My son, a sophomore, has been on his school crew team for the last 2 years. This is a very competitive program that consistently excels at the state and national level. They practice 6 days a week for the entire school year as well as during Christmas and spring break. He just learned that the only way to get a varsity letter is if you are in the "A" boat at the state championships which take place at the end of the school year. There is definitely a possibility that he could be in the "A" boat for several races throughout the year but not in the state final race, thus never earning a varsity letter. (Supposedly this has happened to several kids over the years) He loves crew but is worried that he may not have a varsity letter by the end of junior year when he starts applying to the academies. How bad is it if he never gets that varsity letter? Would the admissions board know of the commitment involved if he stuck with crew? He could switch to track/cross country and earn letters there but would then have to give up rowing since there is no way to do any other sport while on the crew team.