Sports

Sam Gould ’07 Climbs to Tri-Varsity

Squash Captain Sam Gould ’07 accomplished the seemingly impossible: he advanced from JV2 to Varsity in three separate sports: soccer, squash, and baseball. Gould entered Andover as a freshman lacking size and strength—necessary components to becoming a varsity athlete. Gould said “I was only 5’4 when I came to Andover, which was my biggest limitation.” Now Gould is 6’1” and has seen starting time in three varsity fields. Although Sam plays three sports, his true passion lies on the squash court, where he is currently ranked number one on Varsity. Sam picked up squash when he entered Andover as a freshman and contributes a lot of his success to the extra time he spent playing squash outside of the Andover team. Gould said, “I am lucky that squash is a strong sport in the Northeast. Because of this, I have been able to train with Brett Newton, who was formerly ranked number 18 in the world.” He also believes that his year-round work with squash has allowed him to make such drastic improvements. He said, “Every day after baseball and soccer practice, I went to the squash courts for about an hour to just hit. I didn’t play games because I was tired from practice. I just worked on my strokes. The work has really paid off this season.” Gould has committed to Stanford, a Division I school, and plans to continue playing squash there. Along with squash, Gould also plays for Varsity Baseball and Varsity Soccer. Mr. Gould, his father, said, “Although Sam picked up squash while at Andover, he has been playing soccer and baseball since he was a young child. Sam has always had a grasp of the mental side of both games, and he had strong hand eye and foot eye coordination, but he did not have the strength or speed.” As he grew, he also learned more, soaking up the information that coaches gave him. Gould said, “Coaches have seen potential in me and have forced me to work hard to get in good physical shape.” Mike Donelan ’08 commented, “Sam always works hard, he listens intently to coaches and always soaks in information and uses it on the field.” With all this hard work and faithful listening to his coaches on JV teams, Gould earned a starting position on the soccer field this year as a center back. On the baseball field, Gould currently shares the starting position at shortstop. He saw action in almost every single game last year. Some would assume that Gould has spent countless hours over the summer working to improve his skills through training, but his father said, “Sam enjoys practicing by playing and teaching” Gould has helped coach at summer squash camps while also playing and training. His main summer workouts include running three times a week for about three miles and speed work to improve his agility and quickness. Gould also contributes some of his success to his improved flexibility, which he achieved through twice weekly yoga practice. Such accomplishments were not without struggle, and such perseverance was at times very mentally straining. Mr. Gould said, “At times it was not easy for Sam, and he wanted to be playing at a higher level. I believe that playing at these low levels was very important for him though, as he was always on the field improving himself.” Though Gould’s concentration on self-improvement is evident, his attitude never shifted toward egotism or selfishness. His teammates appreciate such dedication. Squash teammate John Bukawyn ’08 comments, “Sam’s work ethic really sets a good example for everyone around him. Sam leaves everything on the court—I know it sounds cliché, but it’s very true.” Such respect earned Gould the title of Squash Captain this season. Through a bit of natural growth, hours of hard work, and an impressive attitude, Sam Gould proves to all Andover students that anyone can play on a varsity squad, or even three, no matter where he or she begins.