After finishing last season 17-3 and winning a Class A Championship, the Andover wrestling team has returned to the mats, looking to repeat the success of last year. One thing Andover looks to overcome this season is the loss of so many talented wrestlers to graduation. Coach Rich Gorham ’86 commented, “We suffered major graduation losses. This year we will have a young, but talented team, dominated by lowers and uppers.” One of these top returners is Brandon Sneider ’12. After taking an impressive third place at the New England Championships as a Junior, he will look to continue his dominance at 125 lbs. At 130lbs, Colton Dempsey ’12 hopes to build on a great Junior campiagn. After an amazing Junior season, including the unforgettable upset against Northfield Mount Hermon, Dempsey looks to improve upon his second place New England finish. Co-Captain Duncan Crystal ’10 will be wrestling for Andover at 135lbs. A returning New England finalist, Crystal is looking to cap off his stellar career at Andover by rocking the competition and once again reaching the New England finals. At 140 lbs, Co-Captain Ryan Gaiss ’11 will look to improve upon an already successful lower season. Gaiss will look to defend his crown as Class A champion at his weight class, which is no small feat to accomplish with such a competitive field to wrestle against. Andover has also added on some strong new talent, including lightweight Sven Lerner ’13, Min Jae Yoo ’12 at 152 lbs, and Nikhil Baradwaj ’13 at 103 lbs. Andover will look to defend its title as Class A Champion, but it will certainly not be easy. Stiff competition includes Tabor Academy, the perennial powerhouse Northfield Mount Hermon, and Loomis Chaffee. Before winter break, Andover defeated Nobles 39-26. At 125lbs, Sneider ’12 kicked off the season with a victory, winning 7-5. Dempsey followed with an impressive 15-3 win. At 140 lbs, Gaiss defeated a strong opponent by a score of 12-5. Will Park ’11 also impressed his teammates with a technical fall, winning 19-3. At 152 lbs and 160lbs, Anthony Tedesco ’12 and Robert Palmer 0’11 recorded consecutive pins. The team was especially impressed with the efforts from newcomers Lerner and Yoo. Captain Duncan Crystal said, “Both guys proved to the team that they will become assets as the season progresses. Both showed not only talent, but determination in their matches, giving us high expectations for their seasons.” Andover will take on the Choate Wild Boars at 2:00 this Saturday for the home opener of the 2010 season.
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