Down 4-1 entering the third period of his match, Jack O’Neil ’19 came back to pin his opponent. Despite O’Neil’s efforts, Andover Wrestling fell to St. Paul’s School 35-42, and their record stands at 0-1.
“The hardest part for me was not giving up towards the end. I was down 4-1, and I think the temptation to just give up at that point was really easy to do that. Just pushing on and holding to that really helped me out,” said O’Neil.
O’Neil’s comeback was a turning point in the match, motivating the team, according to Marisol Nugent ’20 and Riggs McGrath ’21,
Nugent said, “Jack O’Neil, he was losing 4-1 going into the third period which is always hard to come back from… But he came back and he pinned the St. Paul’s Captain, and that was a really big turning point in the match for us, and I think everyone was pretty hyped about that. Very proud of O’Neil for that.”
“Jack had a really good match. In the third period he was down 4-1, and he pinned the kid. He had a really tough match, and he wrestled hard,” said McGrath.
As a whole, Andover put forth a strong effort and demonstrated its capabilities as a team, according to Nugent and Co-Captain Eamon Garrity-Rokous ’20.
“Our team, we’re pretty new. It’s our first match of our season. I think everyone wrestled hard, wrestled to the whistle. They did what the coaches asked them to. They did what the refs asked them to, and I think everyone did a really good job in supporting each other during the matches,” saud Nugent.
“We pushed our lungs, we pushed our opponents, and we wanted to win every match. I think that really showed, especially with a lot of new wrestlers. Better wrestlers knew what they were doing and newer wrestlers just came out there looking to have some fun. A lot of them picked up a win, and everyone else had a learning experience,” said Garrity-Rokous.
According to Garrity-Rokous, other standout players from Saturday included Ellerman Mateo ’21, Calvin Yang ’21, and Co-Captain Pablo Sanchez ’19.
“To me, I think Ellerman in his exhibition match really wanted to just go out there and have fun. That was what it was all about for him, and I think he did just that. Calvin pulled off a clutch win by pinning his Varsity opponent, and I think Pablo Sanchez also picked up a very tough win too,” said Garrity-Rokous.
Moving forward, the team hopes to improve on fundamental yet critical technique of the game, according to Nugent, McGrath, and Garrity-Rokous.
Nugent said, “I think [we need to improve on] just getting a better feel for wrestling kind of. A lot of these kids are new. Just a lot of simple stuff kind of like how to turn when you’re being pinned, how to fight off your back, how to get your hips back, stuff like that, just the fundamentals we’re going to work on.”
“We’re definitely going to continue working on our overall technique like our stance and our takedowns sort of most of the moves and just getting everything down and making sure we can get it when it’s a tough match,” said McGrath.
On Saturday, Andover will compete in the Andover Duals at home.