Despite Losing Streak, Wrestling Remains Optimistic For Future

Loomis. Belmont Hill. North Andover. The Wrestling team had known all season long that this week would be grueling, facing three of New England’s best prep school teams in only five days. First up for PA was Loomis, the defending New England Champs whi are currently ranked first in the Class A with a record of 11-0 going into the tri-meet. The meet started badly for Andover as the Big Blue found themselves in a 15-0 hole after only three matches. After taking a forfeit at 160 lbs, Erik Trautman ’03 got PA back on the winning track with a pin, followed by John Atay’s ’03 upset win over a tough Loomis opponent. Still, Andover was losing 33-18 and in need of a quick turnaround to even the meet. Answering the call was Gabe Worgaftik ’06, scoring an upset victory over his opponent with a third period pin at 112lbs, and Mark Shvartsman ’05 followed with a major decision at 119. After Nick Constantino ’04 was dispatched by Loomis’ freshman phenom at 125 lbs, Jeff Pena ’04 responded with a pin of his own, setting the score at 39-34 in favor of Loomis entering the final match. Captain Leon Fay ’04 was pinned in the second period, leaving the final score at 45-39 in favor of Loomis. In the second dual, Trautman and Pena both recorded their second pins of the day, and Lars Trautman ’04 and Constantino also pinned. However, these four victories were all that came for the Big Blue, and the rest of the team wrestled flatly, getting pinned and failing to score in winnable matches. Andover finished Saturday 0-2, with its 48-24 loss to Belmont a sharp contrast to the hard-fought, near-upset over Loomis earlier in the day. Wednesday afternoon, the PA wrestlers again took the mat against another tough opponent, North Andover’s Scarlet Knights. Andover began the dual immediately down 12-0 after yielding forfeits to the Knights at 275 and 103 lbs. But in a show of toughness and determination, Worgaftik bounced back by pinning his opponent and halving North Andover’s lead. However, PA’s luck seemed to run dry after that, with losses from Shvartsman, Constantino, Pena and Fay to four of North Andover’s toughest wrestlers. Andover then suffered two more pins at 140 and 145, and found itself losing 48-6. But after Phil Caruso ’03 came back to score a second period pin over his opponent at 152 lbs, the usually successful Trautman brothers were both pinned in tough losses at 160 and 171. The final score of the match was 55-15 in favor of the Scarlet Knights, but the Andover squad displayed tough wrestling. The Big Blue take on out-of-league rivals Milton, St. Paul’s and Thayer next week for a chance to get back on the winning track.