Coming off a dominant 29-14 victory over Phillips Exeter Academy at the end its last season, Andover Football enters the coming season looking to regain the form it last possessed in 2013.
Arriving earlier than any fall sports team for preseason, the boys used their initial time together to hit the ground running and begin integrating new teammates into the fold.
Head Coach Leon Modeste said, “The best thing and the most important thing about preseason is to get to know your teammates and get to know their abilities so that we can all work together to hopefully win some games.”
Co-Captain Jack Legler ’17 said, “Being one of the first groups on campus gave us time to welcome the new players and integrate them into the team dynamic.”
Various injuries throughout last year allowed for some of the then-Uppers and younger players to clock in playing time that they wouldn’t normally see.
Coach Modeste said, “One of the great things about last year is that a lot of our linemen – who were Uppers then – got to play, which doesn’t usually happen a lot. Guys like [Keegan] Cummings, [Johnny Rex], and Legler all got to play and they are going to be better for it this year.”
“They’ve come back in great shape, and that has made us so much further ahead than we normally are at this time,” added Modeste.
Co-Captain Cummings said, “The most noticeable strength I’ve seen so far is our depth and size. We have not had this kind of size and athleticism for a couple years now.”
With the addition of many new players, along with the returning varsity players, Andover has high hopes for a successful season.
Modeste said, “The main goal for every season is to win the championship. But alongside that obvious goal to win is to bring together a group of people that know how to work together with a common goal.”
With the championship goal in mind, Andover will look to play as a unit once they step onto the turf.
“The most successful teams ever always are teams where it’s not ‘me first,’ it’s ‘we first’ and that’s the biggest thing to get out of sports and I hope every year that’s the biggest thing my team takes away,” continued Modeste.
Legler said, “Every time we hit the field, we will have to be dedicated, work hard, and energetic, but with the group that we have, I know it is possible.”
Andover will kick off its season away at Loomis Chaffee on Saturday, September 24.