Captains Feature: Boys Soccer

In his fourth year starting at center midfield and his second year as Captain of Andover Boys Soccer, Mike DiFronzo ’11 has proven himself as an unquestioned leader. DiFronzo, a four-year Senior from North Reading, MA plays a key part in Andover’s tenacious defense as well as their explosive offense. Although he is far from a flashy player, DiFronzo’s consistency and hard work make him a force on the field and a well-respected leader. This season, DiFronzo has already scored three important goals while leading Andover to an impressive record of 6-2-1. Since being called up to varsity during his freshman season, he has never looked back, establishing himself as a very consistent player in the center of the pitch. “To put on the varsity jersey for the first time was an honor,” said DiFronzo, “That jersey symbolizes the desire, passion and work ethic of an entire team and school. I am nothing short of privileged to get a chance to represent Andover and fight alongside my teammates for each win.” When asked about the young ninth grader, Coach Carr said, “Three things really stood out about Mike when he first came to the squad. He was both physically tough and mentally tough. He was mature, and from day one he came in willing to work hard and wanting to get better. In some ways, from an early stage he began to lead with his work ethic and example.” As a freshman, DiFronzo found tremendous guidance from the Seniors who helped him adapt to the high school game. “Seniors Tanner McNeill [’08] and Mike Donelan [’08] were huge role models for me,” DiFronzo said, “Tanner played in the center midfield with me, and I looked to his lead on how to play the position in Andover’s system. Donelan, on the other hand, was more of a personal role model for me. His lifestyle is one I still strive to follow.” Garnet Hathaway ’10, DiFronzo’s Co-Captain last season, had been a great inspiration for Mike throughout his four years on the team. “Garnet pushed me and shaped me as a soccer player and person. He was a great team mate and is still my best friend,” DiFronzo said. This year Mike shares the center of the midfield with fellow Senior Tim Marchese ‘11. Combined, the two are a deadly force in the midfield, picking apart other teams’ midfield and defense with hard tackles and great balls to the wings. “Mike has always been a solid player who you can always depend on to make a hard tackle or win a header,” Marchese said. Mike still leads by example, playing hard at practice every day and pushing all of his teammates to play their hardest every day. First year Varsity player Taylor Chin ’14 said, “I love playing with Mike because he is a commanding presence on the field, and he plays simple. He sets a great example and has been a great role model for me.” After a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in the quarterfinals of last year’s NEPSAC tournament, Andover looks to take revenge and finally capture the trophy in DiFronzo’s final season.