Boys Lacrosse Strong With 16 Returnees; Training in Florida Helped Prepare Team

Though the roster has yet to be finalized, the Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team is looking forward to a strong season. Under the guidance of new head coach Steve Carr, a former attackman for Amherst College, and leadership of Co-Captains Nate Kellogg ’05 and Patrick Shannon ’05, the team is setting its sights high. There are sixteen returning players, including the eight seniors Shannon, Kellogg, Dave Wilkinson, Chris Magnin, Yusuke Uchiyama, Vic Miller, Sam Kennedy, and Beau Freker, as well as four PG’s trying out for the team. The large number of returnees promises a lot of cohesion, even with a new coach, and will help to assimilate the new players into the structure of the team. Many members of the team are coming off of successful winter seasons in other sports, and fourteen Andover players competed in an indoor lacrosse league in Acton, Massachusetts and ended up winning the championship tournament in February. The spring training trip was another great opportunity for the Andover players not only to get used to each other on and off the field and to bond as a team, but also to get in optimal shape for the upcoming season. Twenty-eight Varsity and Junior Varsity players went to Florida over break, playing two hour practices every day and competing in games every night. Andover played St. Andrews, Pomfret, GDA and Tatnall, but refrained from facing Deerfield and Exeter as it will play them during the regular season. Shannon said, “Overall we made great strides as a program on both a Varsity and a JV level.” Kellogg agreed, saying, “The trip went really well. It gave the team a chance to get out on grass and just play a lot of lacrosse. By the end of the week I could really see the improvement in each player and I think everyone left Florida feeling much better about their play.” The trip was also a great chance for all members of the team to become acquainted with Coach Carr’s style. Though Carr is new to the Varsity team, which was previously coached by John Dugan, he has coached JV lacrosse for several years. A “very intense and serious coach, who stresses hard work and discipline on and off the field,” according to Shannon, Carr should bring a refreshing perspective to the team and help all the players to reach their full potential. All the pre-season priming will prove to be a big advantage for Andover over less prepared teams, especially since fitness is such a huge part of the game, an aspect of lacrosse that Coach Carr believes to be very important. With the strong base established during pre-season, the Andover boys are heading into the season with a lot of momentum; Kellogg summed it up perfectly when he said, “In terms of the season ahead, we are definitely setting our goals high. We have a very solid team this season, with a large number of returnees combining with some great newcomers. Everyone is really excited for the season to come, and with a lot of hard work I think we could be very successful.”