Andover Sweeps Quad-Meet; Crystal ’10 and Gaiss ’11 Perfect in Five-Match Week

Led by Co-Captains Ryan Gaiss ’11 and Duncan Crystal ’10, who both went undefeated this week, Andover survived a tough week of competition, going 3-2 to improve its record to 6-2 on the season. Crystal said, “It was a tough week for us. We faced some of our best competition and some of our worst. We did exactly what was expected of us, but certainly could have improved.” To start off the week, Andover squared off against Northfield Mount Hermon in an intense Friday night matchup. With a strobe light show and every fan dressed in white, the match was definitely a primetime event at NMH. Colton Dempsey ’12 said, “To be honest, I found the crowd rather unnerving and unsportsmanlike, but it wasn’t too unreasonable considering our intense, ongoing rivalry with them.” NMH got the upper hand on Andover, winning 62-13. Although Andover may have lost, impressive victories came from Crystal, Gaiss, and Anthony Tedesco ’12. Following the match, Coach Rich Gorham ’86 explained, “We were beaten by a superior team. We also learned we need to get tougher in order to play with the big boys.” The following day, Andover took on Deerfield, Hyde-CT, and Hyde-ME in a quad meet. Andover got back on the winning track, taking all three dual meets in impressive fashion. Andover started the morning by dominating Deerfield 50-29. Andover then followed up with two more victories over the Hyde Schools. Co Captain Ryan Gaiss said, “We had lofty goals to beat Northfield, but obviously we didn’t pull through. Saturday was a great day, allowing us to rebound from the loss, helping us restore some confidence.” There were several impressive wins in the weekend meet, but one particularly notable win came from Ken Tharp ’11, his first in an Andover uniform. Said Tharp, “I was more nervous than anything, being in front of the home crowd, but after hearing the ref slap the mat, I felt ecstatic. I hope to keep putting in the effort it takes to get that feeling again.” After a successful weekend, Andover traveled to Tabor on Wednesday, but came home with a 45-22 loss. Once again, Andover walked into a very hostile, crowded environment. In the first match of the meet, Alex Du ’10 certainly made a statement, recording a win against a highly ranked opponent. Du said, “I was certainly a heavy underdog going into the match. I went into it, thinking I need to wrestle smart and start the meet off right with a victory for us. That upset is one of the best matches I have ever wrestled. The feeling of silencing the rowdy home crowd was great.” Other quality victories came from Dempsey, defeating a returning New England champion and Crystal, who secured a third period pin, allowing Andover to get back into the match. Gorham said, “Duncan knew the team needed a pin. He went out there in the third period and continued to take the kid down, doing what it took to get that pin. He did exactly what a senior leader does.” This weekend, Andover will face off against its toughest competition of the year, including Belmont Hill, Loomis Chafee, and Roxbury Latin.