Sports

Athlete Of The Week Captain Andrew Cox ’08

Captain Andrew Cox ’08 tallied four goals and three assists to help power Andover to a crucial 3-0 week. The team entered this week with injuries to key offensive players such as Chris Kreider ’10 and Brooks Dyroff ’09. With these injuries, Cox readily picked up the slack to keep the promising team in the playoff hunt. Andover began the week by facing the #2 seeded Belmont Hill School, a vital game that would certainly be telling as to the chances of this team’s playoff future. Cox got the team going in the right direction right away, scoring just 2:57 into the game. Said Tucker Mullin ’08 of his teammates early goal, “Cox’s early goal definitely got us going. With the lines juggled around because of the injuries to Kreider and Dyroff, we needed something to give us a confidence boost. Cox stepped up and put one home, a goal that clearly paved the way for the victory.” Cox displayed the finest part of his game later in the period: play-making. Cox found line-mate J.J. McGregor ’08, who stuffed in a crucial goal to send the team into the first intermission up 2-1. After Belmont Hill responded just 2:36 seconds into the second period to knot the game at two, Cox put the team on his shoulders and reclaimed the lead, 3-2. This power-play goal was huge to stop the possible momentum that Belmont Hill was gaining in the period. Cox would then assist his other line-mate, Bobby Farnham ’08, to cap an impressive four-point night. Said Mullin of his Captain’s performance, “He was unbelievable. Cox clearly took accountability for the need of offensive production. Once he elevated his game to another level, the whole team was inspired to follow in his foot-steps and pull out this game that basically was a decisive game in our season.” On Monday Cox picked up right where he left off, adding two goals and one assist in the team’s win over BB&N. Just 4:03 into the game, Cox got his teammates involved as he does so masterfully, setting up McGregor to stake the team to a 1-0 lead. During a back-and-forth third period, Cox netted two goals. The first goal put Andover up 3-2, 4:11 into the third period. BB&N would battle back to tie the game at four with just under seven minutes to go in the game. The “accountability,” that Mullin was describing again became evident as he tucked away the game winner with about 4:30 left in the contest. As seen in these two games, when the team needed a goal most, Cox was always the one to make the play. Post-graduate Jack Walsh ’08 described Cox’s playing style as “unselfish.” Cox’s outstanding vision of the ice, incredible strength on the puck and great intelligence with the puck all lead to his title as being one of the most dynamic and creative play-makers in the New England Prep League. Said line-mate of three years McGregor, “This is a huge stretch for us to make the playoffs. We definitely still have a good shot for the playoffs. As of right now, his leadership and all-around game could be the single most important reason as to why we remain in striking.” Looking past Cox’s blatant talent on the ice, his leadership is a quality that his teammates constantly rave about. Said Mullin, “The most underrated aspect of Cox is his leadership. Outside of his offensive production, he follows the system that the coaches provide for us. Although this seems like a simple task, when a team’s star player is buying into the system, it can only fare well for the chances of the rest of the team also playing in thew system.” Mullin continued, “Cox also provides a great example for younger players in the way he handles himself. Many players try to emulate the way Cox carries himself.” McGregor would also go on to explain the most valuable quality of Cox’s leadership: being able to relate to each person on the team individually. Cox understands each player really well on and off the ice and takes pride in forming strong relationships with each player. Because of this, the team has unbelievable team chemistry, and this can be squarely attributed to the efforts of Captain Cox. As a new player on the team, Walsh regarded Cox as an amazing captain who really helped him make a smooth transition to his new team. Walsh explained, “He definitely helped me feel comfortable with the team from the start. More impressive is that over the season, Cox has found a balance between having a great time with the team and focusing the squad in the necessary moments.” Cox’s seven-point week is just an exclamation point on an already extraordinary season for the Lombardy, Ontario native. His 39 points on the season leaves him second on the team in scoring. However, the whole team will attest to the fact that Cox is much more than just an offensive powerhouse; he is the leader and heart of an Andover team pushing for a playoff spot.