Experienced Group Will Be Key To Blue Steel’s Success this Season

After a crushing sudden-death loss last May in the New England finals, Andover will take the field this year with a chip on its shoulder and the New England title in its sights. Led by Captain Duncan Crystal ’10, Andover is ready for another great season. Lucas Christopherson ’12 said, “The team looks very strong this year with the majority of players being returners. From watching the newcomers in practice and tryouts, I am sure they are ready to step up and have a great season as well.” So far head coach, Steve Hoenig, has placed an emphasis on conditioning in practice and tryouts. Dylan Gully ’12 said, “I’m feeling good about the team. We have great skill, so conditioning is the number one priority as we prepare for the games starting next week.” “We have a lot of potential this year, but we are going to have to work hard to improve upon last year. Even though our expectations are high, I know we can get it done,” said Josh Feng ’10. In the sport of Ultimate, teams are divided into two categories, cutters and handlers. Cutters are fast players who have good hands. They are responsible for getting open down field and creating opportunities for long passes. Handler’s primary job is to find open cutters and make accurate passes to open players. Andover’s cutters this year are very experienced as the team brings back all its returning starters from last season. Three returning seniors, Crystal, Feng and Rob Stevens ’10, as well as Christopherson and Brandon Wong ’12 have great speed and agility and are expected to put points on the scoreboard for Andover. Andover’s handlers are less experienced. Hit by the loss of Alec Weiss ’11 because of SYA and Eli Grober ’10, there are many holes in this year’s handlers squad. Turner Shaw ’11, Gully and David Russell ’12 are ready to fill the holes left by the loss of these players. “Our main focus right now is to work hard and get in shape. We have a lot of great players, all of which are ready to step up into a different position than they are used to. Our team has great potential and I am sure that we will have a very good season,” said Russell. Andover starts its season next Wednesday at Newton North.