Andover mounted a strong comeback in the final bouts of the match that pitted the first and second-ranked teams in the Class A league against one another,. but it was not enough to overcome NMH and its dominating early lead. Despite the loss, the day was not a total failure for Andover, as the team did manage to earn a pair of wins against Providence Country Day and Tilton. Four days later on Wednesday, Andover suffered its second loss of the week by cross-town rival North Andover High. Andover began Saturday with a match against a shorthanded team from Providence Country Day. Though the team had previously blanked PCD by a score of 72-0, several Andover wrestlers had tough individual matches that were not to be taken lightly. Ryan Gaiss ’11, showcased just how much he has improved this season, pinning in the first period an opponent who had taken him to double overtime earlier in the season. Though PCD managed to sneak by with a pair of wins this time around, it still posed only a minimal threat, and the match ended by a final score of 63-9. The competition moved up a notch as Andover next faced a challenging team from Tilton. Refusing to lose it’s concentration for even a moment, Andover trounced Tilton 72-4, losing just one match and rattling off a string of six pins that was highlighted by an overtime fall recorded by Sam Dodge ’09. Though Tilton and PCD were important matches Andover had its eyes on NMH from the moment it walked in the door. Touted as one of the best teams ever assembled in New England Prep Wrestling, the NMH squad boasted three returning Class A champions augmented by five excellent post-graduates. Andover knew that NMH would almost certainly be the toughest competition the team would face all season. Refusing to be intimidated against its stronger, more experienced opponents, the Andover boys wrestled with heart and determination throughout the match. Nevertheless, Andover failed to put points on the board for the first seven of the fourteen bouts, and it was unable to overcome the deficit despite a strong showing in the upper weights. The match of the week unquestionably goes to Co-Captain Hector Cintron ’08 for the second week in a row. Cintron won a 9-8 decision against the previously first-ranked wrestler in New England at 171 lbs., avenging his only loss of the season in the process. Co-Captain Cintron has now defeated first-ranked opponents two weeks in a row and has likely secured the top seed as the end-of-the-season tournaments approach. Reid Mosquera ’09 also continued his dominance at the 215 lbs. weight class, winning 7-3 against an excellent opponent before Alex Gottfried ’09 took a forfeit in the final bout of the day to set the score at 44-24 in favor of Northfield. After two hard days’ practice, Andover took to the mat again on Wednesday against North Andover High. Despite a strong showing from several wrestlers, Andover could not break the streak this year, losing a close match by a score of 22-37. Though Andover has wrestled North Andover High School every year for the past 22 years, the Blue has never defeated the Massachusetts public school powerhouse. Highlights included a narrow 4-3 victory by Co-Captain Shaun Stuer ’09 and a dominating victory by Gaiss, who wrestled perhaps his best match of the season against a former teammate. With the dual meet season nearly at an end, Andover now looks ahead toward the tournament season. This Saturday, the team will travel to Hyde, ME to compete in the Northern New England Invitational. Andover wrestles its final dual meet of the season next Wednesday against rival Phillips Exeter.