CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson rowing will hold open tryouts beginning Monday, August 29 for the 2016-17 season. The Tiger coaching staff is looking for Clemson University female students with determination, work ethic, competitiveness, toughness and a great attitude.
Tryouts are open to all full-time female students enrolled at Clemson. No prior experience is necessary. Tryouts begin Monday, August 29 and conclude Friday, September 9. Tryouts are held from 4-6 p.m. at the Clemson Rowing Center. Teams will be announced after the final workout on September 9.
“These tryouts provide such an amazing opportunity for the female student body,” said novice coach Mandy Merritt. “We take complete beginners and through dedication, hard work and some fun, turn them into NCAA Division I athletes. This experience is for anyone who truly loves Clemson University and wants to represent it at the highest possible level.
“Walk-ons are the building blocks of any good rowing program, and we are looking for young women who want to be a part of the Clemson athletic tradition, want to try something new and are not afraid of hard work to fill that role. My best advice to anyone who is curious about trying out for the team is to come to an informational meeting, learn more about us and meet some of the current athletes.”
Head coach Stephen Frazier Wong noted that Clemson’s current staff is made up entirely of former walk-on rowers, who had no previous knowledge of the sport.
“The entire coaching staff is made up of former walk-ons who thought that rowing might be ‘fun’ and ended up finding a lifelong passion for the sport,” he said. “Every year I enjoy seeing newcomers to rowing fall in love with a sport they had never even heard of until they came to Clemson.”
Current senior Ashley Robinson has been a member of Clemson’s rowing program since joining as a walk-on in 2013. She rowed with the Tigers’ top boat, the First Varsity 8+, each of the past two seasons.
“The walk-ons bring a fresh perspective and attitude that helps balance the team mentality,” she said. “Anyone who is willing to work hard for themselves and their team can be turned into a great rower. As a walk-on myself, it was the encouragement and coaching from recruited teammates and our staff that helped me to excel and become the rower I am today.
“Being a student-athlete is the best of both worlds at Clemson — you are working as an athlete for an amazing school. I think being a student-athlete is the only way to fully understand the Clemson family. My teammates are my life and without them I would not have had the amazing experiences I have had.”
Interested students are encouraged to attend one of two meetings with the coaches:
-Monday, August 22 at 12:30 p.m. in Meeting Room A of the Hendrix Center
-Tuesday, August 23 at 10 a.m. in Almeda Jacks Ballroom A of the Hendrix Center
Come at your convenience to turn in paperwork and tour the rowing center, located at 524 East Beach Road (up the hill between the baseball stadium and soccer practice fields).
-Friday, August 26 from 12-4 p.m. at the Clemson Rowing Center
-An athletic physical within the last six months
-A copy of your insurance card, front and back
-Proof of a negative sickle cell test, which is typically performed at birth (contact Redfern Health Center at 864-656-2233 to complete a test or physical)
-Mandy Merritt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
-Megan O’Donnell (email@example.com)
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