After Loss to NMH, Key Pins Lead to Three Win Week

Despite pins by Captain Christian Vallis ’14, Henry Curtis ’15 and Andreas Sheikh ’15, Andover Wrestling dropped its match to rival Northfield Mount Hermon 53-25 last Friday.

Andover redeemed itself on Saturday with decisive wins against Deerfield, Hyde-Connecticut and Hyde-Maine but lost to Tabor 48-30 on Wednesday.

“[The NMH] meet is always the biggest of the year,” said James Palmer ’14. “They are the best New England Prep has to offer and getting a chance to face off against their kids is always a good experience.”

“It was awesome looking out and seeing the room full, people looking in through the windows and just so many people coming out to support us,” added Palmer. Alums Anthony Tedesco ’12, Brian Hanafin ’12, Brandon Sneider ’12 and Robert Palmer ’11 were also in the audience at the big match.

Andover was without four of its starters, including veteran Sven Lerner ’13, the top ranked 145 pounder in New England Prep, due to injury and sickness.

Head Coach Richard Gorham felt the loss was in part because of the team’s youth. “We have six Lowers and two Juniors starting and will look for all of them to develop during the season,” he said.

On Saturday, Andover traveled to Deerfield for a round robin with Hyde-Connecticut, Hyde-Maine and Deerfield.

In the Deerfield match, Chase Gottlich ’14, Tom Daly ’16, Sheikh and Vallis all pinned their opponents, helping Andover to a 55-24 win.

After crushing Deerfield, Andover moved on to Hyde-Connecticut. Impressive wins by the freshmen Daly and Justin Muchnick ’16 propelled the team to a 51-18 win.

Palmer said, “[The] young wrestlers shocked me; a lot of kids I hadn’t seen on the mat before this year went out and got wins. That’s always a good feeling.”

“Getting my first four wins in my [Andover] wrestling career last weekend is something I’ll definitely look back on in years to come. It felt great to go out there and put some points on the board for Andover,” said Muchnick.

Against Hyde-Maine, Vallis, Mutchnik, Palmer, Curtis, Sheikh and Matt Simon ’14 all pinned their opponents, leading to a 54-30 victory.

On Wednesday, an injury-plagued Andover team lost to Tabor Academy 48-30. Sheikh, Daly, Vallis and Palmer recorded pins against the tough team.

Lerner, Nikhil Baradwaj ’13 and Henry Manning ’14 were all sidelined from their starting roles because of injuries.

Andover, now 4-2, is preparing for a quad match this Saturday against Belmont Hill, Loomis, Roxbury Latin and NMH.