After taking a hard blow from his Choate opponent, Co-Captain Justin Muchnick ’16 made a quick recovery to pin his man and win the match on Saturday. Despite Muchnick’s victory and successes from other returning wrestlers, Andover Wrestling fell 42-36 to Choate, pushing its record to 0-3.
Because Andover trained relentlessly this past week and felt it had the capability to overcome a familiar Choate team, the team said the loss proved especially disappointing. Andover dropped points in crucial situations, faltering at the ends of each period.
Bennett Sherr ’17 said, “We drilled our moves all week and practiced really hard, because we knew that Choate was a beatable team, and we all wanted to pick up our first [win]. We need to stop getting pinned in the last ten seconds of the period. We had so many wrestlers pinned in the last eight to ten seconds of a period, and if they had just held out for a little bit longer, that could have begun to chip away at Choate’s lead.”
Sherr won his match, earning bonus points for Andover and keeping the score margin close. Wins on the mat also came from Co-Captain Ian Blythe ’16, Quint Finney ’18 and Holden Ringer ’17. Martha Gao ’17, however, wrestled tenaciously to a narrow loss.
Gao said, “I think everyone worked really hard, and there were a lot of obvious improvements from our first meet, but there is also definitely a lot of room for development. I’m especially proud of the new wrestlers, who showed a lot of determination in their matches.”
Looking forward, Andover will use the loss as motivation to improve in its coming matches against Deerfield, Hyde-Bath, Hyde-Woodstock and Northfield Mount Hermon this weekend.
Muchnick said, “We’ve been getting in a really good few days of practice since then, so hopefully we can come out a little more aggressively this weekend. But overall I’ve been impressed with a lot of the new guys. The sport has a definite learning curve, but it’s good to see new faces picking things up quickly and having fun with the sport.”
Pierce Bausano ’18 said, “If anything, the loss left a bitter taste in our mouths that has driven us to work even harder at every practice this week, and it is giving every wrestler who was unhappy with their match this past Saturday a chance to redeem themselves.”