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Voyaging to Allegheny

Sailing trip helped shape ’Dogs Rumble

Submitted photo Poland soccer standout Adam Rumble competes in a game last year for the Bulldogs. Rumble will play at Allegheny College next year.

Adam Rumble is more than a Poland High School senior who had nine goals and three assists for the Bulldogs boys soccer team last season.

He’s more than an athlete heading to Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., this fall.

Go back a couple of years in Rumble’s high school career.

He used to go to the Pymatuning Yacht Club in Jamestown, Pa., sailing with his father, Ed. His father spotted a sailboat in Spain and wanted to bring it back to the United States. He saw Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, where sailboats started off the west coast of Africa and trekked over to St. Lucia, located in the Eastern Caribbean. There were close to 200 sailboats in mass force heading west in November. It was one of many ventures ARC does.

Adam, although he was just about to turn 15 years old, wanted to join his father on this voyage.

Submitted photo Adam Rumble was at the helm on this sailboat, which transported him and others from the west African coast to St. Lucia, taking shifts to give the auto pilot a break.

“He paused for a second. He said I could make that work (from school),” Adam said. “I feel I could learn more from this experience than 25 days of school. I could make up all the work, and we got it done.”

Adam said out on the water they’re not close to the other boats, about 50 miles from the next one. They were going off internet and radar as their guide.

“It’s pretty scary stuff being out there,” Adam said.

He and Ed were part of about half a dozen people aboard the vessel, taking hour-and-a-half shifts. They rotate, so it’s about 3 hours on the deck. Adam sometimes took the helm to give the auto pilot a break.

People from Croatia, Spain and England were aboard.

“Plenty of stories to go around and plenty of time to have them told,” Adam said. “Just really eye-opening for me at such a young age to do something like that.”

Their boat made it to St. Lucia in 18 days, while a racing team advanced in only 10. Some boats took around 35 days.

Adam viewed the festival in St. Lucia, welcoming the incoming vessels.

That experience shaped Adam into not only the person, but the soccer player he is today.

“He’s had some amazing experiences in his life outside of school and outside of soccer,” Poland coach Brian Garcar said. “I think those are some he’s going to remember. He enjoyed them when they occurred, and made him into the individual he is today.”

Adam graduating from Poland will leave a huge void in the Bulldogs program, which finished 11-4-3 in 2019, but Adam faces challenges at the next level.

“His biggest transition is going to be the speed and the size of the players at college,” Garcar said. “Adam is one of the most skilled players we’ve had come through our program. I know he’s continuing to work on his individual skills. I think he’s putting a lot of time in right now to get bigger and stronger and faster, trying to make sure his transition in the fall is going to be a smooth one for him.”

He’ll have some help along the way.

His older brother, Evan, is a soccer captain at Allegheny. He has been working out with Adam the past few offseasons — with conditioning and lifting. They would normally be inside Dave Pavlansky Field, shooting on the soccer goals, but the COVID-19 pandemic closed school facilities through April and most of May.

Evan is recovering from an ACL injury as well.

Adam is looking forward to finding that balance between academic and athletics at Allegheny — working on his game but concentrating on his physics major with a concentration on pre-engineering.

Adam’s journey with his father helped him sail through his life, learning how to maneuver through the proverbial crashing waves it brings.

“It goes beyond all of that,” he said. “It’s like my whole life. It makes me a little more ambitious of how much opportunity I have.”

He and his father have been talking about sailing the Atlantic again, making that epic voyage together.

“One day my father and I would like to go on another expedition,” Adam said. “Now would’ve been a good time to do it since we’re all stuck at home.”

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