Saline High Rowing began as the result of a student promoting rowing to other high school students. The transfer student had recently moved from a Grand Rapids high school with an established rowing program and was interested in continuing to participate in this sport. Saline was fortunate to have 2 teachers that had university coaching and rowing experience that were able to organize and lead a new program.
The team began with a parent board of 5 volunteers, 14 student athletes, and the generosity of a Lenawee County family that donated usage of their property, launch & motor, and home on Sand Lake for the team to use. Additionally, the Wyandotte Boat Club hauled 2 boats from their Detroit River facility and lent their equipment during the first season of this new program.
The Community Education program, under the leadership of Scot Graden, provided guidance in writing bylaws and obtaining the necessary liability and equipment insurance coverage for the fledging program.
The following year, an anonymous donor provided a substantial interest-free loan to enable the program to purchase a trailer to haul the boats and the teams’ first used boats. Annual golf fundraisers also added appreciably to the teams’ revenues. The team also initiated two “Learn to Row” events at Argo Pond near the Ann Arbor Rowing Club, to introduce Saline families to rowing.
The team has grown to over 50 athletes participating during each spring season and approximately 45 athletes participating during each fall season. The Team sponsored the first high School regatta at Ford Lake during Fall, 2007, introducing Pioneer & Huron’s Crew teams to this local waterway.
Both the girls and boys team have medaled at several Midwest regional regattas (Columbus, Fort Wayne, and Cincinnati) and the Lightweight boys 4+ boat competed at the American Schoolboy Championship in Tennessee in Spring, 2008, finishing 5th nationally. The team has been fortunate to retain excellent coaches and alumni student coaches to assist with the program.