Gaiss ’11, Dempsey ’12 Pin Opponents in Win

With 11 pins in 14 matches, the Andover wrestling team kicked off last weekend by steamrolling Governor’s Academy 66-12. The meet started out well for Andover, as they drew three straight forfeits from Christian Vallis ’12, Nikhil Baradwaj ’13, and Sven Lerner ’13 at 112 lbs, 119 lbs, and 125 lbs respectively. The forfeits proved key in propelling Andover to quick 18-0 start. Veteran Brandon Sneider ’12 stepped out onto the mat for Big Blue, wrestling at 130 lbs. Sneider, looking to further Andover’s lead in the meet, quickly overpowered his opponent, pinning him before the end of the first period. After a forfeit drawn by veteran Will Park ’11 at 135 lbs, Co-Captain Ryan Gaiss ’11 and Colton Dempsey ’12, prepared to wrestle their respective matches. Both Gaiss and Dempsey displayed experience and overpowering skill, each pinning their opponents less than two minutes into their matches. With the both veterans and newcomers contributing effectively in the meet, Andover looked to increase its lead even further. Veterans Anthony Tedesco ’12 and Robert Palmer ’11, both pinned their opponents at 152 lbs and 160 lbs respectively, extending the lead to 54-0. Newcomer James Palmer ‘14, wrestling at 171 lbs pinned a tough opponent as the match wore down to further Andover’s lead. After giving up a couple of heavyweights forfeits, Andover ended the meet on a good note as freshman Auggie Horner, wrestling at 103 lbs, pinning his opponent quickly to give Andover a 66-12 victory. Coming off a commanding win against Governor’s, the team looked to repeat its solid performance against a tough Tilton team. Starting at 119 lbs, Baradwaj looked to give Andover an early lead in the match. Unfortunately Baradwaj lost to a skillful Tilton wrestler, putting Andover behind for the first time all day. Andover quickly rebounded with 2 quick pins by Lerner and Sneider, wrestling at 125 lbs and 130 lbs respectively. With its first lead in the meet, veteran Park stepped out on the mat, looking to extend the lead. Park displayed masterful skill and agility against a scrappy Tilton wrestler, demolishing him 18-3. Two quick pins by Co-Captains Gaiss and Dempsey, and a forfeit drawn by Tedesco at 152 lbs gave Andover a comfortable lead in the match. Min Jae Yoo ’12, wrestling up at 160 lbs, gave Andover another crucial pin in the meet. Although Robert Palmer, wrestling up at 171 lbs, lost in a hard fought match, freshman James Palmer won a great match 15-2, propelling Andover to a 45-9 lead. After Big Blue gave up two forfeits in the upper weights, Horner, winning by forfeit, and Vallis, winning by pin, clinched the 57-22 victory for Andover. Dempsey said following the match, “We truly displayed our full potential this weekend. Everybody we sent out against Governor’s got a pin. I can’t ask for anything more than that.” Andover improves to 10-2 (7-1 in Class “A” League) and looks ahead at a big weekend competing at Northern New England Tournament at The Hyde School in Maine.