Never missing a day of practice according to Head Coach Richard Gorham ’86, Co-Captain Pierce Bausano ’18 leads Andover Wrestling alongside Co-Captain Pablo Sanchez ’19 with great devotion.
“Pierce has become an exceptional leader. He thinks of the whole team before himself. He leads by example and by voice. He is the first to arrive for every practice and the last to leave. I am not sure he has ever missed a practice in his Andover career. He holds himself and his teammates accountable… and is committed to our team values of inclusion and hard work,” said Coach Gorham.
Hailing from New York, N.Y., Bausano was introduced to wrestling in the fourth grade through his school’s mandatory sports program. Bausano continued to pursue the sport throughout middle school. A four-year varsity wrestler and Co-Captain of the team since his Upper Year, Bausano has accumulated leadership and wrestling experiences that no other Andover wrestlers have. Bausano in turn uses the knowledge that he has gained over the years to effectively lead his teammates by serving as a role model and offering guidance to less experienced wrestlers.
“As the only four-year wrestler on the team, I think I bring a lot to the new kids in terms of experience, helping them overcome nerves, and understanding what is expected of them as an Andover wrestler,” said Bausano.
Bausano puts his teammates first, according to other wrestlers on the team.
Marisol Nugent ’20 said, “Pierce is a really great leader because he’s really positive and a great role model. My season started out sort of rough, and he was there for me every step of the way. He’s played the role of a big brother during my time on the team. He’s really funny and just a great person to be around.”
In addition, Bausano fuels the team’s energy and motivates his teammates with inspirational speeches after practices and meets, according to teammate Jack O’Neil ’19.
“I think that one of Piece’s strong suits is that he’s always able to rally the team after a difficult meet. He gives a little speech after practices and always seems to know what to say to keep the team motivated. Personally, after I’ve had a tough loss, I always look to Pierce for guidance, and I think in that way he helps every wrestler on the team,” said O’Neil.
Outside of wrestling, Bausano serves as a friend to all of his teammates, according to Eamon Garrity-Rokous ’20.
“Outside of wrestling… Pierce is a great friend of mine. He always checks in with his fellow wrestlers and friends, and is always happy to greet you with a cheesy smile on his face. Likewise, he is a leader off the mat, just as he is one on the mat; he sets a high academic standard of hard work ethic in the classroom, and he encourages others to do so as well,” said Garrity-Rokous.
Bausano is often praised for his unique ability to alternate between a hardworking, focused attitude, and a fun, laid-back attitude, according to Nugent and O’Neil.
Nugent said, “He’s very laid back. You can tell he’s an experienced wrestler that knows what he’s capable of. He never freaks out or gets nervous. He’s very mature; that’s how I’d describe it. [It’s] great to watch [him] wrestle cause he knows what he’s doing and you lose your voice cheering for him.”
O’Neil said, “Pierce’s approach to practices and meets is a really good balance between hard work and fun. There’s always times where the team has fun together, whether it be playing one of his playlists during the warmup or a game during the cool down, but when it comes down to it, and we need to focus before a meet, Pierce is always there to make sure we wrestle hard.”
According to Bausano, he has learned that the only way to improve is to challenge yourself each and every day.
“There are a lot of people out there who are bigger, better, and stronger than you, and, early in my wrestling career, those were people I never wanted to wrestle. At some point though, that mentality completely reversed. The opportunity to wrestle those kids became exciting. I started viewing those matches as a way to test myself and get better rather than something to be afraid of,” said Bausano.