Student Athlete Profile: Patricia Nease

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Patrica Nease coxswains a race with the Pioneer Men’s Crew team.

For most athletes, an injury in pre-season would be detrimental to their season. But because of CHS Junior Patricia Nease’s injury during cross country the August of her freshman year, she decided to join the Pioneer Crew team. Now almost two and half years later, Nease is one of the captains of the men’s team and claims that her injury is one of the best things that ever happened to her.

Patrica Nease coxswains a race with the Pioneer Men's Crew team.

Nease is one of the coxswains for the team. The coxswain’s main priority is safety. She makes sure all of the the rowers are safe, along with all of the expensive equipment. She also ‘half way’ runs practice. “Our coaches aren’t actually physically in the boats with us, they’re just next to us. So I do most of the calling of stuff and talk to the crew… They have a harder time communicating with our coaches on the water, because they are far away and they can’t hear us as much…so they can communicate to me easier,” Nease said.

“It’s like in old time when there are like the slaves rowing the boat, it’s the big fat guy in the back with the whip,” she joked.

Nease has the unique experience of being on the men’s crew team instead of the women’s team. At the end of her freshman year Nease was invited to coxswain one of the men’s boats that was going to Canadian Nationals, because they needed another coxswain. She has been a part of the men’s team for all but one season since then.

At the end of the 2011 fall season Nease was approached by one of Pioneer’s coaches telling her that she was going to be one of three captains. “It was kind of shocking, but at the same time it was like ‘Yes! I am doing something right, obviously,’’ said Nease.

Some of the first-year rowers were a little unsettled with  a woman was going to be the captain of the men’s team, but most of them were fine with it. The coaches and team are used to it because it is not the first time a woman has been captain of the men’s team.The men’s team does not treat Nease any different because she is a woman. “Basically I’m one of them. Often times they forget that I’m there…They just talk about whatever they want…Most of the time they’re like ‘yeah whatever she’s here.’ Obviously they have a certain amount of respect for me,” she said.

“The men’s team is my favorite. They’re my guys,” Nease said with a smile.

Being a part of the Pioneer High School Crew team has been an experience unlike anything Nease has ever done. “It’s such a team sport. You can’t do anything without the guy in front of you or behind you, it just doesn’t work. You all have to be there together, working for the same goal. Without people getting along and working together it would just not work,” she said.