With four touchdowns, including a pick-six, Sal Lupoli ’19 led Andover Football to a 37-13 victory over Loomis Chaffee on Saturday. Andover scored a total of five touchdowns during the game, including an onside kick return from Troy Pollock ’21.
Leading up to the game, Andover focused not only on improving its physical play, but also on its mental preparation through reviewing game tapes, according to Jacques Kuno ’20.
Kuno said, “We did a lot of film study, starting at the beginning of the week, and would focus on every little detail, especially what our defense needs to be… It certainly paid off as a lot of us on defense had big plays throughout the game.”
Andover has seen significant growth in its overall team play since coming to campus for preseason, largely due to the team’s strengthened bonds and sense of unity, according to Nicholas Thomas ’21 and Graham Archer ’21.
Thomas wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We improved a lot from the moment we got [on campus] to now. None of us really knew each other well; [we] didn’t have the type of bond that we have now. Now we’re all like brothers — a big family — so we got each other’s back no matter what.”
Archer added, “I feel like we have significantly improved on our ‘mesh,’ so to speak. What I mean by that is we are able to work better together as a team and work more smoothly. Before in our scrimmages when we first started out, we only had a couple weeks of experience playing together. It was difficult because people were still getting switched around in positions and we weren’t sure every little detail and where to go, what to do; where to be. But at this point I feel like that’s what we improved on the greatest, is everyone understanding their individual job to help the team.”
Co-Captain Andrew Mazzone ’19 also stressed the vital role of clear communication, teamwork, and preparation in the team’s ability to execute plays on both offense and defense.
Mazzone wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Communication is a big part of our improvement. Having everyone on the same page is key to winning as a team. Also, just learning the plays on offense or the moves/coverages on defense made sure our plays were almost perfect.”
Andover’s Co-Captains — Mazzone, Will Litton ’19, and Michael Thompson ’20 — played a large part in mobilizing the team for success on Saturday, according to Thomas.
Thomas said, “Our captains [were] the reason we all got hyped at the beginning of the game… why we had such a great start. They brought the energy as soon as the coin toss happened — the energy we needed [to succeed].”
Lupoli also emphasized how Andover’s captains have motivated the team for success through their energy and ambition.
Lupoli wrote, “Our captains are three great leaders and I know they are the best in the Nepsac league. [Litton] is a true leader and he knows how to rally the troops, and he is a technician. [Thompson] gets the guys fired up and he is a silent assassin and makes outstanding plays on the field. [Mazzone] is an incredibly hard working dude and just a guy you want to go to battle with. Overall I wouldn’t want to play under any other captains.”
In preparation for its home opener against Salisbury this Saturday, Andover will continue to focus on preparation through film and play refinement, according to Mazzone.
Mazzone wrote, “Watching film, making sure our reads for the plays are perfect, while also keeping everyone else in check will help us. Salisbury is a big team so we need to be clean with everything.”