Wrestling Shoots for Success

Led by captains Ryan Gaiss ’11 and Colton Dempsey ’12, Andover Wrestling approaches the new season with an unparalleled confidence and is poised for a breakout season. Last year, Andover ended the season with an impressive 10-4 record, placed 2nd in the Class A league tournament, 3rd in New England Preparatory Tournament, and 28th in the Preparatory National Tournament. While the team did not lose many seniors from last season, Captains Gaiss and Dempsey are looking for several of the 40 wrestlers on the team to step up into key varsity positions. Gaiss enters his senior year as a four-year starter and a two-year captain, and looks to improve on his already impressive wrestling résumé. Last year he won the Class A league title and placed 8th at the National Prep School tournament, amassing his win total to 75 career wins, tied for ninth in school history. Dempsey ’12, a three year starter and first year captain, goes into the season eager to build upon an already successful career at Andover. Last year he won the New England Prep title and won three matches at the National Prep Tournament. “This year is very different because we have a lot of good young talent,” Dempsey said. “We only graduated a few seniors from our starting lineup, and we have a plenty of great wrestlers to fill the spots for this year and years to come.” Standouts Brandon Sneider ’12, Anthony Tedesco ’12, and Will Park ’11, who all placed at the New England Prep tournament last year, look to advance nationally this year, and hope to solidify the middle weight classes throughout the season. Hanafin said, “Although our team is strong in the middle weight classes, we are going to need a complete team effort to win. We need people to step up in the upper and lower weight classes, and the development of the newer kids could make the difference in the long run.” The combination of veteran starters as well as rising talent from the newcomers could allow Andover to develop into an extremely competitive team by season’s end. Coach Gorham said, “Our team will definitely be carried by out five returning New England Prep place winners (Gaiss, Dempsey, Sneider, Park, and Tedesco), but if we can develop some of our young talent in the upper weights, we will be successful.” Andover will square off against Nobles this Saturday at home. The match will start at 3:30.