Player Profiles Sports Spring Sports

Players to Watch This Spring

Baseball: Taylor Beckett ’17

Leo Brother

As a returning player on Andover Baseball, Taylor Beckett ’17 is expected to make a grand slam this season. After Andover lost the championship game last season, Beckett spent hours in the batting cage. Now, he anticipates that his batting expertise will be a game changer for Andover.

In addition to his prowess in the batter’s box, Beckett has proven to have a rocket arm, making long-range defensive plays from third base and the outfield.

Beckett said, “I think the best part of my game is my bat. I also try to be a leader on and off the field, and bring energy and focus to the team.”

Boys Crew: Nate Smith ’18

Jack Warden

Nathaniel Smith ’18 first touched an oar at the Essex Rowing club in Methuen, Mass., where he discovered his true passion for the sport. Ever since, his strong desire to improve has made him a valuable component to Andover Boys Crew and a strong team member.

Co-Captain Nick Faulkner ’16, who has high hopes for Smith, said, “This is Nate’s second year on the team, and he is building upon a successful freshman campaign. I think Nate has a really strong work ethic and will be a big contributor to our team’s success – not only this season, but for years to come.”

Girls Crew: Sofie Brown ’18

Ananda Kao

Sofie Brown ’18 has quickly emerged as one of Andover Girls Crew’s top rowers this season. Her tall stature, strength, and work ethic have allowed her to improve exponentially as a rower in a relatively short period of time.

Brown said, “I think crew is one of those sports that rewards hours put in over skill, which helps you improve quickly.”

Co-Captain Vienna Kuhn ’16 said, “Sofie is incredibly upbeat and motivational. She’s always a happy presence on the team, ready to encourage others to be as excited as she is. She is a great teammate both on and off the water.”

Cycling: Jessica Wang ’18

Yuji Chan

Heading into her second season on Andover Cycling, Jessica Wang ’18 is eager to continue her success from last year. Wang finished in the top five overall places in each race last spring, which consisted of about 30 racers.

Co-Captain David Shamritsky ’17 said, “Jess brings a great attitude to each practice, and her hard work will definitely pay off once the racing season begins.”

“The combination of her comfort on long uphills and power output sets her apart from her competitors, and she is on her way to becoming a dominant force in the [New England Road Cycling League],” continued Shamritsky.

Golf: John Witt ’18

Nitish Kalpat

After playing lacrosse last year, John Witt ’18 joined Andover Golf and is capable of making a large impact this season.
Witt flashed his potential during tryouts, shooting only three over par on the first day.

“[Witt] comes in with a great attitude and strikes the ball really well. He is always the first guy on the course and always the last one off. He really cares about the team and is a great addition,” said Ryan Simard ’16.

Head Coach Brian Faulk ’00 said, “We did not expect that [Witt] would be trying out this year and he seems poised to earn a spot at the top of the lineup.”

Boys Lacrosse: Larson Tolo ’18

Nick Schoeller

One of only seven returners to Andover Boys Lacrosse this year, Larson Tolo ’18 will play an important role as an anchor for the team’s defense.

A starter on a last year’s Andover group, Tolo acts as a wall on defense.

Reed Findlay ’18 said, “Larson took on an important role early on last year as a defenseman and has led the team to success in many ways. He’s a team player and he contributes every game.”

“He’s a ferocious beast on the field. He gets after every ground ball, plays with a lot of heart, and you can always expect 100 percent effort from him” said Jack Belluche ’16.

Girls Waterpolo: Sarah Al-Mayahi ’17

Juliette Farmer

Since joining the team as a Junior, Sarah Al-Mayahi ’17 has been an offensive threat on Andover Girls Water Polo.

In an email to The Phillipian, Head Coach Daniel O’Shea wrote, “When she joined the team as a junior, she had never played water polo before in her life. In the span of two seasons, she went from having zero experience to being an absolutely key player on our offense.”
Looking towards the upcoming season, Al-Mayahi is focused on fostering team bonding.

Al-Mayahi said, “I love the game and my teammates so much motivates me to put my best foot forward everyday.”

Editor’s Note: Sarah Al-Mayahi is an Illustration Editor for The Phillipian.

Boys Track & Field: Ralph Skinner ’16

Cedric Elkouh

Entering his fourth year on Andover Boys Track & Field, Ralph Skinner ’16 is one of Andover’s top distance runners. He competes in the 800-Meter, 1500-Meter, 3000-Meter, and 4×400-Meter Races.

Skinner is a consistently strong performer for Andover. He set a blazing fast Personal Record in the Mile during the Indoor Track season with a time of 4:29.15 minutes.

Skinner hopes to emerge as a leader this spring.

He said, “[I plan to] help the team out wherever I am needed by continuing to work hard in practice and supporting the other runners.”

Girls Track & Field: Ava Stills ’19

Akesh Shah

Ever since sixth grade, sprinter Ava Stills ’19 has been honing her talents on the track.

“In sixth grade, my school wasn’t very focused on athletics so most students rotated through sports. I eventually settled on running the 50- and 100-Yard dash along with the Long Jump and High Jump,” said Stills.

Grace Rademacher ’18 said, “Ava has been a strong contributor to the team so far. Her spirit and enthusiasm inspires me and the rest of the team. I can tell already that she’s a great talent and will really help the team succeed this spring.”

Ultimate: Ian Jackson ’16

Andy Kim

The only four-year member of Andover Ultimate, Ian Jackson ’16 will look to utilize his combination of elite agility and impressive vertical to function once again as Andover’s downfield threat. As one of the most important members of the team both offensively and defensively, Jackson will be integral in what hopes to be a successful season for Andover.

Co-Captain James Wolfe ’17 said, “Ian has more experience than anyone on the team. His speed and vertical jump are extremely impressive and invaluable in games. He’s going to be transitioning into some new roles, and, with his experience, I think he will do a phenomenal job.”

Boys Volleyball: Matt Shea ’18

Reuben Philip

Matthew Shea ’18, a member of Andover Boys Basketball, tried out for Andover Boys Volleyball on a whim and discovered his athletic talent would enable a seamless transition despite having no previous experience with the sport.

Shea’s athletic ability and accuracy stand as a few aspects of his game that were noticed by Coach Beckwith.

Coach Beckwith said, “Matthew has potential for improvement in volleyball; he demonstrated good hand-eye coordination and athleticism that will make him a formidable jumper and spiker. He distinguished himself for his effort and enthusiasm.”

Girls Lacrosse: Brooke Keough ’19

Jennifer Lee

Armed with speed, natural skill, and athleticism, Brooke Keough ’19 will have a huge impact on the Andover Girls Lacrosse team this season.
After dominating on Andover Girls Field and Ice Hockey, Keough hopes to translate her Fall and Winter Term success onto the lacrosse field.

Co-Captain Kelly McCarthy ’16 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Brooke is an incredibly dependable player due to her smart decision making and refined skills. She is a force in all zones of the field.”

Keough said, “I hope that this year I can be an asset to the team on both offense and defense, as well as being a really positive team member both on and off the field.”