Rowing is far from a platform in Jotham Stein’s campaign for St. Charles mayor, but it remains a longtime passion.
To that end, Stein is eager to speak at an upcoming meeting of the St. Charles Rowing Club, set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave.
A four-year crew member at Princeton, Stein keeps a rowing shell in the basement of his law offices and has remained active in the sport since walking on with the Tigers in the early 1980s.
“It’s about being in sync with the person in front of you. Putting full pressure on while still being in sync,” Stein said. “That’s the beauty of watching it and the difficulty of doing it.”
Club co-founders Chris Meldrum and Dave Miller aim to attract high school and junior athletes to the Fox River with their new venture, an objective Stein feels “could be a wonderful outlet for young people.”
That’s exactly what Stein discovered in his first few days on the Princeton campus. A high school soccer player in Long Island who knew he lacked NCAA Division I skill, Stein recalls seeing a shell propped against a gymnasium wall as he perused an activities mart during “freshman week.”
Crew took him to a number of the sport’s storied venues, including the Henley Royal Regatta on the River Thames in England. Stein later befriended Darryl Strickler, a St. Charles resident who operates Rowable Classics, a not-for-profit operation for wooden rowing shell enthusiasts.
Meldrum and Miller recently launched a club website, saintcharlesrowing.com, on the heels of a preliminary meeting in December.
“Hopefully, we’ll start rowing as soon as we can,” Meldrum said. “As soon as the weather breaks and the water’s safe and there’s no ice floating in it, we’ll take the kids who are interested and be ready to go.”
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Hockey, here he comes: Batavia senior Matt Koske imposed a fluid trading deadline on himself when he traveled to Springfield, Mo., to watch his brother play hockey this week.
A forward for the Fox Valley Hawks, Koske arranged to see older brother Mark skate for Iowa State in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division III nationals before the Hawks embarked on their ongoing, upset-laden postseason.
Koske and his father, Kevin, left for southwest Missouri after school Monday, hours before the Hawks defeated Maine Township, 1-0, to advance to Thursday’s state quarterfinals against Bartlett. With Iowa State losing the first two of its three guaranteed games, Koske planned to reverse course and arrive in time to play in the Hawks’ game at 8:25 p.m. Thursday in Bensenville.
“I want to leave everything out on the ice, you know. Just want to play my best,” Koske said. “It could potentially be my last game, you know. It’s sad, but it was worth it.”
Koske does not intend to pursue collegiate club hockey, and plans to major in digital film at DePaul.
He left this week knowing his teammates understood his situation, and is hopeful his return adds a spark to the attack.
Years of travel tournaments with Geneva-based Cyclones Hockey familiarized Koske with the narrative of lengthy game-day travel. Once, he and the Cyclones played shortly after flying to a tournament in New York. An eight-plus hour commute of homework and napping in the family SUV didn’t figure to be so bad.
“Sometimes you go straight to the game and don’t have the night in between,” Koske said. “You do have the jet lag in between, but if you get a good stretch in, you’ll be fine.”
Snow day for Saints: The following was part of a snowy postgame exchange between yours truly and St. Charles East girls coach Paul Jennison after the Saints’ 1-0, season-opening loss at Fremd Tuesday.
Neither Jennison nor the Saints took the loss particularly hard considering the conditions and white turf.
KD: Now, you know your beautiful game [soccer]. How often have you seen it played in the snow?
PJ: I won’t lie. When we were warming up and that snow flurry hit and all this turned up, I was thinking, ‘Bloody, this is the first time I’ve ever seen this. This is crazy.’ But, no, it was a lot of fun and they looked good out there. It’s going to be a great season. No doubt in my mind we’re going to get far and we’re going to push our depth. It’s going to be very exciting to play against top competition moving forward, you know.
• Kevin Druley is a sports writer for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or email@example.com.