Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

May 1, 2014

A shocking return

High-wattage therapy gets Bryant back on the hill

(Continued)

Bryant came back for the seventh and allowed the Lancers a run to make it 7-6, before inducing a soft ground-out to second for the final out, stranding the potential tying and winning runs at second and third.

A win over his father’s alma mater never felt so good.

“There’s been a lot of setbacks, a lot of one step forward, two back,” Bryant said. “That’s been the toughest part, to be so close and then see it not happen.”

After all the frustration, just getting here seems like a success, but Bryant is flourishing.

For the spring, Bryant had pitched 6.2 innings out of the pen as of the middle of last week, with a win and a save. The run allowed against the Lancers was his first, giving him an ERA of 1.05 with five strikeouts and a walk.

With the pain, there has been plenty of gain. Bryant feels stronger. And he’s pitching well for a Warrior team that just might be the class of the MVC. There’s even reasonable talk that he’ll be back on the hardwood for an Andover basketball team that went to the North finals this March and will return its three best players.

One guy rooting hard for him is basketball coach David Fazio.

“He started for me as a freshman and has just been through so much,” Fazio said. “Here’s a kid who’s never missed a practice, never missed anything for us. Even though he was out, he helped with video, helped plan practice. He was all-in for us. And now he’s doing everything in his power to salvage his high school athletic career, even seeing the ‘witch doctor.’”

Bryant backers tread carefully as they root for the likable junior. Nothing for Bryant has been easy so far.

But a healthy Bryant added to this roster makes Andover High a dangerous bunch. And that should be a shock to nobody.

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