Happy Birthday Kennedy!

Silly Sting…

       Water Balloons….

                         Good friends……

                                           New friends…

what more could a young girl ask for on her birthday!?

Add in a try at a new sport.  End the experience with a race and some ice cream…..

We hope it’s got you dreaming of oars, rowing, and being part of the RCTW Team!


2nd Annual Omnium and Development Camp

Today started much like any normal Saturday morning practice…warm weather, calm water, and a bustle about the new Woodforest Bank Boat House.  Athletes arrived early to get their shells out and ready for the morning row, because today was special.  Today, they tested themselves against each other and a standard to see how well they could complete a set of tasks that would indicate not only how much they might have learned over the past week during our camp, but possibly show how well they may do moving into the fall competitive season.
This week we have had coach Ian Howell, along with his daughters Adrienne and Gabby visiting from the UK.  They are hear to help us develop our coaching staff and our athletes to row better and faster!  We have turned to the UK due to the discipline and organization of their coaching programs.  Not only do they begin their athletes much younger than is typical in the US, they also attempt to standardized what their coaches are doing throughout the country from the beginner level to National team level.


Under 14 female points winner: Sofia G







Under 14 male points winners:  Eesa A and Michael P






Over 14 female points winner:  Grace K






Over 14 male points winner:  Jack H








Over 23 points winner:  Bryan G


Thank you to all who participated in this years camp!  We are very excited to have been a part of watching rowers learn, grow and improve their rowing this week!  We have a very exciting fall season and year ahead of us!!!
See you on the water!

Getting Recruited To College

Below is an excerpt from an article about recruiting services:

3 Reasons Why Recruiting Services Don’t Work

0 Posted by Anastasiya

“You can’t determine an athlete’s character through communication with a proxy.”

An Unpaved Path

Going through the recruiting process is a vulnerable time for a family. The unpaved path is daunting. You don’t know what you’re expected to do, or when to do it, and there are so many rules. Undoubtedly, having no clear track to follow can scare even the most knowledgeable parents and athletes.

Up until recently, there were limited options out there to guide families through recruiting. The space has been dominated by recruiting services with questionable business practices that lock athletes out of their own recruiting processes.

Pay to Play

Traditional recruiting services promise to promote your profile to thousands of college coaches in their extensive network. All you do is fill out a profile, invest thousands of dollars in a “coach” or “consultant,” and the service takes care of the rest – and this is where things gets murky. Recruiting services seem like the perfect solution to remedy uncertainty. Seem being the operative word.

Recruiting services seem to take the guesswork out of recruiting. Recruiting services seem to have the athlete’s best interests in mind. Recruiting services seem to offer exposure that a family can only dream of.

Recruiting services seem like a no-brainer. So why the questionable reputation? Unfortunately, recruiting services are not as they seem. Here are three reasons why recruiting services don’t work.

The Recruiting Service Paradox

  1. College coaches want to hear directly from the student-athlete

According to a survey of college coaches by the ABCA, the majority of college coaches want to make communication through players a requirement of the recruiting process.

This is perhaps the most important reason why even well-intentioned recruiting services put athletes at a disadvantage. The recruiting service model contradicts what college coaches are looking for. College coaches want players that take initiative. An athlete that transfers responsibility to a third-party misrepresents himself as passive and unmotivated.

This goes back to the fact that coaches take a holistic approach to evaluating student-athletes. They want students who will be super teammates and superstars. A student-athlete’s character is a key factor in a collegiate coach’s evaluation. You can’t determine an athlete’s character through communication with a proxy.

At their core, recruiting services monetize fear.”

  1. Inflated Sticker Price

Recruiting services operate on a simple premise. A rookie recruiting mistake can cost a family a lot of pain. The cost of the recruiting service pales in comparison. This pitch preys on a family’s insecurities about being novices to the process. Recruiting services take advantage of a family’s desperation to navigate the process correctly. At their core, recruiting services monetize fear.

Families are manipulated into forking over thousands of dollars for an inflated service with no clear attribution of value.

  1. Relinquish Control to a Third Party

Recruiting services remove the athlete from his or her recruiting process. Relinquishing control is dubious when you consider that it’s to somebody that cares less about your future than you do. It’s ironic how a solution which promises to eliminate uncertainty leaves you even more in the dark.

And in whom are you entrusting your future?

Let’s recount how they work. Recruiting services hook families through enticing them to create a free profile viewable by colleges. It is only after they invest the time into building a profile that the families are presented with the tall cost of the “free” service.

The dishonesty doesn’t end there. Once they’ve secured a family’s money, do recruiting services deliver?

“They promised they would be there for support every step of the way,” said Sean Lunkenheimer, a former student-athlete whose family invested in two years of a popular recruiting service to help him run track in college. Routine check-ins were part of the offering. “I only heard from them once.”

“I would write with schools I was interested in,” said Lunkenheimer.

“They told me that the schools were not looking for someone like me this year, based on the events I ran,” said Lunkenheimer. “Despite the fact that my events spanned sprints, middle distance events, and hurdles.”

“It was basically a transaction.”

Here at RCTW, your future is not a transaction to us.  Our coaches are committed to helping you reach your goals.  To honest effort.  They know this sport and how to help you succeed.  They can help you select the college that is best suited for you. 

1.     Make a list of colleges you are interest in, why are you interested in each, and share them with your coach.

2.     Do they have the degree program you wish to study?

3.     Collect your school transcripts

4.     Have you taken the SAT/ACT?

     a.      If not, get the dates of these tests and start studying, ensure your test dates do not conflict with regatta weekends.

     b.     Which is more important to the schools you are interested in attending?

5.     Register on NCAA.com, there is a fee for this.

6.     Register on BeRecruited.com, they will attempt to set up a service, but simply say no.  They are used by rowing coaches and are reputable.

7.     Train to make your body strong, fit and know your sport

8.     Eat healthy to fuel your training

9.     Rest, the hours before midnight are the most important!

10.  Hydrate, if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  The body needs consistent water input!

11.  Study

12.  Maintain balance in your life!

13.  Communicate any contacts that you receive from a college with your coach.  Allow us to work for you. 

14.  There are rules to follow in the recruiting process.  Allow your coaches to assist in making sure you get the most out of every contact, visit or phone call.


2017 Central Youth Championships

May 6 & 7 we found the Oklahoma River kind regarding weather.  A course that can be noted for the strong Oklahoma City winds was unusually calm.  RCTW had 2 varsity athletes and 9 novices travel to test their abilities against rowers from the US Rowing Central Region.  A region made up of school and club rowing programs from Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Rather than focusing on medals we knew we could win in novice categories, we focused on deepening our teams experience level and trying to qualify boats for US Rowing Youth National Championships.  With our teams lack of experience, it was a gamble, but we believe in our athletes, and we believe the experience they gain will make our team stronger and better for the future.

Chandler K earned a bronze medal in the U17 men’s single.  One of our varsity athletes was missing due to a conflict with the Rugby State Championships being held this weekend as well.  Jack H helped lead his rugby team to the 2017 Texas Championship on Sunday.  While we missed having him with us in OKC, his whole team are proud of his efforts and the leadership he shows in both sports!

Novices qualified for finals against varsity rowers with more experience.  They had to be within the top 6 crews to do this.  That’s a big deal!  This was a great experience for our athletes and positions us well for future events.  Coaches are proud of the athletes and their parents!  We can’t wait to keep working, growing, and rowing faster!

2017 Texas Championships

On April 22 and 23 five adults and 13 youth athletes competed in Austin TX at the Texas Championships.

Of our adults, Mac Nash earned a gold medal in the Men’s master LtWt 1x, and a bronze in the Men’s master E-G 1x, as well as a silver in the Men’s master 2x E-G with his partner Keith Waddell.  Ignacio Gomez earned the silver medal in the Men’s master 1x B-C class.  Masters races are divided by age classes and handicapped for age.

Our youth rowers had a fantastic weekend as five of our young men; Chandler K, Rhys I, Matthew B, Tim P and Alex L, transitioned to sweep rowing just before this event and earned a silver medal in the Men’s Jr novice 4+.

Jack H led the Men’s Jr 1x until a missed stroke earned him the silver medal by .1 second in a very tightly contested race.

After having a crew interfere in their lane twice, catching an oar breaking crab, and rowing 750-800 meters through the heat with only 7 of the usual 8 oars, our Men’s Jr novice 4x made up of Rhys I, Alex L, Chandler K, and Seth H brought home gold medals and The David Alviar Cup as the State Champions!

Our young men rounded out their medal count with Chandler K and Seth H earning the bronze in the Men’s Novice 2x.  While teammates Matthew B and Alex L brought home gold and The Kevin & Barbara Barry Cup for the State Championship in this event!

Morgan M and Katelyn B earned gold in the Women’s Jr Novice 2x and the state championship, “The Jeff Mork Cup”.

Coach Flynn, “We are excited about the prospects that these race results show in our young, novice athletes.  They are certainly stepping up after only a few months of rowing!!”  Coach Dee, “We can’t wait to see what they will be capable of with more confidence and race experience.  We have an amazing group of young people!  Our next race will be the Central Youth Championships on May 6 & 7 where we plan to test our novices in varsity events.”


Woodlands Senior Signs With University of Texas Women’s Crew

Katelyn Bouthillette a senior at the Woodlands High School signed her letter of intent to row with the University of Texas Women’s Rowing Team on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.  A celebration was held in her honor the following Saturday.  Her coaches presented her with a traditional gift of a pen.  Coach Dee, “It is customary to give a signing athlete a commemorative pen to sign their letter of intent with, even though we live in the electronic age and Katelyn signed her letter electronically, Coach Joe and I felt it important to keep this tradition alive.  She will use her pen throughout the rest of her senior year and through college to remember our pride in her and what she has accomplished!”

Katelyn, although new to rowing, has demonstrated her athleticism and competitiveness.  She will be a tremendous asset to the Longhorn rowing program!  She will be competing this weekend at the Texas Championships in Austin.

2017 Space City Sprints

Rowing Club of the Woodlands dominates at Seabrook Regatta hosted by Bay Area Rowing Club on Saturday, April 8th, 2017.  In spite of strong head winds and deteriorating conditions our team proved themselves ready to compete in every event.

We are proud to have adults and youth rowers representing our team with skill and sportsmanship.  Parents also get in the action by providing support carrying equipment and enthusiastic cheers from shore!  We kicked off the event with C Dixon winning the first silver medal in the men’s master 40 and under single.  K Waddell earned the gold and J Schrick the silver in the men’s master over 40 single.  Mr Waddell and Schrick also earned the gold in the masters double event!  Also competing for our adults were S Smith and L Longbottom in the women’s double.

Our junior team dominated the junior events as follows:

Women’s Junior Novice 2x, Gold to M Masso and M Miller

Mens Junior Novice 1x, Gold to R Ivory-Ganja, Silver to C Kennedy, Bronze to S Huckabay

Women’s Junior 1x, Gold to C Dixon (this is no typo, this is Mr Dixon’s daughter.  We are proud of our families and the tradition that brings our team!)

Women’s Junior Novice 1x, Gold to M Masso, Silver to M Miller

Men’s Junior Novice 2x, Gold to C Kennedy and S Huckabay

Men’s Junior 1x, Gold to J Holdsworth

Men’s Junior 4x, Gold to J Holdsworth, C Kennedy, R Ivory-Ganja, S Huckabay

Men’s Junior 2x, Gold to J Holdsworth, R Ivory-Ganja

The two men in that last double went directly from one race to the next without rest, after winning each race by good margin.  Our full team will be competing in two weeks at the Texas Championships in Austin, TX.



RCTW Coach Joe Flynn Named to the US Rowing Board of Directors

USRowing Announces Four New Board Members

For Immediate Release: March 6, 2017


PRINCETON, N.J. – USRowing is pleased to announce the addition of four directors to the organization’s board. These four join the ten current members and represent a wide breadth and depth of experience and expertise which will help guide the strategic growth of USRowing. The USRowing Board of Directors is now at full strength.“We’re honored to welcome such a distinguished group of new board members, and look forward to working together to deliver on our vision and long-term growth strategy,” said USRowing Board of Directors Interim President Meghan O’Leary. “On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to thank all who expressed interest in joining and encourage you to stay involved with USRowing with your local club and the national organization and to put your impressive qualifications and skills to work for the betterment of our sport.”

Meet our new directors:

  • Joe Flynn: Southeast Representative (term ends March 2018)

Joe has rowed, coached, sold video performance software, raised money, and supported rowing for over 50 years. Joe rowed at Orange Coast College and The University of California-Berkeley, from where he graduated. He then moved to coach at Orange Coast College under Coach Dave Grant. His coaching campaigns included The Western Sprints, the IRA Championships, The Henley Royal Regatta and The Dublin Regatta. Joe then coached for four years and taught U.S. History, Civics, and Psychology at his alma mater Skyline High School in Oakland, Calif. He then started a 40-year career in information technology and senior management with Bank of America, Reliant Energy, and Citibank, building banking/business applications worldwide. Joe currently is coaching juniors at  Rowing Club of the Woodlands in Texas alongside Coach Dee Hotop. Joe is currently an information technology consultant with GLG Consulting, Austin, Texas.

  • Charlie Haight: At-Large Director (term ends March 2018)

Born and raised in Poughkeepsie N.Y., Charlie has been a lifelong participant in rowing. Starting out as a coxswain at Poughkeepsie High School, Charlie later became a competitive masters oarsmen at New Haven Rowing Club. Charlie has had a long and successful career in college and university fundraising and alumni affairs, working for a variety of prestigious institutions including Yale University for 16 years and Hobart and William Smith for three years. Charlie served as Vice President for Development at Mount Holyoke College for 16 years and the last five years has served as Senior Associate Dean for Alumni Relations and Resource Development at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Charlie lives in Amherst, Mass.

  • Marcia Hooper: Female Vice Chair (term ends March 2019)

Marcia is a dedicated supporter of rowing and has been involved with the sport since the mid-1970’s when she helped launch the Brown Women’s crew program. She has remained involved with Brown University serving as president of the Friends of Brown Women’s Crew, as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Athletics, and as an officer of the Brown University Sports Foundation. Marcia has served as co-chair of the National Rowing Foundation since 2012 and has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting USRowing and the U.S. national teams. She also serves as a managing director and board member of the Head of the Charles Regatta. A resident of Dedham Mass., Marcia is currently President of HooperLewis, LLC, an entrepreneurial consulting and angel investing firm and serves as senior advisor to Bowside Capital, a private equity firm. Marcia currently rows at Cambridge Boat Club in Cambridge, Mass.

  • Steve Shure: Northwest Representative (term ends March 2020)

Steve lives in Seattle, Wash., where he has been affiliated with the Pocock Rowing Center and Seattle Rowing Center clubs. His primary involvement in rowing is as a parent, which has provided him deep and ongoing exposure to the sport in all stages, from initial involvement with novices, regional and national competition, U.S. national team selection processes, collegiate rowing, and as a host family for national team athletes. Steve is the Vice President of Worldwide Consumer Marketing for Amazon.com, having joined Amazon as the first global leader of Amazon Prime. Steve and his family moved to Seattle in 2006 after a 20-year career with Time Inc., where he oversaw marketing for major publications including People, Sports Illustrated, Ski, Skiing, Outdoor Life, and more. In 1996, Steve served as Publisher of the Sports Illustrated Olympic Daily, a full-color magazine sold at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Games. Steve played soccer for Harvard University, from which he graduated Magna Cum Laude in History and Science.


The four Board vacancies, per the Bylaws, were filled by appointment of the Board of Directors. The Board issued a request for candidate submissions on January 24 and accepted submissions through February 1. The Board’s nominating committee, chaired by Kris Thorsness, evaluated the candidates by looking at the range of skills needed to support the work of USRowing including development (fundraising, sponsorships, and grants), event management, new rowing markets (fitness, open-water, touring, indoor rowing), and business leadership.

“We were incredibly impressed by the interest, enthusiasm, and qualifications of the entire group of applicants,” said Thorsness. “Given the number of highly qualified applicants, this was by far the most difficult decision the nominating committee has made.”

The next Board meeting will take place in Princeton, N.J. March 18-19 and, as always, will be open to the entire rowing community. Details will be forthcoming later this week.


About USRowing
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 75,000 individual members and 1,350 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners