With a strong group of returners, Andover Ultimate looks to repeat its success from last season. Andover is coming off of a 12-6 record from 2010, including winning the New England Championship and qualifying for the A division of the Amherst tournament, a tournament that includes some of the best teams in the country.
Led by Co-Captains Turner Shaw ’11 and Thomas Armstrong ’11, Andover looks to go just as hard this year as they did last year. “Despite the fact that we graduated six seniors from last year, and lost another player this year, I am looking forward to another very successful season,” said David Russell ’12. Dan Aronov ’11 said, “We will stop at nothing less than a second straight New England championship.”
To help Andover reach its goal of a second straight New England championship, it must rely on a very strong core of ten returning players. The returning players are handlers Alec Weiss ’11, Russell, Dylan Gully ’12 and Shaw, along with cutters Armstrong, Aronov, Eric Yoon ’11, Teddy Smyth ’11, Brandon Wong ’12 and Lucas Christopherson ’12.
“The team chemistry is strong and the effort during tryouts has been encouraging,” said Armstrong. “Under the leadership of Coach Hoenig and Coach Scott, I expect us to have a very successful season,” said Armstrong.
Andover’s strength is not only found in the returning players, however. Shaw said, “I expect our team to be just as good as last year, especially when the new recruits get the hang of the sport.” A strong group of freshmen have tried out this year, who, despite being new to ultimate, are very athletic and are full of promising talent. Since the first few practices of the season have been windy, Shaw is sure that the new players, along with the returners, are learning and practicing good habits on the field.
On March 6th, Andover kicks off the season with a game against Newton North. Last year Andover blasted Newton North away with a 15-6 win and looks to carry the same intensity into this year’s season opener. With the season right in front of it, Andover looks forward to its game with cross-town rival Andover High, the Amherst Tournament and most importantly the New England Championship.
“We have a lot of potential this year, and we are going to have to work hard. Even though our expectations are tough, I know we can get it done,” said Gully.