Down by three points, Charlie Talcott ’14 kicked into high gear. He ignored his opponent’s trash talk and completed a five-point swing. Talcott then pushed even harder and beat his opponent from Belmont Hill 11-9 in an overtime match.
Although Talcott and Andover Wrestling fought hard against Belmont Hill, Loomis Chaffee and Roxbury Latin this past Saturday, the team lost all three matches.
The disappointment, however, did not last long as Andover annihilated Worcester Academy later in the week.
Despite the unfavorable results on Saturday, six spectacular displays of resilience occurred when Co-Captains Christian Vallis ’14 and James Palmer ’14 went undefeated in the quad meet.
The three wins extended Vallis’s undefeated season record to 13 wins.
“When I think about how we could improve, the first thing that comes to mind is conditioning. Wrestling one match is difficult, but wrestling three in one day is downright brutal,” said Talcott.
After the tough losses, the team seemed reach a general consensus regarding the importance of fitness for future matches.
Bennett Sherr ’17 agreed with Talcott and added, “[We need to work on] conditioning and keeping the intensity the entire match. We burnt out in the third period. If we want a successful tournament season, we need to stay aggressive the entire match and not start sucking wind while we’re in the match.”
“We saw it in the duals, the kids who stayed intense and aggressive and had energy left in the last couple seconds to squeeze out a last second escape won,” continued Sherr.
The team has been working on perfecting its inside switches, which it hopes will be very useful late in matches when Andover need to dig deep and find the little energy remaining.
“We’re focusing on wrestling smart and making sure the intensity level is always up at practice so that we can be ready for tournament season,” wrote Justin Muchnick ’16 in an email to _The Phillipian_.
Andover had an opportunity for redemption in Wednesday’s home meet against Worcester. Six forfeits amongst the eight Worcester players that traveled to the meet proved to be the deciding factor, as the team cruised to 69-0 victory.
“Its easy to underestimate a team like Worcester when they only put 8 guys on the mat but we maintained our focus and beat some tough guys,” said Tom Daly ’16.
“I think our team’s biggest strength is our leadership— not only our two captains, but a couple other guys. Even some rookies have stepped up this season,” said Talcott.