16th Place at National Tournament Marks Best Finish in School History

Senior Co-Captain Shaun Stuer’s 6th place finish at the 2009 Prep School National Championships was the highlight in Andover’s 16th place finish out of 123 schools. This past weekend, Andover traveled to Lehigh University in Pennsylvania to compete against the top wrestlers in the nation. Overall, Andover’s eight representing wrestlers totaled 56 overall points, earning them a 16th place finish. Both the point total and the finish school bests in the last 20 years. The wrestlers recorded a win-loss record of 17-14, and for the second straight year, the Andover boys were the second highest scoring New England Prep team, behind NMH. Stuer himself entered the tournament as the third seed at 189 lbs, looking to better his fifth-place finish last year. He opened the tournament with four straight wins, three of which were pins, and the final of the four coming in a grueling overtime thriller. His victories took him into the semi-final against the #2 seed from The McDonogh School in Maryland, in which he suffered a tough loss 4-2. Eventually, Stuer sustained a shoulder injury, and dropped down to a strong sixth place finish, earning him Prep All-American honors. With the sixth place finish, Stuer has become the second Andover wrestler along with Dan Schvartsman ’02 to be a place winner twice at Nationals. With 71 victories in his Andover career, he has now become #9 in the school’s career wins category. Along with the captain, Colton Dempsey ’12 at 125 lbs turned in an extremely impressive tournament. Despite falling just short of a top eight finish after winning three bouts and losing in the round of 12, Dempsey had a lot to show for his work. Coach Rich Gorham referred to the solid performance by Dempsey as, “Perhaps the best Nationals performance ever by an Andover Junior.” Sam Dodge ’09 went 2-0, including a win versus the #10 seed. Unfortunately, Dodge suffered an injury in his second bout, and had to withdraw from competition. Ryan Gaiss ’11 entered the tournament as the #8 seed, and went 3-2. After losing his first bout, he rebounded with back-to-back victories, both of which were by pins. Eventually, Gaiss lost a strong matchup with the #12 seed in his weight class. While the rest of the school travels to Exeter this weekend, Wrestling will go south to Avon Old Farms in Connecticut for the Prep New England Tournament, featuring a powerful 54-team field. Top competition will be rival NMH. After beating NMH in the Class A tournament, the New England Tournament will undoubtedly feature an NMH squad seeking revenge for a 1.5 point loss. Along with NMH, Belmont Hill and Roxbury-Latin will be challenging adversaries. Said Coach Gorham, “I expect our six Seniors of Dodge, Chris Latham, Stuer, Sanderson, Ben Elder and Alex Gottfried to end their careers on a high note, and I expect our wrestlers to represent Andover with sportsmanship and pride.”