After Andover Boys Water Polo failed to reach the postseason last year, Co-Captains Dan Tran ’17 and Jonathan Xue ’17 now look to lead the team to a successful season and postseason trip.
Last year the team played a 3-9 season, struggling to produce positive results with an inexperienced team. This year’s team will face similar challenges after graduating six teammates from the Class of 2016.
Nate Smith ’18 said, “Our team captains, Dan Tran and Jonathan Xue, have taken on the challenge of having a team with many new players to the sport, and their role is often getting these new players up to speed. The potential of our team this year is greatly due to them.”
In his second year of coaching the Andover Boys program, Head Coach Dan O’Shea, who led Andover Girls Water Polo to a New England Championship in 2012 and 2014, will lead the team again this year. Andover is certain O’Shea will continue to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience.
“This season our training has increased in intensity,” said Smith. “Coach O’Shea chose to push us harder than in the past so we can quickly prepare our play for some tough teams we have to face in the first few weeks.”
The team is optimistic that it can overcome the loss of its graduated players. After an encouraging preseason and the addition of several newcomers, Andover hopes to put together a strong season.
Nick Schoeller ’18 said “This year we lost a lot of Seniors who made up most of our starting lineup. However, the team is looking very promising. We have a strong bunch of returners and several talented newcomers too. During preseason we were able to scrimmage, and it was really encouraging to see how well the team was playing.”
Smith said, “The chemistry amongst our team showed during some of our scrimmages in the preseason, and now that we are getting into more complex plays and drills this week in practice, I think we will gel quickly.”
Andover will open its season on Saturday when it squares off against Loomis Chaffee and Hopkins.