The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Ali Shiekh embodies academic and athletic dedication

From his dedication to academics to his talent as a rower to his vibrant personality, senior Ali Shiekh sets an example for his fellow teammates.

Rowers grunt, pushing with all their might as eight blue and red oars splash down into the Charles River synchronized perfectly. After they finish, they’ll gather around senior and three-year varsity player Ali Shiekh for well-deserved reflection on their progress.

The boys varsity crew team spends all year together, working to improve their rowing skills. While this improvement often takes place during practice, it also results from the reflection and bonding heralded by Shiekh. Shiekh is an exemplary rower and student, acting as a role model for his teammates.

Shiekh started rowing during his freshman year, following in his sister’s footsteps. He said he found the four-season practice schedule more enjoyable than any other sport he’s played. Shiekh said he appreciates the crew team’s inclusivity and how it differs from other teams he has played for.

“The team itself would try to bring everybody up, as opposed to just the top guys,” Shiekh said. “I really liked that about the rowing team.”

Senior and varsity rower Elliot Stolyarov said that in addition to being an outstanding rower, Sheikh is a model for academic success.

“He is a very good example of balancing schoolwork and academics as well as crew because he’s also committed to the team just like everybody else. And he’s spending the time that we are at practice, but he also manages to keep a very high standard academically,” Stolyarov said.

Senior and Shiekh’s long-time friend Cullen Cox said Shiekh manages to take high-level courses and come to the river every day to help the team.

“His biggest strength is balancing all of the incredible stuff he’s doing in his life,” Cox said. “He is able to have a really positive outlook on everything he’s doing and just come into everything being super happy.”

From his talent as a rower to his work ethic in school, Cox said Shiekh is admirable.

“He stands out for being an exemplary student-athlete,” Cox said. “He embodies everything about being a good student while still being a very committed rower.”

After practice, Shiekh will gather the team on the river shore to reflect on how they’ll strive to improve at the next practice. During these reflections, Cox said that Shiekh ensures the team acknowledges their successes even when failures or obstacles emerge.

“He’s super supportive and nice to me,” Cox said. “That just inspires me to, when I’m trying to improve my rowing, try to improve the team. He helps me do that by just supporting others and making others feel welcome and not having a negative outlook.”

According to Stolyarov, Shiekh’s attitude is integral to his character; it serves as a role model for the entire team.

“He’s a very vibrant, lively person on the team,” Stolyarov said. “He’s a central part of the circle of friends and he makes us all laugh a lot.”

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