Andover High’s winter sports season is finally upon us.
After a delay of more than a month — due to COVID-19 precautions — the Golden Warriors boys and girls basketball and boys and girls hockey teams are scheduled to kick off their season this week, along with the rest of the Merrimack Valley Conference and most other Massachusetts conferences. The ski team and gymnastics should be close behind.
Indoor track has been moved to “Fall II” in late February, while wrestling is tentatively set for the spring.
Like in the fall, there will be no state tournaments this winter, again due to the coronavirus. But many Andover High teams are poised to make some serious noise this season.
After being named co-Division 1 state champions last winter, the Andover girls basketball team is once again among the best in the state. They are ranked the No. 2 overall team in Eastern Mass. by the Boston Herald.
Alan Hibino’s squad returns their top two scorers from last year’s championship squad. Defending All-Scholastic Tatum Shaw averaged a team-high 15.8 points per game last winter and hit a team-best 25 3-pointers.
Also back is 6-foot-2 All-MVC forward Anna Foley, who averaged 10.1 points per game and emerging as one of the top low-post players in the state. Amelia Hanscom, a 5-foot-9 guard, is a third starter back this winter.
The Andover boys basketball team returns a dominant force in the paint in 6-foot-9 junior forward Aidan Cammann, who grew three inches in the offseason. Cammann averaged 13.7 points per game last season.
“Aidan’s improvement from his freshman to sophomore year was amazing and he has made great improvement this year,” said head coach Dave Fazio in the offseason. “He’s bigger, stronger and more confident. He’s going to have a miraculous season.”
Cammann is one of a trio that will give Andover lots of size inside. Also returning are 6-foot-6 center Logan Satlow and 6-foot-7 center Ryan Grecco.
Leading the back court will be long rang marksman Richie Shahtanian, who hit 40 3-pointers last season. Sophomore guard Lincoln Beal is a football standout.
The boys hockey team should once again be led by star forward Steve Ingram. He delivered a breakout season last winter, scoring a team-high 21 goals and earning All-Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual Country League honors.
The Golden Warriors lost top defenseman Tommy Tavenner to juniors, but return consistent contributors like Anthony Previte, Anton Pace and Ryan O’Sullivan.
Goalies Jake Brezner and JJ Quill each had two shutouts last winter, and coach Kevin Drew earned All-MVC/DCL Division 1 Coach of the year last year, in his first season after previously serving as Golden Warriors girls coach.
Speaking of the Andover girls hockey team, the Golden Warriors return one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the state in junior Lauren Adams. She scored 19 goals last season and, with 39 goals in two varsity seasons, she has a strong chance at reaching the elite 100 career goal mark.
“She brings an intensity like no other,” said coach Tyler Vigue of Adams last season. “Her awareness finding the open girl is terrific.”
Also back for the Warriors is Kalli Archambault, who scored five often clutch goals last winter, and goalie Lillian Jagger, who delivered four shutouts.
With COVID-19 still lingering, it’s impossible to know if the winter sports season will go smoothly. But here’s hoping the Golden Warriors manage a strong and healthy winter.
Contact David Willis at @DWillisET or DWillis@eagletribune.com.