34 Years and Still Growing
Melbourne High School began participating in the oldest collegiate sport in America in 1977, sponsored by teachers Pat Hernacki and Earl Wheeler.
At this time there were only a handful of schools and youth clubs in Florida, but with excellent help from Florida Tech Crew Alumni acting as the primary coaching source, Melbourne HS Rowing began to take shape.
Over the last 30 years rowing at Melbourne HS has seen it's fair share of ups and downs. Team size has varied over the years, but throughout there has always been an attitude of competitiveness and energy that drives the kids and parents from year to year. Today Mel Hi Crew is the only high school in Brevard County with a rowing team.
The team has represented Melbourne High School in local, state, regional, and national competitions with the Men's double taking 2nd place at the National level. Former rowers have gone on to compete at the collegiate level, earn scholarships, and also move into coaching positions at various levels.
34 years later Melbourne HS Rowing is still challenging at the state championships and competing at scholastic nationals. Now Florida is represented by over 40 organizations at the youth and scholastic level. Florida rowers have shown themselves to be amongst the top in the country, and Melbourne HS has a chance to compete against the very best at every regatta.
We still have the local community to thank for our continued existence through its generous financial support of our fundraisers. Florida Tech had provided storage and a practice site for the past 32 years- and former rowers as coaches; this past season we moved our home to Ballard Park. Parents still run the organization and keep the focus of coaching and training in the hands of the coaches. With the generorous help of everyone this organization is still going strong.