History of Episcopal Rowing
Episcopal School of Jacksonville's rowing program began in the fall of 1971. That was the same year that Charlie Platt, a seasoned teacher from New England and beloved rowing coach from Camp Pasquaney, began teaching History at Episcopal. With little to start with, he founded the men's rowing team using borrowed equipment from Jacksonville University. At that time, rowing wasn't a Florida High School Activities Association sanctioned sport and only four high school rowing programs existed in the state. After receiving the enthusiastic endorsement of Headmaster Horton Reed and Athletic Director Jim diArmond, Charlie took what he recalls as "a group of relatively non-athletic, mostly senior recruits" with him each afternoon to row at Jacksonville University.
After a year, Charlie's parents donated two used Fours to Episcopal and the team began practicing regularly at the river front home of another faculty member, Captain Fred Taeusch. The 1972 team only had enough rowers to put one of the Fours in the water, but enthusiasm on campus spread quickly, and twenty-six oarsmen turned out the following year. The varsity four raced twice in 1973, losing to Winter Park in the first race, then defeating the boys from Howey Academy. 1973 also saw the progam installed, temporarily, on the riverbank of our School's main campus. A year later, Episcopal acquired the scenic Ray Knight property on Pottsburg Creek, and we have rowed from there ever since.
In 1974, Orlando's Winter Park and Edgewater rowing programs went co-ed; so Episcopal did too, with four girls listed on the 1974 roster, one (Antoinette Trout) as the coxswain of the men's varisity eight. In 1978, Charlie Platt, now endearingly called "BC" (short for Bad Charlie) and a group of students built a boat storage building and floating dock on the Ray Knight property using funds donated by the Booster's Club and key materials, engineering and architectural expertise donated by parents. Dedicated on January 10, 2004, the Walton Boathouse replaced the storage building that served our program for 25 years.
The Episcopal School of Jacksonville rowing program is built on tradition, devotion to the sport and pride in our School and our athletes. At Episcopal, rowing is more than just another school sport; it is an opportunity to be part of something special, an opportunity to participate in a unique and rewarding team building experience.
We appreciate the ongoing support received from parents and alumni, from the school and the rowing community in Jacksonville. Through that generous support, Episcopal Rowing has been able to continue the legacy of being one of the finest award winning middle school and high school rowing programs in the nation. We placed first in the 2016 & 2017 North Florida Regional/City Championship. Our boys 1V8+, 2V8+ and 3V8+ placed 1st in the 2018 North Florida Regional Championship. We were 2016 & 2018 City of Jacksonville Champions. We finished 3rd place scholastic in the 2016 FSRA State Sweep Championship and finished 2nd place scholastic in the State of Florida competing among 41 other schools and rowing clubs in the 2017 FSRA State Sweep Championship held at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida. GO EAGLES!