GREENWOOD LAKE - Amid cloudy weather and scattered showers, the NFA Crew Team successfully defended its title as Orange-Ulster Rowing Champions at Greenwood Lake on May 15, 2014.
"This team is strong and determined. They showed a lot of heart out there," said Head Coach Ed Kennedy. "We hit the water late this year due to colder than usual early Spring temperatures and a late thaw on the river. With this team, though, that just meant that they trained harder. They have been giving their all at practice after practice, and it shows. This was their title to hold on to and they were determined to keep it. This is the 10th year in a row that NFA has won this Championship and we have taken it 15 out of the last 16 years."
The team’s Girls Varsity 8 person boat, with rowers Erin Loughran, Taylor Mahoney, Paige Cosgrove, Stefanie Sciolaro, Madison Dill, Taylor Cosgrove, Victoria Albert, Cora Stepakoff and coxswain Isabella Crisci, remains undefeated this season, placing first against strong showings by other schools in attendance. "To say that the Girls 8 has been a consistent boat this season would be an understatement. These young ladies are just plain amazing to watch in action!" stated an enthusiastic Kennedy.
The Girls Varsity Lightweight 4 boat, with rowers Kristin Polanco, Tess Stepakoff, Luz Corrales, Eneida Popllo and coxswain Arta Kalici followed suit, taking first place in their race as well. The Girls Varsity 4, with rowers Samantha Santiago, Rebecca Levinstein, Danielle Salazar, Amanda Perez and coxswain Kennedy Barber-Fraser, also had a strong showing, coming in third place.
Another undeafeated boat for NFA, the Boys Varsity Lightweight 4, with rowers John Kennedy, Bo Kuhn, Jake Dennis, Renato Meza and coxswain Trent Reid took first place in their race, keeping a season-long winning streak intact. "The Boys Lightweight 4 has been strong all season, a real force to be reckoned with" said Kennedy. The Boys Varsity 8 boat, with rowers Mike DeCapua, Nick Merced, Steven Williamson, Nick Danza, Mike Sarvis, Kevin St. Clair, Cameron Cobey, Aydan McCoy and coxswain Joe Roy took second in their race, as did the Boys Varsity 4 with rowers Devon Robinson, Matt Hassett, Ed Galo, Michael Levinstein and coxswain Christian Franqui.
"It’s unfortunate that weather and water conditions only allowed for Varsity boats to compete," said Kennedy. "We have a good sized team that includes some very strong second boats, including some very promising younger rowers."
"It’s amazing to watch these kids in action, and I have no doubt that the best is yet to come," said parent Darryl Sheridan, who is President of the Friends of Newburgh Crew, Inc., a registered 501(c)(3) organization of parents and community members who work to fund the NFA Crew Team after it lost school district funding in 2012. "NFA Crew is not just a sports team, these kids are productive members of the community. For example last Saturday, the team took part in the inaugural meet of the Cortlandt Community Rowing Club, which team members, along with Coach Kennedy and coaches and rowers from Newburgh Rowing Club have been volunteering over the last several months to help establish. It was a great meet and the team made a strong showing. Once the busses got back, after unloading the boat trailer and re-rigging their boats, the team participated in the 2014 Riverkeeper Sweep at the Ward Brothers Memorial Park in the City of Newburgh. It was a long day, but that is what this team does, and that’s part of why the parents work so hard to keep the crew team going. It can be daunting at times, but we will continue trying to raise the money to keep this team alive at NFA. Not to mention, we have a Championship title to defend next year!"