In his 13 years as head coach of the North­eastern men’s rowing team, John Pojednic has anchored plenty of teams capable of com­peting with the country’s best. This season’s squad has a sim­ilar talent level, but also stands out in one cru­cial way: its strong depth across sev­eral classes.

What is unique here is that we have a team right now with sim­ilar ability to pre­vious crews that per­formed very well,” Pojednic explained, “but the strength is coming from guys who are pri­marily juniors and sophomores.”

This season, Pojednic said, will serve as an oppor­tu­nity to test that depth and shed light on how far the team can go.

Among those returning for North­eastern are two rowers who com­peted in the Under-​​23 World Cham­pi­onships in Lithuania over the summer: Justin Jones for the United States and Ryan Rosts for Canada.

We’re really excited to have two young guys go abroad to race in the World Cham­pi­onships and bring that kind of expe­ri­ence back to the team,” Pojednic said.

Jones manned the all-​​important stroke seat for North­eastern last year, during which the club fin­ished the reg­ular season with six wins against just two losses. Pojednic praised the rower’s ability to set the team’s rhythm, which, he said, plays a big part in overall suc­cess. As he put it, “We expect Justin to play a key role in the next steps the team takes.”

Sopho­more Sean Crowley made his mark on Northeastern’s freshman team last season, according to Pojednic’s prac­ticed eye. The coach noted that the crew “really started to shine” once Crowley moved to the stroke seat.

He added, “He did a really great job of pro­viding lead­er­ship, and will make a big impact moving forward.”

The rowing season is long and rig­orous, a chal­lenge that Pojednic said will test the team’s phys­ical, mental and emo­tional matu­rity. In the fall, the team will com­pete in head-​​style, single-​​file three-​​mile races, which Pojednic noted would help the team bulk up and “build the engine we’ll need come spring.”

In Jan­uary, the team will head to Florida for a week­long training ses­sion in prepa­ra­tion for the second half of the reg­ular season. The spring schedule fea­tures 2,000-meter head-​​to-​​head matchups against a tough slate of oppo­nents in the Eastern Asso­ci­a­tion of Rowing Col­leges. The Inter­col­le­giate Rowing Asso­ci­a­tion cham­pi­onships will take place in May.

Our goals are to be in the hunt for podium fin­ishes at both our con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship and the national cham­pi­onship,” Pojednic said. “That’s where we want to be as North­eastern oarsmen.”