Heading into the 2015 season, Andover Football looks to regain its championship-form from the 2013 season. The team will be led by Co-Captains Jumaane Ford ’16 and John Simourian ’16.
Last season, Andover compiled a 3-5 record during an injury-riddled season.
Head Coach Leon Modeste said, “The season before last year, we won the championship, so I think a lot of people had high expectations for last season. But we got some injuries, and it really didn’t materialize. We can only hope we can be better and have less injuries this year.”
One of the teams that Andover beat was Exeter, whom it defeated for the second straight year in a tight, 13-12 duel.
“The game was kind of back and forth. We had some penalties, but our defense did a really good job and our offensive line opened up holes for Mike Panepinto ’15 and Max Anthony ’15,” said Coach Modeste. “Late in the game we got a turnover caused by Foster LeBoeuf ’15 and DeWitt Burnham ’16. We came up with the ball after a couple of Panepinto runs, Travis Lane ’18 hit Nick Forti ’15 with a touchdown, and we won the game.”
Returner Keegan Cummings ’17 said, “The fans in the stadium made the Exeter game so memorable. They were loud and engaged throughout the whole game and really gave us the support to stay focused. Storming the field at the end of the game made all those long and hard hours on the practice field feel worth it. I’ll remember that moment for the rest of my life.”
The addition of Post-Graduates (PGs), as well as new Lowers and Uppers, have bolstered the roster to make up for the loss of 18 Seniors.
Coach Modeste said, “Every year in prep school you lose players, since the Seniors and PGs obviously all go. But we have some kids up from Junior Varsity… some new Uppers, a couple of new Lowers that we are excited about and, of course, our one-year Seniors and PGs.”
Andover’s strength this year will be its speed and agility, rather than its size.
“We are a fast team, but we are not a big team this year,” said Coach Modeste. “We don’t have a ton of huge guys, but we have fast guys. So it’s definitely one of those years where you have to be the matador, not the bull.”
“My goals for the season are always the same: win every game,” Coach Modeste said. “But at the same time, I want to make sure the kids understand the game and build a real team atmosphere. Football is one of those sports where you really have to be a team and you really have to work together. You could have the best players in the world, but if you don’t have blocking or communication, it won’t work.”
Andover will make its debut at home against Loomis Chaffee on Saturday the 26th.