In classic David vs. Goliath fashion, the Wrenches of Fury beat two of the most anticipated teams in Andover’s annual dodgeball tournament, the A-Team and GBB, on the road to making history as the first Junior-only team to ever capture the title.
In the first round, Wrenches of Fury easily defeated another freshmen team, Sweet 16, to get the momentum rolling. The Wrenches’ victory was quite decisive, although Miles Austin ’16, a Sweet 16 player, believes his opponent’s success was not purely due to skill.
“All they had was luck. Their skills are equivalent to the New York Jets, and that’s not very good by my standards,” said Austin.
Following lackluster competition in the first round, Wrenches of Fury soon got some of its stiffest competition of the night against the A-Team. Taunted and intimidated by a team that overwhelmed them in height, skill and age, Wrenches of Fury devised a plan to garner victory.
“We knew that Tim Salvadore ’15 was on that team, so we tried to stay away from him. Also, our goal was to just stay in the game by dodging their shots to accumulate the balls on our side and get the crowd behind us,” said Cameron Kerry ’16.
Fortunately for his team, Kerry nailed Salvadore early in the game and gave his teammates the confidence to play aggressively and carry the team to victory once again.
The third round began poorly for Wrenches of Fury, with the team losing players quickly and falling behind. Andover All-Stars, led by Justin Stachtiaris ’13, was on the offensive, and the Wrenches’ streak looked to be coming to an end.
When it looked like all hope was lost, referee Tony Kodis called Kenta Nomoto ’14 and Stachtiaris out on two controversial penalties, and the Wrenches of Fury were right back in the game. With the game now even, the Wrenches of Fury proceeded to win the game and advance to the next round.
Riding a wave of confidence, Wrenches of Fury took on the storied Andover Cottage in the fourth round. Led by Topher Hedley ’13, Andover Cottage was quick off the line and wasted no time, pulling up 4-2 player wise.
But the Wrenches again rallied back, and Alex Armour ’16 secured a big catch in the process to bring his team up 3-1. Andover Cottage then cut the lead, evening the players on each team to one. In the waning minutes of the game, Armour ended a one-on-one showdown with a huge hit on Andover Cottage’s remaining player.
Wrenches of Fury’s last and most monumental challenge of the night was against GBB in the finals. Erica Shin ’16 got the game off to a good start by snagging a ball out of the air from an Chris Hohlstein ’14, a varsity baseball player.
Kerry hit Dewitt Burnham ’16 in the chest, leaving only one player on the court for GBB while all eight Wrenches remained in the game.
As the chants of “16, 16!” grew louder, Nick Faulkner ’16 nailed GBB’s lone player, sealing Wrenches of Fury’s dodgeball championship title.
“Cam Kerry was balling it up out there. My boys weren’t afraid of no balls. Played their big and little hearts out. Love them,” said Benny Ogando ’15.
Wrenches of Fury’s success is a testament to the fact that winning is not always about talent, but more about heart. What the team lacked for in size or skill, it made up for in grit, determination and the ability to fight adversity. From 5’1 ¾ ” Kerry to 6’6” Faulkner, Wrenches of Fury showed no gaps in fortitude.
This year’s champions look forward to protecting their title in next year’s Dodgeball Tournament. With three more years of playing, the team’s potential looks strong.