Strong Performances Not Enough at NMH Tournament

Andover Wrestling rebounded from a difficult weekend tournament at Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) by defeating Worcester Academy on Wednesday.

Andover beat Worcester handily 54-24, with Worcester needing to forfeit six matches.

Andover’s pins came from Captain Christian Vallis ’14, Andreas Shiekh ’15 and James Palmer ’14.

“It was great to come out and perform as a team after such a tough week,” said Vallis. “It really shows a lot about the resiliency of our guys that they were able to bounce back after losing so many hard fought matches.”

At the NMH tournament on Saturday, Andover lost all of its matches.

Andover forfeited all of its match in the 138, 145, 152 and 160-pound weight classes because of injury problems that have plagued the team all season.

Andover dropped its Loomis Chaffee match 26-42, despite pins by Palmer ’14 at 170 pounds and Henry Curtis ’15 at 195 pounds.

Shiekh ’15 had a 13-10 win at 106 pounds, and Alex Rubin ’14 had an 8-4 win at 182 pounds.

Roxbury Latin defeated Andover 34-39 in Andover’s closest match of the day.

Curtis tallied his second pin of the day. Coach Rich Gorham said, “[Curtis] is cemented as a solid starter.”

Shiekh also had a pin at 106 pounds.

Matt Simon ’14 and Alex Humphreys ’15 won by forfeit at 220 pounds and 285 pounds. Vallis continued the trend when he won by injury default.

Next, Andover lost in a 0-71 blowout to Wyoming Seminary from Pennsylvania, the second ranked wrestling program nationally.

Andover was either defeated or forfeited in every single weight class.

“[We gained] valuable experience against some of the best high school wrestlers in the country,” said Gorham.

The Belmont Hill match ended in a 27-48 loss for Andover. Palmer continued his big day with a second pin.

Rubin said, “I was very impressed by James Palmer’s dominance of the day. He pinned tough opponents and proved his unstoppable endurance yet again.”

Vallis also pocketed a pin at 120 pounds.

Curtis and Humphreys both won by forfeit, and Chase Gottlich ’14 had a 12-8 win at 126 pounds.

Andover Wrestling is in a time of transition, with most of the Senior wrestlers injured. Rubin said, “As a team, there’s really been a changing of guard. For this mid-season, our Seniors have been out with injuries and a lot of underclassmen have stepped up.”

Andover looks forward to matches against Governor’s and Tilton on Saturday.