Little Somers Ct. has no large rivers passing through it, no significant lakes. Hardly the place you would go looking for one of the most talented young rowers in the United States. Yet, that is exactly where you would need to go to find Alex Coverdill, a junior at Somers High School.
Standing six foot four and weighing in at around 220 pounds, Alex was long the future of the Ellington/Somers Knights football coaches’ plans. Coaches prayed Alex would carry on the tradition of family excellence in football started by his dad Rich, a Western New England University Hall of Fame lineman, and his two All-Conference brothers Sean and Brenden. That was Alex’s plan as well, until injury struck and he was unable to continue playing. Where does a young man turn when a dream is cut short? You create an even bigger dream.
In no time Alex stumbled upon the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club. Shortly thereafter he came under the tutelage of Coaches Erin Sprong and Sandy San Emeterio and the rest they say may be history. Once Alex set his sights on rowing, he began making large strides each time he was timed for a race. Each test brought new personal records, invitations to compete and in time recognition among talented rowers from around the country.
“When I walk into a competition now, people know I am there, not because of me but because Alex is standing next to me” says San Emeterio. “He is amazingly talented, and soon he will need a better coach”. Those words may prove prophetic sooner rather than later. Last week Coverdill was selected to the USA Junior Nationals rowing team. Selection to the team includes an invitation to go to Pittsburgh in June to try out for the international competitions that are scheduled for later this summer in Germany and Spain.
“It’s all kind of unbelievable” says Coverdill, a soft spoken and reserved 16 year-old. “I am going to just go there and do my best and whatever happens, happens.” If he does his best San Emeterio says “the sky is the limit.” “He has only been rowing 18 months he has only started to see his potential.” Could Somers, Ct. be the home of an Olympian someday? It’s too early to know, but Alex is turning heads and getting noticed.
The cost of the travel associated with this team is significant. If Coverdill is selected for international competition the cost will exceed $6,000. To help with that total a fund raiser is planned on June 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall located at 236 Main St. in Somers Ct. Tickets are $20 and the event will feature appetizers, full dinner, DJ, dancing, and Karaoke contests, as well as basket and 50-50 raffles. Proceeds from the event will go to assist in the costs associated with the summer camp and travel; however Alex insists some of the funds go back to the rowing team that gave him his start.
Anyone interested in making a donation to this cause, or to buy tickets, should contact Rich Tynan at 860-280-6505