On Saturday, Andover faced off against Brooks, Andover High School and North Andover High. Despite many injuries, the team still took to the mats against all three teams. Andover fell 30-37 to Brooks, 26-54 to Andover High, and 12-66 to North Andover. Although they lost to all three teams, Andover’s players maintained their spirit and put up a good fight. The team’s record now stands at 0-4.
In one of his matches, Riggs McGrath’s ’21 opponent forfeited after not weighing in just as McGrath was scheduled to wrestle. As a result, Co-Captain Eamon Garrity-Rokous ’20 had to challenge up two weight classes for two matches during the meet. Garrity-Rokous proceeded to win both matches and pinned one opponent as well as recording a major decision. Co-Captain Pablo Sanchez ’19 also recorded a pin and a major decision, earning points for Andover.
In addition to Garrity-Rokous, Ramphis Medina PG’19 also challenged up to a heavier weight class. Although he lost 0-1, it was a competitive fight, according to Garrity-Rokous.
Garrity-Rokous said, “He wrestled two or three varsity matches… Coach [Rich Goram] threw him out there, just to see how he did. I think he pinned one of his opponents and he put up a great fight with another opponent. It was really huge to see him go out there.”
Matt Suri ’21 added, “Even though we had a lot of good competition, everyone worked really hard, and everyone fought their hardest. Because Nick Masri [’19 was injured] we brought up Diego [Winsor ’22] to play in the Varsity lineup, and it was his first time wrestling as an Andover wrestler. He fought his hardest and we’re just proud of Diego for going out there and trying his best in the varsity lineup.”
Although the losses were hard on the team, Garrity-Rokous has full faith the team will be able to work together to improve in the future. The new players in particular continue to work hard in preparation for the remainder of the season, according to Garrity-Rokous.
Garrity-Rokous said, “A lot of the new wrestlers that I’ve seen are actually really passionate about the sport, and they’re actually some of the hardest workers on the team. They’re doing sprints after practice, running around the indoor track, learning new moves from veterans and stuff, so I see a lot of passion and they’re some of the hardest workers on the team. So, I think that just because of that they’ve already become full members of the team. We love to have them.”
During this meet, the Andover team did not have any female wrestlers compete, although many completed exhibition matches. Among injured team members was Marisol Nugent ’20, who was unable to compete due to a concussion.
Going into the matches, the team anticipated many of the challenges it faced, but Coach Goram helped motivate the team, according to Suri.
Suri said, “Coach Goram gave us the mindset that we can either face good competition with fear or we can go into it trying our hardest, working our hardest, and in the end coming out with things that we need to work better in.… With this good competition the members of the team can point out what we have to work on and as a team grow and work harder and get better in our individual flaws, so we can perform better in the rest of the year even in our tournament season.”
“I think we have a really strong and supportive team. Our Co-Captains Pablo and Eamon are doing well making sure that everyone is included and that with all different talent levels and people joining the team and people that are new to wrestling… We’re making sure we’re inclusive for everyone and making sure we are all working hard together. So as a team, everyone’s enjoying the sport and everyone’s trying hard and it’s a good time,” said Suri.
Andover Wrestling will face off against Deerfield and Phillips Exeter Academy on January 12.