Graduating only two Seniors for an impressive lineup of returning players, Andover Boys Water Polo hopes to bounce back from a disappointing 2012 season. Andover struggled to maintain control and finished with a 4-8 record despite showing talent and skill in the water last fall.
“Frankly, last year we did not have a successful season at all,” wrote Peter Fanikos ’14 in an e-mail to The Phillipian. “We were a very young and inexperienced team with only two Seniors, one of [whom] was hurt for the majority of the season and could not play.”
“However, this year the team is dominantly comprised of Seniors and experienced Uppers. We should be capable of performing better than last year,” added Fanikos.
Despite last year’s lack of experience, the team showed astounding speed in the water, propelling its dominant offense. Andover will continue to hone its strengths and minimize weaknesses through rigorous practices early on. However, the key to success this year will be the lineup of 15 returning players.
“This year there will be a lot more bench players that will be able to sub in and help the team compared to last year, where the starters had to play almost the entire games,” said Co-Captain Travis Bouscaren ’14 in an e-mail to The Phillipian.
Andover’s Water Polo program will face a difficult challenge this season. With previous Junior Varsity Coach Scott Hoenig newly appointed as Dean of Studies, Andover will combine the JV and Varsity teams into one enlarged team during practices.
“Obviously it is not ideal, but it’s the best thing we could work out,” said Co-Captain Andrew Yang ’14.
Andover will have to split into JV and Varsity teams for games, and with approximately 20 players on the combined team, limited space in the pool for practice will be an additional obstacle for Andover Water Polo. Despite its immediate setbacks, the team remains hopeful that the change will yield great improvements in the future.
Yang said, “More people will get more playing time and more experience playing, so I think it’ll be better for the team in the long run.”
“Going into my last season, I have high hopes,” he added. “We definitely have a strong core returning players, and I think this year we really have a shot at finally making it to the Final Four.”
Andover Boys Water Polo looks to start the season off strong against Exeter on September 18.