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Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

Signed: Lili Demarco

Signed: Lili Demarco

If you’ve ventured into a movie theater recently, you probably have seen a preview for the film “The Boys in the Boat” based on the University of Washington rowing team. For many people, this trailer was the first time they had heard of rowing, let alone acknowledged that the activity was a sport that one could play in college. However, if you have ever talked with senior Lili Demarco about her daily after-school and post-Enloe plans, you would be fairly familiar with the sport. In the on-season, she goes straight from school to practice every day, a testament to her dedication. It has certainly paid off, as she recently announced her Division I commitment to UNC-Chapel Hill for rowing. 

Inspired by her best friend’s sister, Demarco began rowing in seventh grade, joining Triangle Rowing Club and quickly falling in love with the sport. “There are different boat categories you can race [in] with different numbers of people,” says Demarco of TRC’s event organizations. “Teams are divided into different levels, so within the varsity women’s level, you could have a 1v, 2v, and a 3v. Throughout the season, you compete to get different seats on different boats, and obviously, you want to be in the 1v, which is the [fastest].” After six years with TRC, she has become a varsity captain and races within the varsity 1v boat category. She described her journey by saying, “I started out being a middle schooler. I was the worst. Now I’m a [high school] senior on varsity and a captain, and all these people look up to me.” The pride she shows in her growth is evident, and her dedication to her beloved sport is inspiring. 

Demarco participates in the eight boat, meaning eight rowers to a vessel, and the pair events, traveling all over the country to participate in competitions, or regattas. While the pair tends to be more of a challenge for rowers, Demarco cites it as her favorite event. Despite sitting in the front seat, known as the ‘bow seat,’ which requires steering and rowing simultaneously, she says, “I love the pair. I love it because it [requires] a lot more effort and work. It’s really rewarding and I love my pair partner. I don’t think I would ever race it with anyone else.” The friendships built on her team are strong, and she spoke very highly of the sport’s community. “It’s great to work on myself and get faster on my own, but I also get to do it with other people,” she adds. Her rowing community is not only limited to her team but expands outward throughout various states and regions. Demarco recognizes the gravity that such a community provides and is grateful for the relationships she has gained. While it extends across state lines, the rowing community is one big family in her eyes. 

Hearing about Demarco’s love of the sport makes it clear why she decided to continue rowing in college. She moved up to varsity her sophomore year and said she “really enjoyed the higher level of competitiveness.” That switch, she points out, is when she began to gain the attention of collegiate rowing teams. That attention only grew as she continued to compete and excel at a high level. Demarco spent a large part of her junior year at Enloe visiting colleges and taking calls with different coaches. “UNC was there from the start,” Demarco said, “[and] it was always really steadfast and appealing.” After attending an official visit to Chapel Hill in October of last year, she was set. Her passion and excitement for the school are infectious, making it evident why they wanted her on their team. 

Even with her excitement, beginning a collegiate athletic career is still nerve-racking, especially because of the intense practice schedule. Demarco explained the vigorous weekly commitment: multiple daily practices and lift sessions, all while attending classes pursuing a business management degree. However, she is confident in her community, saying, “I have a great support group of people I know there.”

To Demarco, rowing is not only a sport or a fun hobby— it’s a craft to which she has dedicated years of her life. Demarco chiefly credits the sport with establishing her discipline and problem-solving skills. Chapel Hill is lucky to have her, and here at Enloe, we can’t wait to see all she accomplishes, both as an athlete and a person. It is undeniable that Lili Demarco’s future is bright.

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About the Contributor
Kelley Calvillo, Opinion and Creative Writing Editor
(She/her) Kelley Calvillo is so excited to return to Newspaper, this year as Opinion and Creative Writing Co-Editor. Outside of newspaper, she is a member of Enloe Dance Ensemble and President of the Butterfly Effect Club. When not writing or in the dance studio, you can find Kelley eating fruit, telling super funny jokes, or watching teeny bopper romance movies.
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