St. Ed's Rowers Prove Up to the Task
It was a big gamble. The sun, wind, and waves…all had to be perfect. But the boys of St. Edward High School’s rowing team were prepared to take on Operation Maple Bacon.
Operation Maple Bacon? St. Ed’s coaches, Matt Previts and Matt Carlsen, wanted to keep the plan to row from Canada to the Cleveland Rowing Foundation Boat House under cover until mid-summer. So they came up with the fun code name, Maple for Canada and Bacon.
The team’s row was to raise funds for St. Baldrick’s and autism. Pledges were made by countless businesses in Lakewood and Rocky River and other cities.
The boys trained all summer long. Up and down the Cuyahoga River every day, except Sunday, from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. As August 16 drew closer, their excitement built, but the lake was just too rough to cross. Plan A was scuttled; Plan B went into effect.
Two shells, each with eight rowers and a coxswain, set off from the boat house on Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. They rowed 54.4 miles up and down the Cuyahoga River, the exact number of miles from Canada to Cleveland. It took 7 hours and 41 minutes and lots of bottled water.
While very proud of what they accomplished, there was no big celebration Saturday night. All they wanted to do was go home to sleep.
No rest for the weary - or for the rowers. On Monday morning, everyone reported in at 6:00 a.m. for yet another morning on the river.
David Hildebrandt is an attorney at Mansour Gavin LPA. His son, George, is a member of St. Ed's rowing team.