Entering the third period, Riggs McGrath ’21, down 4-1 and wrestling up a weight class, fought back and earned two pins in the last half of the round. McGrath’s effort resulted in a 7-4 win of the match and contributed to Andover Wrestling’s triumph over the Hyde and Deerfield, scoring 72-0 and 46-24, respectively. Despite its two victories, Andover fell to Phillips Exeter Academy 66-10 at the Deerfield Duals this Saturday. Its record now stands at 2-5.
“Riggs’ match was very surprising. He was down 4-1 going into the third period and he pinned the guy twice on top, getting him three points each,” said Co-Captain Eamon Garrity-Rokous ’20.
Leading up to the meet, the team focused on perfecting the execution of its best moves, which contributed to its successes on Saturday, according to Garrity-Rokous and Amour Ellis ’22.
Garrity-Rokous said, “I think we worked on our best moves. We focused on not necessarily going to plan B, but working on plan A throughout whole match. And if that didn’t work, then go to plan B. I think we shot our best shot, did our best moves, and we just really worked on what we were doing well.”
“We focused on mainly running the same moves and staying in position. I think in wrestling good positioning will make or break your match. Instead of thinking of weight classes, because sometimes it could be skewed, we’ll try to out wrestle someone. For example, Riggs was up against someone from a higher weight class, but he really outwrestled his opponent in the third round,” said Ellis.
Andover started the day out with a loss to Exeter, but rebounded quickly, according to Ellis.
Ellis said, “In the beginning, Exeter was pretty tough, we didn’t win that one. Additionally, I remember back when we played St. Paul’s, we had a similar type of experience. We kind of bounced back from that point when we won the other matches through perseverance and running the same moves that we knew.”
Against Deerfield, Andover performed the strongest it had all season, according to Head Coach Rich Gorham ’86.
Gorham wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “It was a good day of wrestling and we learned a lot about our team. In the win over Deerfield we did our best wrestling of the season.’”
Moving forward, the team hopes to improve on its confidence and fundamentals.
Riggs said, “There’s definitely a few positions that we got caught in. There were just a few moves that were hidden in the matches that we need to work on. Again, we can always work on our cardio, our stance, and staying off our knees. Sometimes we got caught underneath the opponent on our knees.”
Andover Wrestling will travel to Tabor next Saturday for a Super Quad meet against Belmont Hill, Roxbury Latin, Loomis Chaffee, and Tabor.