Team sports don’t stop at football for Travis Bolt

Ellie McDowell

More stories from Ellie McDowell

I can’t write
March 2, 2023

Suzanne Bolt

Travis (back middle) and some of his friends with their football playoff cuts

As the stadium lights beat down on the field, junior Travis Bolt said goodbye to the seniors on the team that he had been playing football with since he started high school, but maybe, it was less of a goodbye and more of a see you later.

Even though he is only a junior, Travis played football this fall with quite a few of his friends that will graduate this spring. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t still be around. He is excited to play one more season, but it will be different without those seniors.

“This year, it was kind of sad to see the seniors go,” Travis said. “It was just sad to say goodbye to the people that [I] made connections with, but I [continue to] talk to them through school. I have classes with them and hang out with them.”

Even in the off-season, Travis does what he can to stay in shape. One of his favorite ways to do this is to enjoy another sport–one that takes a lot of physical and mental effort.

Crew is a great way for him to keep up with weightlifting and stick to a regular practice schedule. Even though he’s not a coxswain—one of the leaders of the boat—Travis still does everything he can to stick to a regimented workout schedule. It is also a great way to keep his competitive spirit alive and make himself feel good every time he wins a race.

“[We practice] basically every single day for three months,” Travis said. “It is hard work, but it is gratifying when you do it. I feel good after races; I like to win, and the medals are pretty nice too.”

Although it is hard to stay motivated throughout the season, Travis still gets enjoyment out of all the hard work he puts into making his team better. He finds that for every ounce of effort he puts in, he is rewarded with a lovely medal and an amazingly strong family who will always stand behind him.

If Travis never had the urge to find a way to stay in shape during the football off-season, he may have never had the motivation to join the crew team; He also would’ve never reconnected with friends he had lost touch with.

In both sports, the end goal is a win, and everyone has to understand that if they aren’t all working together they won’t be able to beat their competition.”

“One of my buddies, [junior] Trevor Vanskiver, and I played baseball together,” Travis said, “but we weren’t really huge friends. Then, we rowed together and bonded over the sport.”

The draw to the sport is what brings the team together and allows them to build relationships that last a lifetime. The team rows together and works hard to make sure everyone is doing their part and performing at their best. Not only does it take a lot of individual work to build up your own personal strengths, but it also takes a team to strategically place people in each boat where they can show off their own strengths to ensure a win while also being able to work together like a well-oiled machine rowing in sync.

Just like the football team, being on the crew team takes a lot of work. Not a single person sits on the sideline and watches; it’s all a team effort. Everyone has to be able to work together to get to the final goal. In both sports, the end goal is a win, and everyone has to understand that if they aren’t all working together, they won’t be able to beat their competition.

“It’s painful,” Travis said, “but you’re in it together with everyone in the boat. We endure the pain together.”