Among the Franklin D. Roosevelt High School crew team’s boys varsity 8 squad, there is a system of checks and balances.
But, it doesn’t involve politics.
This group is so tight-knit and its members have known each other for so long, they are seemingly in sync even outside of the boat. And when anyone or anything threatens to disrupt that harmony, the group polices itself. The chemistry and comfort level is such that the members keep each other in check, thus preserving that balance.
“They’re a clique; they do everything together and they’re always around each other,” Roosevelt coach Harry Harrington said. “If one is down, the others will pick him up. If someone doesn’t want to practice or isn’t doing something right, the others get on him about it. It’s a relationship where nobody wants to let the others down.”
That didn’t happen often. The crew of Garrett Burnett, Matt Follis, Chris Gannon, Rob Hoffman, Brandon Leyva, Alex Psichos, Nick Senchak, Zack Schiffer and Schyler Will was excellent in earning the distinction as the area crew coaches’ Boys Boat of the Year.
The Presidents’ varsity eight enjoyed several first-place finishes this season, including winning the Hudson Valley League grand championship. The boat also took first in the WARS Regatta, the Dutchess Cup and the Triangular Regatta.
Shiffer, the coxswain, provides leadership and guidance. Burnett knows all about speed — and time management — running track and rowing in the spring. Likewise for Hoffman and Leyva, who are also runners. Will’s dedication inspires teammates. Senchack, the only senior in the group, was a vocal leader and motivator. Gannon lost 45 pounds in the last year, Harrington said, and his strength and endurance made him “dominant.” Follis’ work ethic helped drive the team, as did Psichos, who works in his parents’ business and dedicates his free time almost entirely to rowing.
“This group has been great since they were freshmen,” Harrington said. “They know what it takes to win and just keep getting better and better.”
Stephen Haynes: email@example.com, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4.
Crew Coaches Boys All-Star Team
Joe Bornke, Arlington
Chris Izold, Spackenkill
Alexi McGraw, Our Lady of Lourdes
Chris Neisheiwat, Poughkeepsie
Frank Paternoster, Wappingers
Matt Reilly, Wappingers
Tom Roch, Our Lady of Lourdes
Zack Schiffer, Franklin D. Roosevelt
Nick Senchak, Franklin D. Roosevelt
Arlington: Thomas Burda, John Dittman, John Gay, Evan Palmiotti, Oliver Sampson
Poughkeepsie: Seth Carty, Chris Cassidy, Jon Enciso, Stephan McKain, Zach Woolley
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Garrett Burnett, Rob Hoffman, Brandon Leyva, Schyler Will
Wappingers: Liam Brodie, Baltazar Castillo-Varda, Issa Dahdal, Peter Kalocay, Nick Vaculick