Andover Sees Live Action in Doubleheader Scrimmage

After a long preseason, the Andover football squad finally played in a real game atmosphere. The team played scrimmages against Cushing and powerhouse Deerfield this weekend. “On offense, we started slowly,” said Coach Leon Modeste. “I think we had to shake out some of the cobwebs because in practice, we can’t duplicate the speed and intensity of the opponent. We weren’t as good as we were going to be. As the scrimmages progressed, we got much better.” On the defensive side of the ball, Andover looked very strong. Running the new 3-5 defensive scheme, Andover managed to dominate the Cushing offense. Co-Captain Zack Boyd ’10 said, “Our 3-5 defense is a change from our previous 4-4 which we had run the past two years. The defense should allow us to blitz more and create more opportunities. The key to our defense this year will be gang tackling.” In the second game against Deerfield, the team raised the intensity and played up to their expectations. Co-Captain Bobby Vardaro ’10 was thrilled with the team’s performance. He said, “In the second game against Deerfield, I saw that the team really picked it up. They brought the intensity to new levels which I hadn’t seen us play at until then. It made the Cushing game look more like practice.” Overall, Modeste was very pleased with his team’s performance in the scrimmages. He said, “ I was pleased to see that the team can mentally focus in the middle of the game and is capable of playing with such amazing intensity.” He was also pleased with the performance of his offensive line in both games. The versatility of the line is essential in the new spread offense the team will be running this year. Returning lineman Dan Austin ’10 is excited about Andover’s new offensive scheme. “The great thing about the spread is that there’s a chance of a big play every snap,” said Austin. “There are so many people who can touch the ball and make a play that we should be able to keep the defense on their toes.” The team will look to improve in practice this week. Modeste explained that they will also look to implement some of the little things that make a difference in a game such as the special teams units, goal line defense and goal line offense. He feels confident that this year’s team will certainly be able to handle the challenge of learning a lot in little time. “This year’s team is made up of mostly veterans and they know what we expect of them,” Modeste said. Andover will kick off the regular season this weekend against Loomis. The team is anxious to get the season kicked off and is making sure that they can secure the first victory. Vardaro said, “I expect the win. I don’t want to seem cocky or jinx anything, but if we play half as well as we did against Deerfield, I have no doubt that we will finish victorious. I want the first game to be a complete blowout, and for every player to get a shot at Loomis.”