Bryan Farris ’08 carried the Andover Football team to the New England championship game with a combination of thrilling talent at the quarterback position and outstanding leadership. Prior to his arrival at Andover, Farris had already established himself as one of the elite quarterbacks and kickers in the Merrimack Valley Region. During his PG season, Farris elevated his passing game, leading Andover Football to a third straight appearance in the Eaton-Estey Bowl. Based upon his tremendous leadership and skill behind center, Farris has been chosen as the male The Phillipian fall Athlete of the Term. After an impressive Senior season at New Hampshire’s Pinkerton Academy, where he led the Astros to a state title, Farris received numerous accolades. New Hampshire coaches named Farris to the All-State team and selected him as a recipient of the Merrimack Valley Student-Athlete of the Year award. Although Farris had several college options, he opted to take a post-graduate year at Andover to improve at quarterback. From the first preseason football camp, Farris immediately began to adapt his game play to his new team. He quickly integrated into the Andover system and made great friends with his teammates in less than a week. At the start of the season, Farris immediately showcased his abilities as a passer. In the season opener, Farris threw for four touchdowns and led Andover past opponent Loomis Chafee, 32-6. As the season progressed, Farris continued to impress, leading a prolific Andover offensive unit. Against Choate, Farris proved that he could do more than throw the ball, as he nailed a clutch 44-yard field goal to give Andover an 11-8 win. In the final regular season game against rival Exeter, Farris guided Andover to a 24-14 victory. In addition to passing for 163 yards, Farris picked up 92 yards on the ground and left the Exeter defense flustered throughout the day. Although Andover fell to a powerful Trinity-Pawling team in the Eaton-Estey Bowl, the team still recorded an excellent 7-2 record. On the year, Farris logged over 2,000 yards passing and threw for a stunning 16 touchdowns. Farris’ numbers at the quarterback clearly indicate that he will graduate as one of the best athletes to play the position at Andover. Even though Farris entered the season as a new member of the Andover team, he quickly became regarded by his teammates as a tremendous leader. “He made the whole offense comfortable in the huddle because he is always cool and collected,” said Dan Austin ’10. Teammate Bobby Vardaro ’10 said, “Each game he had an aura of good spirit and winning mentality about him that gave the team moral support.” Coach Lou Bernieri praised Farris’ leadership and believed that his attitude helped mold the offensive line, which improved throughout the season. Bernieri said of Farris, “He literally picked up the team—particularly the offense—and carried it on his shoulders throughout the season. With an unprecedented three sophomores starting on the offensive line, Bryan was like a father figure to them, never criticizing them for their mistakes, always encouraging when things got tough.” Farris’s invaluable experience with playing at a high level also provided confidence to the Andover team. Austin said, “We saw the two championship rings he had won at Pinkerton and felt confident in him. He used that experience to lead us into our big games against Trinity -Pawling and Exeter.” Along with Senior Captains Chad Hollis, Matt Gaske and Mike Ciummei, Farris set a great example to his teammates with his remarkable work ethic and smart decision-making. According to Coach Raj Mundra, Farris “brought out the best in his teammates,” resulting in a NEPSAC Freelance league title for Andover. During the fall, Farris verbally committed to Yale University for next season. Yale, which finished the season at 9-1, is perennially one of the strongest teams in the 1A Ivy League and will give Farris an opportunity to continue excelling on the football field and in the classroom. Coach Bernieri reflected the thoughts of many involved with the Andover football program when he said, “Farris is bright, courageous, selfless, talented and, most importantly, a consummate team player.” Bernieri continued, “He is the kind of player and person you dream about working with.” For these qualities, Farris undoubtedly deserves to receive The Phillipian’s award of Athlete of the Term.
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