Men's Crew: Walk-ons Encouraged

Photo by Becky Heflin P'20
Photo by Becky Heflin P'20

Photo above: The 2018 - 2019 Squad: New England Team Champions


Information Meeting: Thursday, September 5, 4:15 PM, Hopkins Hall 002


For more information or to express interest, please complete our form.

Men’s Crew is a varsity sport at Williams.  Each year a significant portion of the team walks-on without any rowing experience.  During the spring of 2019, our four eights of athletes won the Points Trophy at the New England Championships.  An overwhelming majority of these athletes initially learned to row at Williams, including four of the athletes in the first eight.


Why row? 

Perhaps sports were a major part of your life growing up and you want to continue your athletic career and team experience in college.  Maybe you simply want to try something new, and the idea of rowing intrigues you.  Whatever the reason, friendships made through mutual hard work and shared experiences while on the crew are special and last a lifetime.  You will be in the best shape of your life, guaranteed. 


The Nuts and Bolts:

Rowing’s primary seasons are in the fall and spring when the team trains out of its boathouse on Lake Onota and races throughout New England.  Additionally, during Spring Break the team travels to the warmer waters of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to train.  During the winter offseason, athletes train together on campus on rowing machines, in the weight room, and in the indoor rowing tanks. 


Team-Members’ Experiences: 

“I was an avid soccer player all through high school. I was unsure if I wanted to play a sport when I got to Williams, but I have found that walking on and rowing crew has had an incredibly positive impact on my life at school. The team dynamic is extremely cohesive and fun-loving and I've made friends that will last me for the rest of my life. The camaraderie is very visible during practice as everyone, truly everyone, cheers on their teammates and pushes them to work hard and succeed.  One of the great things about rowing, as a sport, is that the hard work you put in is directly rewarded by getting faster.  With the team cheering you on and celebrating when you get better, it is an environment geared for you to succeed if you put in the effort. The balance of fun and hard work that I've found on the team helped me transition to college and is arguably the most influential part of my time at Williams.” --Will Foote ‘22


"Prior to coming to Williams I was a competitive swimmer. I tried rowing because I knew I had a good background in endurance sports and wanted to branch out. I have had an incredible experience. I have found some of my best friends on the rowing team. We have competed together at a high level, with my boat, the 3V, winning silver at the New England Rowing Championships. That boat was well over half walk-ons, which is a testament to the value placed in walk-ons in our program. Overall, I have had so much fun while growing in new ways." -- Bernal Cortés ‘22


"In high school, I played a lot of different sports including football, basketball, and baseball, before settling on water polo and cross country. I always loved being on a team but could never really find the sport and team that fit my personality in high school. When I came to Williams, I was nervous about not being on a team and having to train on my own. On move-in day, I was approached by a group guys on the crew who invited me to the information meeting. On my orientation trip, a first-year rower I was friends with told me I should check out the team as well. I went to the walk-on meeting, met the guys on the team, and knew that the team and sport was a great fit for me!" -- Sam Holmes ‘22


“Before Williams, I played a lot of sports, everything from Field Hockey and Soccer to Skiing and Equestrian, experiencing many different types of team environments. I've been a competitive person my whole life and I've found outlets for that competitiveness even in non-traditional team settings. When I came to Williams, one of the rowers approached me and mentioned I was the right size to be a coxswain. Although I had no rowing experience and didn’t know what side of a boat was starboard and which was port, I missed being on a team and showed up at the interest meeting telling the men's assistant coach that I wanted to be a coxswain. I still don't fully understand why I walked onto a men's competitive team of a sport I knew nothing about as a quiet and small freshman girl, but I think it owes almost entirely to the nature of this team. I was treated as an athlete who had potential and with practice could contribute to the depth of the program.” -- Margot Berman ‘22