Three male rowers nab college scholarships

The Vashon Island Rowing Club will send three graduating male rowers to row for Division I schools, countering a common misconception that colleges with rowing programs are only interested in girls.

Jacob Plihal, Tate Gill and Baxter Call will all row for their chosen schools. And while all three have excellent academic records, their paths to collegiate rowing have been quite different.

Unlike women’s rowing, men’s rowing is not an NCAA sport, and this is often misunderstood to mean that colleges only put money into women’s rowing. In fact, men’s rowing chose not to join the NCAA. This choice can actually lead to better offers to qualified athletes, given that the NCAA has many limits regarding scholarship money.

Plihal was heavily recruited by many Division I programs, including several Ivy League schools, and ultimately decided on Northeastern, where he plans to study architecture and was offered an athletic scholarship worth 75 percent of his tuition, room and board.

Gill applied to schools that he liked academically but also had strong rowing programs, and was offered an athletic scholarship to Boston University, where he plans to study engineering. Gill  received an offer for 60 percent of his tuition, room and board.

Call’s path to a Division I rowing program came in the form of an academic scholarship to Oregon State University, where he plans to study environmental science or pre-med. After Call spoke to the school’s rowing coach and provided his rowing credentials, the coach asked that he apply to the school, and according to Call and his parents, he heard back with an acceptance and the scholarship offer within days.


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