Coming from behind in his first varsity match for Andover Wrestling, Will Baxter-Bray ’18 dodged a tackle and spun around to pin his opponent, leading the team to a 60-12 victory over Tabor on Saturday. Andover went 2-1 in the quad meet on Saturday, defeating Loomis Chaffee 48-21 in addition to Tabor, but falling to the host school, Belmont Hill, 55-21. Andover had a decisive 51-15 win over Worcester Academy on Wednesday, which brought its record to 6-2 on the season.
Key wrestlers who stood out on Saturday were Post-Graduate (PG) Haroldo Nesbeth ’17 and Co-Captain Pierce Bausano ’18, who each secured three wins by pins.
Pins by Nesbeth, David Moon ’18, and Bausano, as well as an 8-4 decision from Connor Haugh ’17, helped solidify Andover’s victory over Loomis.
In the victory over Tabor, Andover got pins from Nesbeth, Moon, Bausano, Adam Cohen ’18, and PG John O’Brien ’17. The team saw comeback pins from Jack O’Neill ’19 and Baxter-Bray, as well as a big technical fall by Eamon Garrity-Rokous ’20.
Nesbeth said, “Pablo Sanchez [’19] had two really great come-from-behind matches and defeated quality opponents. Baxter-Bray and O’Neill also had come-from-behind victories to pin their opponents. Baxter-Bray picked up his first varsity win.”
“We had a lot of our wrestlers out there really competing and giving it their all. Time and time again that has showed to be a difference maker in our matches recently,” said Nesbeth.
O’Neil said, “What went really well during the meet was that everyone worked really hard in the weeks leading up to the meet and as a result, everyone was prepared to work hard and give their all during the match. I think that everyone went out there to win as opposed to just trying to not get pinned. The whole team knew what to do when we were wrestling and had a plan for the matches that led to two more wins for the team.”
Against Belmont Hill, Nesbeth, Garrity-Rokous, and Bausano were the only ones who gained victories, ending with Andover falling short.
“One thing the team could improve on is hitting our moves faster and with more force. Specifically, we could work on keeping pressure on our opponents when going for a pin as well as not letting them up once we take them down in the match. Improving on little things like these can be the difference between winning and losing,” said O’Neil.
In Andover’s win over Worcester, Gordon Paiva ’20, Moon, and Sanchez led the team with wins. Martha Gao ’17, Nesbeth, Haugh, Bausano, Cohen, and O’Brien won by forfeit. Although Worchester forfeited six out of 13 matches, there were some competitive duels, and Andover was able to see what it should improve on moving forward.
Garrity-Rokous said, “I believe the team could still improve on their setups to takedowns using shots, stance motion, on breakdowns and keeping their opponents down, and on either escaping or reversing their opponents.”
“Although I believe that Andover wrestling and all of its wrestlers have come a long way and have exponentially improved since the beginning of the season, there is still much work to be done on the mat. Improving technique, wrestling skills, cardio, endurance, and strength will all be focal points over the course of the upcoming weeks going into tournament season,” continued Garrity-Rokous.
Andover looks to continue its winning streak at the Seabrooke Duals on Saturday at Phillips Exeter Academy, where it will compete against the host, Avon Old Farms, and Long Island Lutheran.
Editor’s Note: Pierce Bausano is an Associate Business Manager and Connor Haugh is a Subscription Manager for The Phillipian.