First Fall Andover/Exeter Weekend at Andover Commences, Students Voice Excitement

This upcoming weekend, Andover will host its first Fall Andover/Exeter weekend in four years. Students from Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter) will travel to Andover’s campus to compete in a series of athletic competitions including varsity soccer, football, volleyball, and field hockey. Since its inception in 1878, the A/E rivalry has offered a chance for students to display school pride and a test of each schools’ spirit. 

Wooba Song ’26

“I’m looking forward to it. I want to go to the Pep Rally because it’s going to be my first time doing it and I’ve been really hyped up about it. I’ve never experienced it but I feel like getting to see the Exeter kids and hopefully winning sports events over them will be a good experience. . . I also think having it hosted at Andover is more familiar to us as opposed to having it be hosted at Exeter, so I think having more familiarity will definitely be better for our teams. It would just be nice if it wasn’t before finals week so people have more time to study.”

Josh Espinoza ’25

“I can’t wait to be part of that celebration. I know it gets very competitive, but I think that this year, we’re gonna have a completely different experience than last year… We have a football game coming up and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I am excited to continue the rivalry with Exeter, especially through football.” 

Sebastian Altomare ’23

“I am looking forward to it. We’ve been working in Drumline to get some stuff prepared, so for the most part, I’ll be playing some drums when the team scores or during some big parts of the game… I’m always excited for the Exeter kids to come to campus or for us when we go to the campus of the Exeter kids. At Exeter, they created a whole tent for us with food and stuff and we do that for them, and so the last time when I was at A/E, I talked with some other Exeter kids while we were having food. I’m excited to talk to them [during this A/E]. I think Andover kids are a lot more excited for this A/E, especially for everyone who’s been here, because starting with the Class of 2023, even when we were freshmen, we’ve still not had an [Fall] A/E at home…That’s what makes [Andover students] more excited.”

Eddie Lou ’24

“I’m definitely looking forward to A/E weekend. I’m managing the Girls Volleyball team so one of the things I’m especially looking forward to is seeing their match against Exeter this Saturday. Exeter’s team has been undefeated so far but our team is looking very strong this year so I’m confident there will be some good volleyball going on this weekend. . . I think this is one of the times where our school becomes very unified, when you have Exeter as an enemy it becomes very easy to develop camaraderie, especially [with] the Pep Rally, which will do a really great job of bringing a lot of Andover spirit.”

Noureddine El Alam, Instructor in Mathematics and Girls Varsity Soccer Coach

“Of course I look forward to Andover/Exeter weekend. My favorite part is the friendly rivalry, the energy on both sides is exciting to witness. I would love for our fabulous team to conclude the season with an awesome match, supportive fans, and a great win…. We should all remember to win with grace and lose with dignity.”

Serafina Shin-von Nordenflycht ’25

“I adore A/E weekend. I’m a very enthusiastic person, especially when it comes to school spirit, and I think there’s something really wonderful about A/E just because as much as we are rivals with Exeter, you can tell that there’s enthusiasm and excitement throughout every crowd, even if we’re yelling at each other… I’m really excited to go to the volleyball game, but I’m also excited because I get to see my Exeter friends… as much as we are enemies on that day, I always get a hug and it’s nice. I think the best part of [A/E] is how into it everyone gets, especially if you’re going to be at the sports games. You can tell that everyone there wants to win in the sense of ‘wants to win the game’ but also ‘wants to win as the cheer section.’ People dress up in crazy outfits. We have cheers specifically geared towards Exeter, and they have cheers towards us. You can tell that everyone wants to be doing it and is having fun doing it, which always makes a rivalry so much more fun because people are feeding it.”