As the University of Wisconsin men’s rowing varsity team and Head Coach Chris Clark prepared for the Head of the Charles race in Boston last weekend, Assistant Coach Beau Hoopman and the rest of the coaching staff had some big decisions to make as far as how the rest of the men’s rowing roster will look. Out of the 80 total rowers on the roster, 14 went to Boston while the other 66 stayed behind. Thirty-five freshmen will be chosen for the final roster after cuts this week so that the team can have their best possible lineup for the freshman race at the North Star Regatta in Minneapolis next week.After the Head of the Newville scrimmage last weekend, Hoopman feels the freshmen squad is “relatively competitive” compared to previous years and that a couple of the freshmen boats are already “pulling varsity scores.”Hoopman said it’s not often the team gets recruits that are immediately capable of pulling off varsity scores, so this is very promising feedback for a program that is seeking its first national championship since 2008. Football: Can Badgers, Hornibrook find their mojo against Illini?Wisconsin Badgers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) will greet a middling Illinois Illini (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) at Camp Randall Saturday Read…For even the best recruits, the tough transition from high school to college rowing can be a challenge.“[The biggest transition is] easily the speed,” Hoopman said. “It’s just something that the newcomers aren’t used to and it takes some adjusting to.”Despite the difficult adjustment period, Hoopman has faith in the young group and seems to think that some of the freshmen are varsity material. But he wasn’t quite ready to give any names with freshmen cuts approaching.Ultimately, it often comes down to which players want it the most.“I expect all of them to make it, but we’ll see who sticks with it and really puts in the work,” Hoopman said.Rowing is a sport that is often much more than just natural talent, so when there are exceptionally hard workers on a team, it’s common for them to leap beyond those that are more physically gifted or have more experience going in. Hoopman has noticed one novice rower in particular that has surpassed some of the more experience rowers due to his hard work in the first couple months of the training season — though again, the coach wouldn’t discuss any names.Volleyball: Badgers welcome Cornhuskers for Friday night showdownThe No. 9 University of Wisconsin Women’s Volleyball team (12-4, 5-3 Big Ten) is set to welcome the No. 5 Read…It doesn’t help that Wisconsin typically doesn’t get the most competitive recruits compared to top rowing schools on the East and West coast, so this is a team that is more reliant on the development of less experienced rowers. But this lack of top recruits hasn’t stopped Hoopman from believing in his rowers.“It’s very rare that we get competitive recruits, but this group is figuring it out pretty quick,” Hoopman said. “There’s some serious potential in some of our freshmen boats.” If these rowers achieve the potential that Hoopman seems to anticipate, this could be a very competitive Wisconsin rowing team in the near future. But their first true test of the season will come very soon.After making the final freshmen cuts, Hoopman and the slimmed down freshmen rowing roster will find out what they are made of next weekend in Minneapolis, where they will compete against top freshmen competition from other schools in the Midwest.