Final Feature Teams of the Week

The men's and women's crew and lacrosse clubs were appreciated both this week and last as CJ's final feature teams. The first year initiative—spearheaded in 2010-11 by the Spirit Committee as a way of spreading the word each week about all teams—has been tremendously successful recognizing Eagles athletes and would not be complete without spotlighting CJ’s two club sports programs.

Ohio high school club teams are only slightly different than their varsity counterparts in that students from all schools are welcome to join so long as the school they attend does not already offer the sport. Club programs also differ in that none are affiliated with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA); however, teams still practice, compete in leagues and tournaments, and students can earn varsity letters for their participation.

Learn more about the club sports CJ offers in our Q&A session with members of the Eagles lacrosse and crew teams:

How long have you been involved with crew and what are your favorite things about the sport?

I started rowing freshman year and I guess my favorite thing is that there is always room to improve.  You are always working and trying to get better.

How can rowing open doors for high school students in the future?

A lot of colleges have rowing and it is very easy to get scholarships because it is so uncommon—it’s not a sport like soccer where every school has a team. It can also help later in life because rowing helps you stay a good athlete. It is a good workout.

What have been some of the biggest benefits to being on CJ’s crew team?

Making friends and I think that crew makes you more goal-oriented. I feel like when you look at the past graduates who have been on the crew team, they are all good role models so it makes you strive to want to be like them. We all try to get the records that they set in the past.

How early can kids get involved with the Eagles crew program?

Eighth grade is a good year because you will start out as a novice and then freshman year you can go into high school as varsity already. We also have summer camps for kids who are interested.

What is left this season for the crew team?

The Midwest Rowing Championships are this Saturday. If you make top three, you go to nationals so it is kind of a big race.

Explain how rowing competitions work?

At a race, all the boats start even at the start line. The referee starts everyone and it is a dead sprint for about seven minutes. Whoever finishes first wins, and everyone races for first—no one wants to finish in second place.

The guys team races predominantly the quad, which is four people in a boat each with two oars, and doubles, which is two people in the boat each with two oars. The girls race eights, which is eight in a boat each with one oar, and fours, which is four people in the boat all with one oar.

Crew also has a winter season and conditioning period. What is that like?

During the winter training we get on the ergs (rowing machines) and row for about three months out of the year. It is kind of a crucial part of staying fit for the spring season. It is probably the longest season, but you need it to do well… We also travel to Cincinnati for an indoor rowing competition.

How did you get involved with the sport when you started your freshmen year?

I actually got involved because Maggie [Switzer] told me about it and I know the Miles family, who also run the club. They said, “You should come out and try it,” and it has been an eye-opening experience because everybody was so welcoming. The first day of practice when you are new, nobody knows how to row and everybody understands that so no one is going to yell at you because you messed up or something. It is a team thing from the first day you step in the boat until the last day.

How has the season gone so far this year for the boys?

It has gone pretty well. We are 7-6 and we play Alter [tonight] in the playoffs. Initially we thought we were going to have a lot of CJ kids, but then some guys from Centerville needed a place to play so we got to take them in and they’ve really helped us out. We’ve had a good season and we hope to get a lot more kids next year.

How have the new additions of Blue Green Field and the Student Conditioning Center helped the team?

Well obviously since we got the Blue Green Field, we don’t have to travel to any fields far away for home games and that is really nice. The field is the perfect size for lacrosse and it is really convenient. The first home game here was against Alter in April and we actually had some really nice weather.

How long can the Eagles Lacrosse Club play at the club level?

I believe it is four years. We can be moved up to varsity at any time, but usually that is not until after your first four years.

The playoffs begin at 6 p.m. tonight (May 19) at Miami Valley School. How does the club tournament work and what lies ahead for the team?

If we win our first round game we advance in the playoffs and we could eventually go to the club division title. If not then our season is over, but we are going to try to play a summer league in Lebanon so that could be a good time for new kids to come out.

What would you tell a CJ student who is new to the sport, but wants to get involved next season?

Come out and try to watch a game or come to a practice. It is really easy to pick up. All the people on our team really hadn’t played before at all and they picked it up. We got an indoor season in and we’ve had a lot of success outdoors, so it is not something you need a lot of experience for.

Are all your teammates on the Eagles Lacrosse Club new to the sport this season?

Yes, every single girl that started playing lacrosse all started sometime this year so it is a new skill for all of us but we’ve really picked up on it fast. It is really easier to play than I thought it would be, but it definitely takes a lot of practice and work.

All the girls on our team are just from CJ, there is no one from other schools. I think that made it fun because I have teammates that I might not have talked to if I hadn’t played lacrosse with them. I run cross country, and while it is a team thing, you work for yourself. But it is a lot different in lacrosse working with other people because you want to do well to help everyone else out, not just yourself.

Is this something you want to do in the future?

Oh yea, for sure. I definitely plan on coming back.  There are going to be some camps going on this summer so I’ll be going to those and keeping up my skills.

If someone wanted to join the team, but didn’t know much about it, what is some advice you’d give them?

I would tell them to come to all the conditioning and if they have any free time to practice because you need to have the basic skills down in order to successfully play the game. You can be put in the game, but if you don’t know how to catch a ball or cradle a ball it is going to be taken away from you in like two seconds so there’s no point if you don’t practice and work hard at it.

How does it feel to have been a part of CJ’s first lacrosse program?

We are in CJ history now. It was really cool to see my friend Jordan be the first CJ woman to score a goal in a lacrosse game. Not everyone can say that they did that. So even though we may not have done as well as the boys team or had as much skill, I think it was a really good learning year and everyone came together. We had the first CJ win too, so we made history.