UPDATED: October 22, 2017 at 3:22 p.m.
Following in the footsteps of a parent, especially a parent who excelled in athletics and academics, is no easy task. For the Anderson family, however, this has become the norm.
Steve Anderson ’85 played four years of football at Harvard as a defensive end. Throughout his career, Anderson displayed a grit and tenacity on the gridiron that earned him All-American honors.
Twenty years later, Anderson’s sons, seniors Eric and Travis and sophomore Bryce, have continued their father’s legacy in both academics and athletics. Travis and Bryce are currently on the men’s heavyweight crew team, and Eric rowed for the team in his freshman and junior years.
Throughout elementary school and high school, the Anderson brothers participated in many different sports, but all eventually settled on crew. Bryce, although the youngest, began rowing first at Greenwich Water Club and eventually drew both his brothers into the sport. Travis and Eric eventually joined the Maritime Rowing Club, a 30-minute drive away from their home in Cos Cob, Conn.
“I was swimming, Bryce used to do diving, Eric had some other sports,” Travis said. “By the time high school came around, we all were looking for something new, and Bryce kind of led us into rowing.”
At the Maritime Rowing Club, Eric and Travis were paired in a double together, but initially struggled to row efficiently.
“Over time we realized, we should be able to do much better than than this,” Travis said. “And so I guess that ended up being good because we learned how to work better together, just both in rowing and in life.”
There was always, and continues to be, a healthy competitive culture between the brothers.
“We’re definitely really competitive brothers,” Bryce said. “We’ve all been competitive with grades or anything like that. It was definitely a constructive competitiveness, I suppose because we all weren’t necessarily amazing at crew or anything like that. We would kind of push ourselves with crew, [and] with academics, and we all ended up here.”
In this mutual competition, the Anderson brothers had the help of not only their father but also their mother, Kathy, who supported her children through numerous school events, music performances, and athletic contributions. Both parents pushed the Anderson brothers to make the most of their talents.
“I think there’s always amongst siblings, especially when you have twins like Eric and Travis, but I think it was a good, healthy competition,” the elder Anderson said. “It was neat for me because they all get in to crew, and I know[knew] nothing about crew until they started rowing, so it was a good new sport for me to learn, and very selfishly from a scheduling standpoint, it’s nice that they are all on the same schedule.”
Steve Anderson grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and was recruited to Harvard to play football.
“I had a dad who worked in a factory and mom who was a secretary, so I was pretty much a full scholarship kid back in the ’80s,” Steve Anderson said. “But I saw if you can combine strong academics and strong athletics, that’s a pretty good combination.”
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