I like what has been said. Practice your roll in a lake until you're sick of it. Head Down!!! When you get to the river, you'll have a better chance at making it if you are in a bigger boat -- make sure that you are in a creeker, and not a small playboat. Newbies tend to "survive", rather than "perform". We are lucky here in Colorado, we get to practice alot with our buddies to help when we swim. People out here are also usually very willing to help you right there on the spot.
The river is a "different ballgame". Don't forget that... My advice on the Ocoee is simple... lean very slightly forward, and paddle hard!
Have Fun! It's a great sport!
"I'm putting a personal bounty on the head of Tim McCrackin. He's the coach, and chief punk on that Syracuse team. A hundred bucks of my own money to the first of my boys who really nails that creep!" --Coach Reg Dunlop, Charlestown Chiefs