With long drives and clutch putts, Andover golf looks to build on last year’s successful season. Led by Captain Jim Ricker ’09 and a strong group of returners and new players, Andover will be a force to be reckoned with on the course this season. Last season, Andover cruised through its first four matches, going 3-1 in tough early season conditions. At the Andover Newport Invitational, held at the famed Newport Country Club, Andover took third, just behind winner Deerfield. After Newport came the final tournament of the year, a showdown between Andover, Exeter, and Governor’s at seaside Portsmouth Country Club. This final tournament was the third leg of a season long competition between these three schools for two prizes: the Lovell Cup and the Witherspoon Bowl. Although Andover never gave up, it failed to retain control of both these trophies. This season, Andover looks to strike back hard at Exeter and Governor’s to take back both of these trophies, as well as a win against league leader Deerfield. Leading the team this year will be key returners Ricker, Ben Ho ’11, and Will Lindsey ‘10. Ho played at the number two spot last year, shooting a three over seventy-five at Newport to help Andover’s finish. Captain Ricker was a stalwart member of the top five last season, helping to secure a solid finish at Newport, as well as a strong showing against Exeter at Portsmouth. Although Andover’s core is strong, it is the new golfers that will ultimately determine Andover’s success this season. “We have a lot of quality players this year,” said Lindsey. “If we can perform well throughout the top seven, I think we can definitely beat our biggest rival, Deerfield.” Newcomers like Ruaridh Hamilton ’09 and James Poss ’10 look to take a strong position in the Andover top seven. Said Coach Brian Faulk, “The new players will complement our returners nicely. Looking at the situation right now, we have great depth in the four to seven positions on the roster. Our top three will have to play well to fill the void left by the graduating players.” Although the Andover Invitational and the tri-matches against Exeter and Governor’s are very important, the team’s biggest goal this year is to take down powerhouse Deerfield. “We want to take back the Lovell Cup and the Witherspoon Bowl,” said Faulk. “However, our primary goals are to pummel Deerfield at Newport and to pummel Deerfield at Crumpin Fox.” With these goals in mind, Andover looks to start off the season strong. Andover will face off against Tabor at oceanside Kittansett Country Club on Saturday, followed by a tri-match against Exeter and Governor’s at Essex Country Club.