Upper Merion High School Crew

The Tradition Continues With You

Alumni Memories

Another Alumni Memory from Tom Ferlick '89
Monday, May 15, 2006

Here are some of my favorite memories:
 
started rowing--1985
Years rowed-- 5
 
I enjoyed 5 fantastic years of rowing at Upper Merion, and 6 years of coaching between 1990 and 1997.
 
Some of my favorite rowing memories:
 
1.  I (and some others) owe much of our success to the fact that Doug and Steve could not perform squat leaps and squat thrusts to Cavitt's liking.  25 became 50 or 75 everyday.
2.  Becoming one of the original (4) "Belden's Boys" and beginning the 5:30 ritual that would last for 4 years.
3.  Flipping the 2x with Eddie at 5:45am on March 5th 1986.  Mr. B Made Sheitz give up his dry sweats-I got the pants! 
4.  Bus trips, boomboxes and trading shirts.
5.  Summer trips to Indiana and Canada
6.  Being accussed of cheating during a 20 on 5 off workout (we really did take 5 off SP)
7.  Making hoagies on a Friday nights at the high school while other kids attended the dance-then going to the dance smelling like a hoagie.
8.  Selling those hoagies 7 times a year and being required to sell at least 35.
9.  Erg tests at the Carey's house on the original ergs.
10. The row-a-thon.  Rowing on the erg for a half an hour in front of Wilson's Sporting goods in the Plaza.  Who's idea was that??
11. 1st official Saturday practice my first year.  We met at the high school.  Ran to the boathouse.  Collected trash for 2 hours and placed it under the bridge where "it would be picked up later".  Then we ran back to the high school.
12. Everyday of practice and every race (except my 8th grade year when Tim steared our novice 8 into the grandstand) because it was 100% everytime!
13. The fact that I stay in touch with those that shared these experiences and can still spend hours laughing at all the time we spent at the boathouse.
 
Enough for now.  I didn't even get to my coaching years, but I am sure there will be plenty of former rowers willing to share those tales.
 
Thanks for putting this together and allowing me to relive the past.  I would be happy to sponsor the team in some way.
 
Tom Ferlick '89


Roger Stevens 1970 - 1971

01 - When did you begin to row for U.M.? = 1970
02 - Tell us about your experience, the coaching staff, your favorite memory or what you are up to these days?  = I only rowed for the one year.  My brother in law asked me to row every year before.  it turned out I was the MIP as I picked it up in days.  I also just rowed in the alumni race in 2008 and didn't drop dead.  My daughter is rowing because of me.  See you at the alumni race, I bought a Concept2.  So look out!
03 - For how many years were you a member of the team? = 1
04 - Interested in Sponsoring our Team Today:  = YES
05 - Address and Contact Information = roger.stevens@vw.com

Ed Bell - 1978 - 1982


01 - When did you begin to row for U.M.? = 1978
02 - Tell us about your experience, the coaching staff, your favorite memory or what you are up to these days?  = Rowing at UM was a wonderful experience.  Back then, it was unusual to have a public school rowing team.  There was so much dedication to make the team happen.  So many people on the team had many doors open to them because of rowing and beyond rowing.  Parents, coaches, teammates, the School made rowing happen.  For those that rowed during the years that I was there, so many of them got into great schools and scholarships.

For those that are on the team, enjoy every second.  For those that haven't tried it, give it a go.  You will experience great challenges as an individual and a team.

I think my favorite experience at UM Rowing was the last 500 of every race, at least the ones that I remained conscious.  One race, “the Nationals”, we took 3 boats and won all 3 races.  That was a good day. 

Also, I had the privilege of rowing with Craig Elkins who is indescribably handsome.

03 - For how many years were you a member of the team? = 4
04 - Interested in Sponsoring our Team Today:  = YES
05 - Address and Contact Information = Ed Bell - Sam@brainfarm.org


Craig Elkins 1976 - 1980

01 - When did you begin to row for U.M.? = 1976
02 - Tell us about your experience, the coaching staff, your favorite memory or what you are up to these days?   = Craig Elkins here - rowed from 1976-1980.  I was 2 man in the senior 4 that won nationals in 1980. Myself, Don Cook, Frank Quarto and Ed Bell.  I'm currently living in Los Angeles with my wife and 5 year old daughter.  I'm, trying to be, a musician.

I'm still stunningly handsome.

03 - For how many years were you a member of the team? = 4
04 - Interested in Sponsoring our Team Today:  = YES
05 - Address and Contact Information = elkinhimer@sbcglobal.net

Diane Hamerla  1980 - 1984

01 - When did you begin to row for U.M.? = 1980
02 - Tell us about your experience, the coaching staff, your favorite
memory or what you are up to these days?   = I starded rowing in 7th
grade for a total of 6 years, there were a few of us starting early back
then.  Wow, there's a lot of history from those years....

I remember watching my older brothers Tim, then Lyle and Perry rowing
throughout the years; starting with the '2 ton' wooden kashpers, the
flipped trailer that led to fundraising for newer boats, though the some
of the indestructable kashpers survived.
Seeing my borhter Lyle off for the Jr. Olympics, and my brother Perry
trying out for the team the following year.

It's hard to pick, but I think my strongest memory was from City
Championships... After loosing to the Belleville team all season at home
regattas, the Dad Vails, and a trip to Poughkeepsie, it all came down to
the build up for City championships... where we not only beat Belleville,
we won!  Moving on to the next big step, a second place at  Nationals,
having beaten Belleville again, however our focus had shifted to the
next team to beat.  I even wrote about that on my college entrance essay.

THE GOOD
- cleaning up the riverfront for the start of season, expansion of the
parking area, and finally preparation for the upgrades to the
boathouse.
- the purchase of new boats (the zebra striped 4)
- City Championships several years placing 2nd at the Canadian and US
Nationals
- International rowing regatta with England and French rowers
- Jr. National camp tryouts (close but not quite)
- rowing scholarship to Syracuse University
- all the great support from parents, fund raisers, food stands, free
snacks/ drinks at the races

THE BAD
- the van that rearended the trailer- took off the end of two shells.
- the truck breaking down on a long road trip (OK, we did have fun
'picnicing' while we waited
- my first race when I crabbed
- the year we rowed out of Boathouse row in Phila due to the nuclear
waste site upriver from the boathouse

THE 'UGLY'
- the year it poured rain for each and every one of the 5 Dad Vail
races
- the local dog- ugly maybe but the dog and his owner were a great
security backup (I know they contacted the police about vandals at least
once)
-  the 5 mile run to Genuardies (the original location)
- complete hand full of blisters, and the handshakes received while I
had the palmful of blisters (ouch!)

What a full set of memories.  Thanks to everyone through the years,
especially the coaches and teammates!
03 - For how many years were you a member of the team? = 4
04 - Interested in Sponsoring our Team Today:  = YES
05 - Address and Contact Information = Diane Hamerla 14 Community Road,
Billerica, MA 01821
  friendlychat@verizon.net


Andrew Powers 1989 - 1992


When did you begin to row for U.M.? = 1989
Tell us about your experience, the coaching staff, your favorite
memory or what you are up to these days?   = Andrew Powers 1989-1992.

So I'm standing outside of the high school gym after pick-up basketball and my father is talking to a man that he seems to know fairly well. 
He introduces me to the man, Bill Belden, and tells me he's the coach of the rowing team.  Upper Merion has a rowing team?  Coach Bill asks me how well I handle mornings, he coaches the "skulling?" team, they practice early, 5:30am, they like tall guys that seem just dumb enough to handle pain.  I shrug it off, merely thinking about...food, T.V., shower.

But my father asks again and again, and I think "what the heck, something to keep me in shape" for basketball.  The rest is history. 

Favorite memory is most likely the Upper Merion regatta, 1990.  I was grounded at this point for about 2 months for sneaking away with friends to a jello wrestling match at C.B West high school between the cheerleading team and the wrestlerettes.  I'm done my doubles race and word goes around the crowd that the singles race will be cancelled due to the fact that there is now only one entry, two competitors dropping out.  So people are needling me to enter the race.  I'm standing there with food in my hand, food stuffed in my face, in my stomach, and I'm being told to go back out on the water in another race in a boat I had sat in once and taken about 100 strokes in.  Plus, I was about 190 lbs at the time and the shoddy, old, wood Kaschper single was 175 lb max.

My father turns to me and states matter of factly that if I enter and in the race, I'm not grounded anymore.

It was without a doubt the hardest race I had ever put together.  I puked above the island somewheres during warmup and the guy I was racing saw it.  I couldn't take a full stroke.  I had never sat in bow so I had no ability to turn my head and navigate (the railroad bridge lurking).  But the thought of freedom from weekend nights sitting in the corner were overwhelming.  I.  Had.  To.  Win.  The.  Race. 

All I really recall is that the launch following this "race" was filled with recent graduates of the team, coach Bill, and an official.  I saw
their faces, and they were all grinning ear to ear.  I didn't actually win the thing, I just gave up last. 

The first thing I said to my father was something along the lines of if I had to do it again, knowing what I know, there are plenty of
productive things to accomplish during a lengthy grounding.

For how many years were you a member of the team? = 4
Interested in Sponsoring our Team Today:  = YES
Address and Contact Information =

Andrew Powers

409 Kingsley St. Philadelphia,
PA 19128; 
apowers911@hotmail.com


Tim Carey  1985-1991


01 - When did you begin to row for U.M.? = 1985
02 - Tell us about your experience, the coaching staff, your favorite 
memory or what you are up to these days?   = Tim Carey  1985-1991
Great website!! You guys have done a nice job with it! 
I was on the team for 7 years (6th-12th grades) so I got a ton of 
memories from it.  Even before I started on the team, watching my older 
Sister and Brother row to many wins got me interested in the sport.  The 
coach, Mr Cavitt, had one of the most successful programs on the water.  
Winning wasn’t the exception, it was the norm!
For me, I have 2 vivid memories from my years on the team.  My first 
Manny Flick stands out.  I was rowing bow seat in our Novice 8.  At the 
time, I was in 6th grade, about 5 foot, 80lbs.  I sat on top of two 
pieces of wrestling mat glued together to elevate me. (Basically the 
thickness of a phone book)  During the race, the boat was crabbing about 
every 10th stroke.  I know we started in the middle of the course, but some 
how ended up hitting the retaining wall for about 1000 meters.  
Miraculously we did finish the race, but it took about 15 minutes or so.  In 
the years to come, just about everyone in that boat ended up winning at 
least a Cities Championship while on the team.  Another memory was 
later that same season. I was coxing my older brother’s LWT4 at the 
Canadian Schoolboy Champ.  Since I was only 80 pounds, I needed to carry 40 
pounds of weight in the boat, since the Canadians required a minimum 
coxswain weight.  That weight was a cinderblock that I had trouble lifting. 
My Dad had to carry it to the dock each time we launched.  The racing 
was great, we won our heat and semi and things were looking great for 
the final.  In the final though, in my zeal, I lost track of the race 
course and began our “finish” entirely too soon.  After about the 60th 
stroke of our finish piece, my older brother (the stroke) looked like he was going to die, but not before killing me!  Needless to say, we didn’t win and I got screamed at the entire way back to the dock and it continued on the 7 hour bus ride home and every night at the dinner table for 
about a year!  It was a good lesson in coxwaining and winning/losing!!  So many fast crews have come through this program. Great coaches too.  From Mr. Cavitt, my 
Dad-Jack and Mr. Belden.  Plus so many assistant coaches that were born from the team. 
Dave Reinbold, Scott Colbert, Andy Grey, Matt Snyder, Donna Pollack and Tom Ferlick to
name a few.  I have a lot of great memories and really this team was the platform for my
continued involvement in the sport to this day.  Best of luck to the team!  You’re in good
hands with Coach Perkins!
 05 - Address and Contact Information = Tim Carey, 251 Pleasant Valley 
Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406     email: drunkirishman@aol.com


For how many years were you a member of the team?
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