Frequently Asked Questions

SBP Rowing

2018-19 Academic Year

FAQs concerning SBP Rowing

Q. What is SBP Rowing?

A. "SBP Rowing" is the informal title of the rowing program at St. Benedict's Prep. Established in 2012, SBP Rowing annually involves 50+ student athletes (approximately 10% of the student body) and is known for its tradition of excellence. The SBP Rowing program is recognized for its outstanding parental engagement, the quality of its coaching staff, and its success on the local and regional stage. Our rowers and coxswains alike are also outstanding students who are strongly committed to their academics. (back to top)

Q. What's rowing all about?

A. Rowing is an exciting competitive sport involving skill, teamwork, strength and stamina. There are teams for girls and boys, organized by skill, and in some cases age and weight. Crews are identified by the number of rowers in a shell, or boat - normally with 8 rowers (an "eight") or 4 rowers (a "four) - and have an on-board captain known as the coxswain. There are also doubles and singles. Equal sized boats race against each other on 1,500-meter courses. (back to top)

Q. What about our facilities and equipment?

A. SBP student athletes train and practice on the Passaic River at the Kearny Boathouse - which everyone simply calls "The Boathouse." Kearny Boathouse is located at the end of the Route 7 Bridge near the border of Kearny and Belleville.

Our equipment - including the shells, oars, and rowing machines, or "ergs" - were repaired or fully replaced in 2015 to ensure that the team has safe and up-to-date equipment. We are in the process of establishing a regular cycle to maintain a high level of optimal equipment.

Our athletic department also built a fully equipped crossfit training center/ weight room which is regularly utilized by our student athletes. (back to top)

Q. Who are the coaches?

Mr. Craig White II - Head Coach

Ms. Hannah Stafford - Assistant Coach

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Q. When does the season start?

A. Formal practices begin in late July for the competitive Fall rowing season, which ends in November. Formal practices begin in mid-to-late February for the competitive Spring rowing season, which ends in May. Regattas only take place during the weekends. Some boats will travel out of state for competitions for both the Fall and Spring seasons.

There are also opportunities for training or off-season competition through summer and winter. Many of our spring rowers are all-around athletes who participate in other sports during the winter - which is highly encouraged. (back to top)

Q. Do you need experience?

A. No. We welcome the chance to teach the sport to students at any level. (back to top)

Q. How are crews (or "boats") selected?

A. The coaches will conduct tryouts at the beginning of the season. We look for the most compatible and competitive talent we can, factoring in experience, skill level, athletic performance, fitness and initial scores on the ergometers, or "ergs." The lightweight boats have weight limits - up to 150 pounds for lightweight boys. Other than that, the choices are wide open and are made from a fresh start each year.

During the season, everyone rows at some level, and almost all rowers will participate in at least one regatta. We are fortunate enough to have enough coaches and equipment that no one is cut from crew unless they violate our rules or guidelines. (back to top)

Q. What are the academic requirements?

A. The requirements are higher than any other sport at St. Benedict's Prep. It is noteworthy that participating athletes have excellent academic records; grade point averages of crew teams are often among the highest of sports teams at the Hive. The discipline and time-management skills needed for outstanding athletics translate into excellence in schoolwork. (back to top)

Q. Is it safe?

A. Rowing is a low-impact sport that focuses on conditioning the athlete for strength and endurance. All rowers must pass a swimming test. If that presents a problem, we can arrange to make lessons available. Our coaches are trained for any emergency situation. First and foremost, we emphasize boat safety and the proper use of the equipment. (back to top)

Q. What is the cost?

A. All student athletes who row at St. Benedict's are required to purchase at least one full set of practice gear ($30) and pay a regatta fee ($75) to cover food expenses for competitions. Most other rowing programs in the Northern New Jersey area require substantial fees (> $1,000) per student per season. Because SBP Rowing is a varsity sport, transportation of boats and athletes, boathouse maintenance, insurance and hotel accommodations for out-of-town regattas for athletes during the regular season are covered by the school.

Our active Parent's Association raises funds to buy state-of-the-art boats, oars and equipment. The Boosters also ensure that athletes are fed at out-of-town regattas. Parents are asked to contribute a fee (about $50) at the beginning of the season to help defray the costs of food at these events. (back to top)

Q. Sounds good! How do I sign up?

A. Registration takes place at the Boathouse at the beginning of each season. For the spring season, registration is usually is the third week of February for returning rowers. Look for time and dates on information sheets posted in schools, or here. You can also call the Athletic Department or e-mail the head coach, Craig White II. (back to top)