With just one play remaining in the game, Andover Ultimate Co-Captain Charles Murphy ’23 threw a pass to Carlos Cepeda-Diaz ’23 in the end zone to break the 9-9 tie with Xavier High School. Andover ultimately went 3-1 and placed third in the New England Preparatory School Ultimate League (NEPSUL) Tournament, which was held at the MacDuffie School on Saturday.
The NEPSUL Division 1 tournament was split into two pools of four teams. Entering the tournament as the No. 6 seed, Andover won 10-9 against Xavier High School, lost 5-13 against Hotchkiss, won 13-6 against St. Sebastian’s (St. Seb’s), and won by forfeit due to injury to the Wooster School. The dramatic final play against Xavier High School set the tone for the rest of the day, according to Co-Captain Micheal Hlavaty ’23.
“The team showed great spirit. It was a very tough game. They were pretty physical, it was a pretty competitive game, and we just showed good resilience, good mental fortitude… We were able to [make] a lot of those quick short passes,” said Hlavaty.
Despite playing in four games back-to-back, Fumi Kimura ’25 found more than just the competition memorable.
“[St. Seb’s was] really kind and encouraging. They lost against us, but they didn’t really care at all. I think the atmosphere was really great. It was good competition… We [let up] in the end as a sportsmanship kind of thing. [And] Hotchkiss had three people from an a capella group [sing] for us. They sang a love song for us,” said Kimura
Cepeda-Diaz shared a similar sentiment to Kimura. Even in tournament style game-play, opponents still maintained good sportsmanship and offered support.
“[Ultimate] is a pretty happy sport, so it was just nice. I think most kids are really friendly, so it’s just getting together and enjoying ourselves. I’d say [the atmosphere was] very just generally positive.”
Andover Ultimate will play in the Four Rivers Ultimate Tournament at Greenfield Community College on Saturday.
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