Archive for February, 2014

Advanced Lakers Arrive in Florida

Friday, February 28th, 2014

SB 14

Lakers in the advanced van arrived in Florida today to begin on water training and to rig boats for the coming “Darth Vader Row” that will be held Saturday afternoon.The remainder of the team will be leaving Allendale at 3 pm today and making their way down to Florida by mid day tomorrow. Check back often to keep up with the Lakers during this years Spring Break training trip in sunny Palm Bay, Florida. As always, Keep pulling for the Laker Navy.

Senior Spotlight: Robert De Weerd

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Robbie De Weerd

Robert James De Weerd
Major: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Holland Michigan

My first few days at Grand Valley I found myself wanting to join a group or club of some sort. Preferably one that competes in some faucet of an athletic event. I was originally dead set of trying to join the Dodge ball team. I was conversing with a friend that was on the rowing team explaining that the Dodge ball team were national champions the previous year. They then explained that the rowing team was too. After asking about it, my initial thoughts were it sounded like a lot of work. A lot of work ended up being an understatement, however I now find the work to be like a bad addiction.

Rowing at Grand Valley for me has been a reason to delay graduating, or should I say continue my education. It seems that I keep finding a reason to continue my education long after I could have graduated. Luckily I have had a support system of family and friends that keep from asking why. With a twenty fifth birthday looming only weeks away, I find myself finally in my fourth year on the rowing team, five years after I had started.

My years here on the team have been a bit non-traditional. Sure, often we see an athlete take off a year to only regret it and return the following season. I also found myself taking off a year, however for a different reason. Being in the Navy reserves, I knew that the possibility of a deployment was real. In December 2011, I found myself on my way to a one year deployment to Afghanistan. During this time the team travelled to the San Diego Crew Classic.

As a freshman I remember the team traveling to San Diego and knowing it was a race that we only competed in every 2-3 years. Well my opportunity to go came in 2012 at a rather un-convenient time. As I sat and watched the men’s race on a computer, with an internet connection that was rather slow half way around the world, I felt envious. I remember a huge sense of accomplishment after I had seen the men cross the line in 1st,. Yes, accomplishment because rowing is truly a team sport. When one boat performs and executes, it is not only because of the guys in that boat, but just as much about the guys who are not. As well as being envious, I also felt honored that the guys had decided to name the nameless racing shell they used after myself.

Many athletes find that winter training can be long and monotonous. Seniors talk of looking forward to taking some time off after their final year after 4 years of rowing. I can truly say that after 5 years of focusing on becoming a better athlete for myself and my team mates, I think of what June will bring after the season is over, for me I think it may bring a sense of restlessness and confusion.

Through my career here, I have seen the men’s team truly excel exponentially from year to year. The excitement for this coming spring season is almost unbearable. After what I had thought would be my only chance to compete at the San Diego crew classic in 2012, coach had announced that we would be going again in 2014 at the end of this previous season. At that point, I knew I would delay my graduation date once again in order to join my team mates in the race I watched some of them win 2 years ago.

Row2k Robbie Deweerd

  • Rower Puts Country First
  • DeWeerd returns from Afghanistan to lead GV rowing





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