With Seven Returning Medal-Winning Returners, Wrestling Prepares For A Successful ’06 Season

The Andover Wrestling team expects another successful season. Having participated in only one squad meet so far, they have already proven themselves worthy competitors. Before winter break, the Big Blue defeated Worcester Academy with a score of 46-33 and Governor Dummer Academy 48-27. These victories were achieved without the team’s top three wrestlers, Brian Foye ’06, Colin Serafino ’06, and Captain Gabe Worgaftik ’06. This year’s lineup is strong, consisting of seven returning medalists from last year’s league tournament. Captain Worgaftik, now competing at 135 lbs., was last year’s Class A champion at 125 lbs. and received first place at New England’s. Also having winning first place is Akshay Paintal ’07, a Class A champion at 103 lbs. last year, now at 119 lbs. The 112 lbs. Kassie Archambault ’06 placed ninth in the nation for girls at 110 lbs. The remaining returning medalists are Nick Bowen ’06, Randy Garcia ’06, Victor Vasquez ’06, and Sam Cartmell ’06. Other returning wrestlers that are expected to put up big points for Andover as well are Colin Dunn ’07, Noah Warren ’07, Andrei Manda ’07, Hector Cintron ’08, Rachel Cohen ’08, Alex Clifford ’07, and Luke Cahill ’06. Adding to the already very accomplished returning lineup, there are two new wrestlers with extensive experience. Foye, a post-graduate, was last year’s public school state champion and is ranked first in New England, weighing in at 145 lbs. Competing at 189 pounds is Sean Stuer ’09, a public school state champion from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. He is currently ranked sixth in New England. In addition, Stuer took fifth place at the Bay State Games, a highly competitive tournament. This coming Saturday, the team will face Choate. Although Choate has always been a strong team, Andover seems to have an edge on them this year. While the team has won its first two matches, Choate has won one and lost two. Although the team has had a month long hiatus from practice, the coaches are confident that they will come back ready. The players have practiced with wrestling teams in their hometowns and have worked out extensively over break so as not to lose their conditioning and skill. According to assistant coach Mark Efinger, “Choate will be a good challenge and opportunity to get a look at the squad in league competition.”