A wrestler since the fourth grade, Co-Captain Pierce Bausano ’18 brings close to nine years of experience to Andover Wrestling. His extensive knowledge and skill have made him a natural leader on the team, according to his teammates.
Bausano started wrestling because it was a requirement at his middle school in New York. Though he started wrestling competitively in the seventh grade, Bausano did not identify himself as a wrestler until he came to Andover. Stepping into his role as Co-Captain this season along with Co-Captain Alex Cleveland ’17, Bausano strives to balance hard work and dedication with a welcoming team atmosphere.
Bausano said, “It was a huge honor to be elected captain for my Upper season, and it means an incredible amount to me that my teammates wanted me to lead them with Cleveland this season. Being a captain of a wrestling team is a balance between keeping the team determined but not killing them. It can get pretty grim if everyone is constantly just gritting their teeth and grinding, and it is easy for kids to burn out.”
Bausano leads by example by putting in extra time and work outside of normal practice times. Bausano’s extra efforts do not go unnoticed by fellow teammates, and many look up to him both on and off the mat.
Eamon Garrity-Rokous ’20 said, “His part as a role model on the team coincides with the fact he leads by example, showing his teammates what is like to have the right attitude, to wrestle with the right purpose, and to wrestle one’s absolute best and hardest out there on the mat with the right technique.”
Martha Gao ’17 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Pierce leads by example, and is consistently the hardest worker on the team in every practice and every match. He pushes us all to reach our full potential and to try our best, regardless of the outcome, which I think is really important in this sport.”
Bausano has grown both as a wrestler and a leader, overcoming several challenges throughout his years on the team.
Bausano said, “Throughout most of [Junior] year I was not having fun at wrestling practice. I was an out-of-shape middle schooler stepping into a varsity high school wrestling room. The team went from 45 [members] to less than 10 over the course of that season, mostly from injury, and by the end, I was wrestling the Senior heavyweight Alex Humphreys [’15] every practice. It was grueling and everyday was a struggle to get myself to practice, but just as I started getting used to the grind, I had my collar-bone broken at the Northern’s tournament and surgery put me out for the season.”
After dealing with the injury setback at the end of his Junior year, Bausano came back Lower year with a newly developed enthusiasm and eagerness.
Bausano said, “Lower year started in a similar fashion, I didn’t work hard enough getting in shape in the off season and the first weeks of practice were gruelling, but there was a change in my mentality. I started loving the grind at every practice. The work itself didn’t get easier but I started having fun doing it.”
“In the off-season after Lower year, I grinded to stay in shape and couldn’t wait to get back on our mat with the team, and now that the season is here I’ve been loving every minute of it and I’m hoping to keep it going as long as possible,” Bausano continued.
After a third place finish last year at New England’s, Andover hopes to win the Class-A League Tournament and qualify as many wrestlers for New England’s as possible this year. With Bausano at the helm, Andover’s prospects look optimistic.
Editor’s Note: Pierce Bausano is an Associate Business Manager for The Phillipian.