During football season, Andover linebacker Chris Abreu diversified his game and became the team's starting running back; he does not anticipate a similar offensive renaissance now that basketball has begun.

"My role is well defined," said the senior. "I play defense and crash the glass. If I score, it will have to be off one of my rebounds."

Abreu averaged 4.0 points per game a season ago in his second year as a forward off the bench for the Golden Warriors, who went 14-8 and lost in the first round of the Division 1 North tourney. His true contributions come in the less flashy areas of the game.

"I love playing 'D' and rebounding," said Abreu. "You have to be really tough to get those rebounds. I'm not as athletic as some of those other kids like Peter (White), so I have to get physical and want it that much more."

Getting physical with opponents comes naturally to the 6-foot, 190-pounder. After all, he terrorized more than a few area offenses this fall. Abreu led the Golden Warriors with 10 sacks and was second in tackles with 64 this season. He also played halfback, rushing 128 times for 735 yards and four touchdowns, earning All-MVC honors as a back.

"(Rebounding) is kind of like football," he said. "I just go right into the pile and try to find a hole. I just have to get the ball."

He didn't have much time to lose his momentum.

"I had two solid days of rest before I got into basketball," he said. "I wish I had a little more time and my legs got a little heavy, but I'm getting the hang of it now."

This season will likely be Abreu's basketball swan song. He intends to play football at college, and has visited schools such as Southern Connecticut and Middlebury College.

"He is a great defender and rebounder," said Andover coach Dave Fazio. "He brings tons of energy and he knows what his role is. He's going to have a big role with us this season. He has grown so much over the past three years. Not many people can say they were voted prom king."

Boys Basketball

2006-07 record: 14-8, lost in Division 1 North first round

Returning starters (4): Tristian Shannon, 6-3, Sr., forward; Derrick Beasley, 6-0, Sr., guard; Peter White, 6-3, Sr., forward; Greg Cook, 5-11, Sr., guard

Returning lettermen: Sam Hutchins, 5-10, Sr., guard; Chris Abreu, 6-0, Sr., forward; Zach Burdeau, 6-2, Sr., forward; Kevin Polanco, 6-3, Jr., forward

Newcomers: Connor Arnold, 6-2, Jr., forward; Josh Torres, 5-11, Sr., guard; Sean Ehlbeck, 6-1, Jr., guard; Kevin Baroni, 6-2, Jr., forward; John Haak, 6-2, Jr., forward; D.J. Fazio, 5-7, Soph., guard

Candidates in all grades: 100

Captain: Greg Cook

Returning leaders: Tristian Shannon, 12.1 ppg; Peter White, 5.0 ppg; Derrick Beasley, 4.7 ppg; Greg Cook, 4.4 ppg; Chris Abreu, 4.0 ppg

Returning honorees: Tristian Shannon, MVC all-star

Assistants: Carol Martini, varsity assistant; David Giribaldi, junior varsity; Alan Hibino, freshman coach

Opener: Tomorrow at Haverhill

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