Co-Captain Joe Carrara ’24 juggled a pass from Davian McDonald ’25 before gaining full control of the football and sprinting across more than half the field to the endzone. Carrara’s reception was the team’s only touchdown in its 10-51 loss against Loomis Chaffee; Andover’s record now stands at 1-1. While the scoreboard may have suggested a poor game for both the team and its quarterback, Thomas O’Brien PG ’23 argued that there was more to the story. Additionally, O’Brien praised the versatility and persistence of KJ Edwards PG ’23 and Jason Kim ’23.
“People will point to the stats and say Davian threw three picks, but two of those, three of those you can kinda put off on other people too. But he played his heart out, he was out there, he played every snap, he did the best he could. And then a PG, KJ Edwards, he played every snap, offense, defense, and special team. Jason Kim was another huge part, he didn’t come off the field at all. Running back, linebacker, and special teams. They all hustled their butts off,” said O’Brien.
According to Edwards, the team’s dull mentality was one of the reasons for the loss. Looking ahead, he hopes the team will be able to improve their spirit and sense of unity.
“One of the biggest things we’ll work on in the coming weeks is to just play with heart and intensity. I think a lot of us, including myself, didn’t have the motivation to step up. However, if we are all fighting to our fullest for a common goal as a team we’d do a whole lot better. All 11 guys on the field are fighting for the same thing to the best of their abilities, the outcomes are going to be a lot different than they’ve come out to be,” said Edwards.
Despite Loomis having more size and speed, Co-Captain Aidan Porter ’23 believed that the team had the potential to make it a competitive game. Going forward, he believes the team should focus more on what it can control, rather than stress about the ability of its opponent.
“One thing we need to focus on is controlling the controllables, whether that is effort or attitude, our level of execution on the field. We just need to control the controllables, in a nutshell. As long as we can do that, as long as we can buy into what our coaches are game-planning for us going forward, then we should be pretty solid going into Cheshire Academy this Saturday,” said Porter.
In addition to the team’s mentality, O’Brien pointed to the strength of Loomis as one of the caveats of the loss. Although Loomis was the 2021 NEPSAC Class A Champion, the team was only down by four after the first quarter.
“Obviously, those kids are some of the best in New England and in the country, and we stuck with them for a half, basically. We just have to come back next week and keep working and finish out games,” said O’Brien.
Even with the loss, the team has kept an optimistic and open-minded attitude towards the future of the season, according to Porter. He emphasized the balance the team maintained between reflecting on the past and looking ahead.
“As tough as this loss was for us, it was only one game. Just like a win, enjoy the win for the night, then throw it out the window the next morning. It’s a new week. We have to do the same thing for a loss, reflect on it, figure out where we can improve, but then the next morning we gotta throw it out the window and start fresh again. It’s a new week for us, we have new goals going in, different game plan, so we can’t dwell on that loss, but the one thing we do have to remember is how it feels to lose like that because nobody wants to lose like that ever again. As long as we can keep that feeling in the back of our minds, we’ll be ok,” said Porter.
Andover will face Cheshire Academy away on Saturday.