EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series spotlighting the unsung heroes of Andover High sports from the 2020-21 school year

We applaud some of the overachievers, the quiet leaders and the often overlooked athletes of Andover High’s sports teams for the 2020-21 school year.

JAMES VENTRE

Andover Football

INFECTIOUS PERSONALITY

Coach E.J. Perry said, “He’s brought an infectious positive personality to every practice. The greatest asset James gave the team is his unselfishness.”

Dad, Jim Ventre, was a track-football star at Methuen High who held the 4x440 relay record for 40 years. He works in admissions at Phillips Andover.

James has worked hard in the weight room and now bench presses 225 pounds. He pressed for playing time on the line for the Warriors.

Ventre, who will be attending Marist, works for the Andover Rec. Department and volunteers as a tutor with Homework Helps. The Ventres have a Portuguese Water Dog named Rosie.

James’ favorite teacher is math teacher Kylie Duford.

KSENIA KESSLER

Andover Gymnastics

OLGA KORBUT FAN

The 5-3 junior was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. That’s why she has an unusual sports hero: 1972 Olympic gymnastics great Olga Korbut.

Co-coach Rachel Tomacchio said, “Ksenia is probably the most resilient gymnast on our team. At every practice and competition, she says, ‘What do you need from me?’ She’s an incredible teammate.”Kessler also plays volleyball and softball.

A hostess at Grassfields, she hopes to earn an Air Force ROTC scholarship. Her brother, David Kessler, was a rower.

Her favorite coach was the late Tim Kormann at Yellow Jackets. She’s a photography buff and loves her Goldendoodle (Penny).

Ksenia’s favorite meal is grilled cheese with tomato soup.

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