After a cancellation for the Tufts game last weekend, Andover turned all its attention to its upcoming game against rival Choate Rosemary Hall. Traditionally, the Choate-Andover game has been one of the crucial games of the year for the Andover, and this year will be no different. Coach Leon Modeste said, “Historically, Choate has always been good. They are a big, fast, and strong team with good quarterbacks and hard runners. This game is always a test for us.” Modeste has been impressed by the focus of his team over the course of the past week as it prepares for the big game, commenting that, “The team has been very focused. As soon as we heard the Tufts game was cancelled, the team began to zone in on the Choate game.” With the extra week of practice, many key players have recovered from injuries. Joe Kruy ’12 will return to the field this week after an ankle sprain, bringing with him his enthusiasm and versatile playing skills. Dan Austin ’10 commented on Kruy’s return, “The return of Joe Kruy is going to be huge. He’s very explosive on the defensive side of the ball and he can take some quality carries for us at running back. We’re very glad he’s back, especially with the Choate game right around the corner.” Modeste plans to wean Kruy back into the system slowly before throwing him in the game right away. “We won’t rush him,” Modeste explains. “We plan to see how it goes in practice this week, but we will certainly utilize him as much as possible.” Having an extra week of practice has also allowed for the team to make the necessary adjustments for the big game. Modeste explained that in last year’s game, Choate beat Andover using big plays that led to scoring touchdowns. Andover will be looking for big performances out of Matt Fothergill ’11, Chris Higgins ’10, and Malcolm Mason Rodriguez ‘11, who will be at cornerback, looking to prevent these deep throws. Along with Higgins, Fothergill, and Rodriguez, Andover is hoping for a stellar performance from Steven Koenig ’10. “We’re looking for a lot out of Steve,” Modeste explains. “He will be matched up with Choate’s best player on both sides of the ball. He has to have a big day for us.” The offense will look to continue the success they had against Loomis. After suffering the loss of Tom Sullivan ’10, Rodriguez will be the primary running back. Andy Vailas ’10 commented, “Losing Tommy in the backfield is obviously a huge loss. But we will have to bounce back quickly, as we did last game when the loss didn’t faze us. Malcolm took control of the running game and did what he had to do plus more.” Andover will need to execute in all aspects of the game in order to achieve victory. As Vailas put it simply, “The big thing we have to do is just execute. If we just stay relaxed and complete our assignments we should do fine.” Andover looks to avenge last year’s 33-29 loss to the Wild Boars. The game will be played Saturday night under the lights. The team encourages everyone to come out and support the team. Kickoff is at 6:45.