While the end of the summer is always bittersweet, there is one major silver lining.

High school sports are back.

Andover High’s fall sports teams have officially kicked off preseason practices, and there is plenty reason to be excited about the Golden Warrior squads that will soon open game action.

Football was the first to hit the field, returning to the fall after being banished to Fall 2 by the COVID-19 pandemic last school year. The Golden Warrior gritters opening practice on Aug. 20.

The football team returns lots of talent, led by All-Scholastic running back Lincoln Beal (703 rushing yards, 412 receiving yards in Fall 2) and All-MVC quarterback Scotty Brown (730 yards, 5 TDs passing; 449 yards, 10 TDs rushing.)

The football team is set to kick off the regular season on Sept. 10, hosting Shrewsbury. That’s also the opener for cheerleading.

Cross country, field hockey, golf, boys and girls soccer and cheerleading where all scheduled to kick off practice on Aug. 23.

Maureen Noone’s field hockey squad would have been a favorite for a state title last fall, had the postseason not been cancelled due to COVID, finishing 6-0.

The Golden Warriors lost lots of talent, but return stars like star defender Emma Reilly (6 goals, 10 assists last year) and forward Lily Farnham. They kick off game action on Sept. 11, hosting Cohasset.

The Andover girls soccer team returns one of the state’s top defenders in Ashley Sheldon, along with forward Sophie Azzi and midfielder Lauren Adams. They play their first game on Sept. 7 at Lowell.

Fresh off a breakthrough baseball season, Jackson Brown could play a key role as goalie for the Andover boys soccer team. It host Lowell in its opener on Sept. 7.

The golf team returns star Nick Ventura, who helped lead the Golden Warriors to the team title at the MVC Golf Day last fall. They open against Central Catholic on Sept. 8 at Renaissance.

Boys cross country’s DJ Walsh is coming off an impressive spring track season, when he helped the Golden Warriors 4x800 team take third at All-States. Matt Serrano added a sixth in the 2-mile at MVCs in the spring.

Girls cross country stalwart Molly Kiley was second in the 2-mile at MVCs and fourth at Division 1s in spring track. Leila Boudries was sixth in the mile at MVCs.

Both cross country teams open the regular season by hosting Lawrence on Sept. 8.

Rounding out the Andover varsity teams are volleyball and girls swimming, which both were set to open practice on Aug. 25.

The swim team should be right back in the state championship hunt, let by the likes of All-Scholastics Charlotte Moulson. Their first meet is Sept. 9 at Notre Dame Academy.

The volleyball team opens play on Sept. 10 at Acton-Boxboro.

 

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Contact David Willis at @DWillisET or DWillis@eagletribune.com.

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