Player Profiles, Sports

Meet The Spring Post-Graduates

Jacquie Diffley- Softball

Nitish Kaplat

With a background in multiple sports including field hockey, ice hockey, and softball, Jacquie Diffley ’16 will bring experience and raw athleticism to Andover Softball. Diffley began playing softball at a young age and played four years of softball at BB&N prior to Andover.

Diffley’s foremost goal is to become a good teammate both on and off the field. She hopes to bring positive energy, as well as her experience, to motivate the team to compete at a high level.

Head Coach Peter Drench said, “Jacquie brings her athletic ability and softball experience. Her competitive and joyful spirit – she enjoys playing in tough games – is a gift. As an important player on our field hockey and ice hockey teams this year, Jacquie has already added considerably to [Andover] teams.”

Coach Drench had high praise for Diffley after the flashes of talent he saw during preseason. “I know her well as a player and am confident that Jacquie will be a key contributor in the middle of our batting order, playing the outfield and, on occasion, the infield. She gives her best no matter what the challenge,” he said.

Teammate Kristina Haghdan ’17 said, “She is very versatile because she can play both infield and outfield, which allows her to contribute to the team in multiple ways. I expect her to improve and build stronger relationships on the team, and I am very excited to see how this season plays out with the development of Jacquie to be a reliable player.”

Diffley has already fit right in during the team’s preseason trip to Florida. Diffley said, “Spring training in Florida was a great time to get to know the team before the season officially started. I am looking forward to a great season.” After an undefeated season last year, the addition of Diffley will be beneficial in the push for another strong season.

Erin Gallo – Softball

Anjunae Chandran

Erin Gallo ’16, the 2015 Gatorade Massachusetts Softball Player of the Year, will play a key role in Andover’s success this season with her experience, talent, and humility. As a pitcher, Gallo will pair with Co-Captain and pitcher Kristina Haghdan ’17 to create a dangerous duo for Andover Softball’s opponents.

Following the athletic legacy of her parents, Gallo began playing softball at the age of five. Her parents made the quick decision to sign her up to a local recreational league, and through hard work and practice, Gallo became the star pitcher and hitter that she is today.

Gallo wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I played in the town league for five years, then joined my first competitive travel team when I was ten. I’ve played nonstop ever since.”

Haghdan said, “What [Gallo] is really good [at] is that she is able to throw off batters with different timed speeds, which I personally don’t have. I just have a consistent speed so we definitely complement each other in the sense that we have two different ways of throwing teams off balance especially if we face them more than once.”

Noting Gallo’s offensive prowess, Co-Captain Victoria Bergeron ’16 said, “Erin, now stepping in as our third batter, provides power because she is a very versatile hitter. She is a lefty, so she can slap, she can bunt for a base hit, and she can also be a power hitter. Erin is a great addition and she is helping us both offensively and defensively.”

Gallo wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I really feel this team has meshed and we’ve definitely gotten to know each other, which is going to help us a lot on the field. We played some great games in Florida and we are really excited to start our season.”

With the addition of Gallo, Andover is optimistic that it will have another successful season.

Richie Ciufo – Baseball

Anjunae Chandran

Modeling himself after Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox, shortstop Richard Ciufo ’16 hopes to make a large impact on Andover Boys Baseball this season with his passion for the game and leadership ability.

Ciufo wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I really like Pedroia. He’s a short guy who’s gritty and loves to play the game hard. I try and model my game off of players like him who are passionate about the game.”

Commenting on Ciufo’s performance and skills, fellow teammate Sam Conte ’18 said, “I would say that Richie is one of the best baseball players I’ve seen in a while. The way he conducts himself on and off the field is something that I want to acknowledge. [He is] adding to the team, coming in as a new [Post-Graduate], and becoming part of the team. He has a great relationship with everybody. He is willing to help the new kids to the program. And he has really become an amazing leader in this program.”

Ciufo’s skills on the diamond are largely due to his years of experience with baseball.

Ciufo wrote, “My dad put a glove on my hand the day I was born, and I’ve played ever since I was able to walk.”

Later in life, Ciufo progressed into a standout high school player. He played on the varsity baseball team at the Patchford-Medford High School in Medford, N.Y. for all four years that he attended. Now, Ciufo is ready to finish off his high school career with a successful season at Andover this spring.

Ciufo wrote, “Our team is ready to beat anyone we face. We’re a bunch of brothers, and I can’t wait to get out on the field with them. We had an awesome spring training trip, and we’re ready to get after it and compete for a championship.”

Nick Latham – Baseball

Nitish Kaplat

A seasoned baseball player from Salem, Mass., Nick Latham ’16 will bring leadership and versatility to the skilled lineup of Andover Boys Baseball this season.

Latham began playing baseball in his front yard with his father and neighbors and has been playing ever since. Recently, Latham played four years of varsity baseball at St. John’s Prep where he was captain during his Senior year. His team won three consecutive Catholic Conference Championships, and Latham won the Athletic Director’s Award for his leadership in baseball.

Latham hopes to help Andover at several positions.

“I believe I can come to the team and fill in an open spot in the outfield, while helping at first base and on the mound when needed. Hopefully I can add some power to the middle of the lineup and drive in a lot of runs,” said Latham.

Head Coach Kevin Graber said, “Nick is a really big bat in the middle of our lineup. He hits the ball hard, drives in runs, and adds power at the plate we lacked last year. Nick’s also extremely versatile – he’s an excellent outfielder and first baseman and will help us on the mound as well.”

Co-Captain Payton Jancsy ’16 already noticed the talent and immediate impact of Latham during the team’s preseason trip to Florida.

“Nick has brought leadership to the team. He is a seasoned vet and obviously knows how to swing the bat. He was one of our best pitchers and seemed to get the job done at first and in the outfield as well,” said Jancsy.

After falling to Worcester Academy last year in the Nepsac title game, Andover’s title chances will be buoyed by Latham this season.

Matt Wesolowski – Baseball

Andy Kim

After notching a standout performance at the preseason session for Andover Boys Baseball, pitcher Matt Wesolowski ’16 will anchor Andover’s fielding game this season.

Head Coach Kevin Graber said, “Our hope is that Matt will be a big arm on the front end of our pitching rotation. Matt really does have the ability to be an intimidating force on the mound, at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, with plus velocity on his fastball, and a true strikeout pitch in his slider.”

“Matt will be a standout pitcher in our league. He has a great mix of pitches and always does a great job of hitting his spots. He is a great leader in the dugout and knows what it takes to win. With him on the bump, I like our chances of winning. Our whole team has confidence in him, and we believe with him playing well there shouldn’t be many teams who will be able to hit him,” said Co-Captain Payton Jancsy ’16.

Wesolowski was crucial in several of Andover’s resounding wins over strong teams in Florida, including a 10-4 victory over Avon Old Farms and a 11-2 victory over Rivers. Much of his skill and leadership comes from his long history with baseball. Wesolowski said, “My family has always had a baseball background. My dad played in college at Yale, both my older brothers played [little league] in high school, [and] one of my brothers played in college.”

Teammate Robert Cerulle ’17 said, “He’s [an] integral part of our team. He’s really good on the bump. Every single ball he throws just moves really well.”

His veteran leadership and athleticism will be crucial to Andover’s performance this season.

Fellow pitcher Travis Lane ’18 said, “Weso has been an awesome addition to the team. His leadership and strong starts in Florida were good signs and really showed what type of kid and player he is. He brings a spark to the field every day which makes it even more enjoyable to play baseball [with him].”

Sam Conte ’18 said, “I would say Weso is one of the most down to earth people I’ve ever met. Not only is he a great person, but his pursuit for success is what sets him apart. I and other team members look to Weso as a leader. Whether it’s pitching on the mound or supporting other team members on his off days, I have no doubt that he will use everything he has to lead Andover to a championship.”

Livy Golini – Girls Lacrosse

Rueben Philip

After stepping up as Andover Field Hockey’s starting goalie, Olivia Golini ’16 has proved to be a presence in the net for Andover Girls Lacrosse as well. Although field hockey is Golini’s primary sport, she brings valuable experience to the lacrosse team both as a goalie and an athlete.

Golini’s main attribute is communication and dominance in the back of the field which keeps the team in sync.

“I’m a very loud and vocal player. I believe that communication on the field is very important to working together, and to the overall success of the team, so I make sure to talk as much as I can, but in an effective way. I am also very aggressive which catches a lot of teams off guard,” said Golini.

“Livy is an outstanding goaltender. What makes her stand out from other great goalies is her ability to positively communicate across the field. Her voice is loud yet calm, and always a productive presence on the field,” said co-captain Kelly McCarthy ’16.

Returner Lauren Overly ’17 said, “Livy has already made a strong impact on the team, because she is an amazing leader both on and off the field. She’s like a brick wall and almost nothing can get past her. We are so lucky to have her.”

McCarthy said, “She had a great run at preseason. In our first few games, the team was still turning the ball over quite a bit which resulted in lots of shots on Livy, but she came up huge with saving many difficult shots.”

Controlling the team as the rock of Andover’s defense, Golini’s physical and technical skills will play a key role in Andover success this year.

Chelsea Liu – Golf

STAFF REPORT

Hailing from Shanghai, China, Chelsea Liu ’16 will look to bolster the top half of Andover Golf’s lineup this spring. Liu is an experienced golfer, having captured two top-three finishes in national events as recently as August 2015. She secured first- and third-place finishes in the HJGT Disney Junior Classic and the Premier Junior Tour Major Championship at Celebration Golf Club, respectively.

Orlando Figus ’16, who plays for the varsity team, said, “[Chelsea] already has a lot of tournament experience as she played [American Junior Golf Association events] in Philadelphia and New York. I think she will have a positive impact on our team.”

Confident in her long game, Liu drives roughly 250 yards off the tee and will rely on her ball striking this season.

Co-Captain Pranav Tadikonda ’16 said, “Chelsea has a nice swing and plays well off the tee, which really puts her in good positions in the fairway for her approach shots. We’re really excited to see what she can do once we get into competition play.”

Head Coach Brian D. Faulk ’00 said, “Chelsea should play at the top of our lineup. Although I have not seen her play much, I have been impressed with her length and power off the tee.”

Most importantly, Liu brings an incredibly calm and kind demeanor to Andover.

Co-Captain Peter Hahn ’16 said, “Chelsea will be a strong addition to the team because she can bring a lot of experience as a PG. Newcomers can struggle with the pressure of competitive match play, but I don’t see that being a problem for Chelsea.”

“She is a wonderful teammate who will bring a positive and enthusiastic attitude on the cold and windy days of April,” said Coach Faulk.

Nick Ellerton – Boys Lacrosse

Ananda Kao

As a long-pole defender, Nick Ellerton ’16 will use his communication skills in order to organize and direct Andover’s defense. Ellerton has been playing lacrosse since the age of three.

Ellerton stands out on defense because of his wide range of skill, knowledge and communication.

Head Coach Stephen Moreland said, “[Ellerton] is a terrific cover guy, excellent off-ball defender, communicates really well and is very good off the ground. His compete level is off the charts.”

Andover plans on taking the season one game at a time, and Ellerton will help set an example to his teammates by constantly working hard.

Ellerton said, “What’s important is that we come together as a team and give our best effort game in and game out. We want to hold ourselves accountable and do not want to lose any games because we got outworked.”

This season, Ellerton looks to step up as a leader on the team, be a role model to the younger players, and help keep everyone focused.

Ellerton said, “We’re a tight-knit group already, and you can tell everyone really cares about the other guys on the team, and it’s a great atmosphere to be a part of. I can’t wait to get out on the field and fight alongside my brothers on this team each and every game.”

“There is no question in my mind that [Ellerton] will make everyone around him better this year. I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to coach him,” concluded Coach Moreland.

Scot Gladstone – Boys Lacrosse

Andy Kim

Scot Gladstone ’16, an All-Montana Lacrosse state selection out of Helena High School, will look to serve as both a veteran presence and a source of amicability on Andover Boys Lacrosse this year.

Loved and respected by all those on the team, Gladstone is the backbone of the team’s defense.

“He tries the hardest when he’s out there and will leave everything on the field,” said Larson Tolo ’18, “[He] will do anything for his teammates,” continued Tolo.

Gladstone is a valuable asset to the team because of his sheer strength and resistance.

Conor Zachar ’19 said, “He’s a big and strong defender and he uses that to his advantage.”

Myles Rohm ’16 said, “I’d say Scot Gladstone as a defender is the hardest working on the field, and walking into that as an attackman it is extremely difficult knowing you’re going against a defenseman who’s going to be working just as hard as you to get to every ball and to get to every check.”

Besides being an affable figure, Gladstone holds the team together by maintaining an active presence on the defensive end. “Scot’s a real team player on defense. He uses his size to his advantage in order to keep opponents out of the dangerous areas on the field. He always keeps a positive attitude, making the [Post-Graduate] an admirable team leader. Scot’s always there to make the team a more cohesive unit,” said Nick Bevacqua ’19.

Gladstone said, “I look forward to a successful season with the boys. All I know is that I will come everyday and work my hardest to make sure this team is reaching our full potential.”

Gladstone will look to lead a young Andover team into its season, while exuding an aura of hulking strength and dedicated companionship.

Myles Romm – Boys Lacrosse

Ananda Kao

A power-player on both offense and defense, Myles Romm ’16 will control the midfield of Andover Boys Lacrosse this year. Hailing from Potomac, Md., Romm is a veteran lacrosse player with years of experience.

Romm comes from a lacrosse family, as his father and brothers all played the sport.

Head Coach Stephen Moreland said, “[Rohm] is an old-school, two-way middie – dynamic offensively, very responsible defensively, and outstanding in transition. [He’s] a midfielder with a motor that won’t quit. I love his energy and tenacity.”

Aiming to help Andover on all parts of the field, Romm looks to utilize his many individual strengths to benefit the team. Romm said, “My main strengths are my speed in transition, my aggression, and using my height to my advantage. This year I hope I can bring my speed to quicken the offensive pace.”

“Myles Romm is by far the fastest kid I’ve ever played with. His speed combined with his extensive experience in the sport will make him one of the top players on our team this season. From the top of the box when he dodges to the cage, he uses his body to get into his man and uses his speed to get into his defenseman. He’s almost impossible to guard when he gets into the alley and his shots are absolutely deadly to opposing goalkeepers. I have absolutely no doubt he will be one of our top contributors on the offensive end this season.” said returning defenseman Larson Tolo ’18.

Having already played four years of high-school lacrosse, Romm wants to help Andover’s young offense come together as one unit as well as get used to the higher level of play.

Romm said, “As a team, our goal is to fight and play as one cohesive unit. Together we will be able to win and stay calm during high pressured situations. We might encounter a handful of [one] goal games, and it is my hope we will energetically attack and win each one.”

Stepping up as a leader on the team this year, Romm’s focus lies in being a good teammate both on and off the field. Coach Moreland said, “What I respect and admire most about [Romm] is what a good teammate he is. He is selfless in all he does and would do anything to help the team win.”

Mar 25, 2016