Winter Park High School Crew began in 1962 with a hand-me-down racing shell. When the North Orlando Optimist Club decided to sponsor a racing crew, the school leaped at the opportunity. That year, a ten-man WPHS crew raced the junior varsity teams of schools that rowed against Rollins College. Now, forty-seven years later, the hallways of WPHS are adorned with trophies from state, regional and national rowing championships.
A note in the 1962 WPHS Yearbook alluded to the future: “It is hoped that other schools in Florida will follow Winter Park’s lead and sponsor their own teams.” In fact, through the years more high schools around the state have added crew teams and Wildcat rivalries have grown to include Edgewater, Boone and Lake Brantley in the metropolitan Orlando area and Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Tampa, Melbourne, Sarasota and Miami statewide.
We now have a legacy that includes 31 Florida State Scholastic Rowing Championships, multiple Stotesbury Cup and Nationals medals, and alumni that have raced with some of the premier rowing colleges in the nations.