Newcomer Chris Ward ’19 sprinted through two defenders and threw his outstretched arm across the body of a Newton North attacker to secure the disc for his team. Moving with agility, he tossed the disc to Co-Captain Reuben Philip ’18 who launched an endzone pass to fellow Co-Captain James Wolfe ’17 to score the third-to-last point of the game. Following the momentum of this play, Andover went on to defeat Newton North in the first game of the season 15-13.
After being elected to the New England High School Ultimate All Stars as a Lower, Philip has continued to play a major role on the team during its first match.
Isaiah Lee ’19 said, “Reuben Philip was probably the main player. He really controlled the game. Reuben is our primary handler, which means the disc is in his hands a lot of the time… He sort of delegates plays and decides the motion of the offense. He did a really good job of that today, sort of getting everyone together especially on our first game.”
Fellow teammate, Wolfe said “Reuben also turned on the jets, especially later in the game. His throws were flawless, and his handler movements were insanely quick.”
Although this was the team’s first game together, Andover developed an effective rhythm on both ends of the field after adjusting to its opponent’s tactics.
“We ran into some trouble with their zone defense, but we hit our stride in the second half, got our flow going, and played some really intense defense,” said Wolfe.
The match began amidst torrential rain, significantly affecting the team’s performance.
Lee said, “The conditions were definitely not ideal… It’s kind of hard to play in the rain because… your hands get kind of cold so it’s harder to catch the disc and… it’s harder to get good throws off because the grip on the disc is not so good.”
Commenting on the conditions and its effect on his play, Philip said, “It was hard to get a good grip on the disc. I wasn’t able to make very many long throws. As the game went on that sort of wore off. And also coming into the first game we were very rusty and as the game went on we sort of got that rust off a little bit.
One of Andover’s standout performers was Ward, who found success on both defense and offense.
Wolfe said, “[Ward] had some great defensive blocks and executed well on offense, too. I look forward to seeing what he can do later in the season.”
“Chris Ward performed really well and he had a lot of very good defensive stops. James Wolfe, the other co-captain, also made a couple of really great plays towards the end of the game,” said Philip.
Newton North proved to be a challenge because of its unique defense and potent offense.
Lee said, “They played a zone defense which is when instead of [having] one defender on the person with the disc, they had three players a little bit further back which really prevented the flow we were trying to get going.”
Wolfe said, “Their zone defense was our biggest obstacle for sure. They kept us stagnant, and we just weren’t moving the way we should as an offense. We’ll definitely look to improve there.”
Discussing Newton’s offense, Wolfe said “Newton North had great handler offense. Their upline cuts were quick and effective, and their hucks were very strong.”
Andover hopes to continue its winning ways against St. John’s Prep this Wednesday.
Editor’s Note: Reuben Philip is a Sport’s Editor for The Phillipian.