’s such an immense feeling of victory and you get such a rush from passing other boats – that I wish I had joined Crew sooner than my sophomore year :)

by Turner Sytsema, Class of 2015

East Grand Rapids Crew Alumni

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