Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


October 26, 2012

We, not me: Group effort at AHS, on field

Undefeated AHS football seniors say focus is on team


“We play as a team, not as individuals,” said Will Heikkinen, 18, and a wide receiver and defensive back.

Quarterback CJ Scarpa, 17, has impressive statistics this season with 21 TD passes so far. That’s just two shy of setting a modern area record and there are four regular season games to go.

Scarpa, who will play football at Elon College in North Carolina, doesn’t talk about the stats.

”We want to win the Super Bowl,” he says matter-of-factly. “The fans this year have been great and we just want to win the Super Bowl.”

So these guys continue their pre-game ritual after practice, very simply and reasonably quietly. After all, it’s working pretty well for them.

They eat at Harrison’s Roast Beef, hang out for awhile and then go home to do homework. A good night’s sleep follows. It’s all team talk; no one brags about individual football statistics, they said.

”Coach doesn’t allow it and we’ve been with him for three years. We just don’t do it,” said Andreas Christopulos, 17, a lineman.

”We just don’t,” shrugged Andrew Deloury, 17, a wide receiver/defensive back. “That’s just how it is.”

Coach Perry, a longtime teacher at West Elementary School, is a big believer in complete athletes, they said. That means good grades, and a caring for the community component, in addition to athleticism.

”We just showed our grades to Coach. He always checks them,” Farnham said. “The only excuse for [being] late to practice is a teacher meeting. That’s allowed. Coach is OK with that.”

When Andreas Christopulos decided to run a tutoring program for younger students last spring at Memorial Circle housing complex, he called upon football teammates to help and many did.

That was a big score in Coach Perry’s playbook.

”They are just an awesome group,” Perry said. “Just awesome.”

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