As October 21 rolled around, so did the end of the Andover Recreation Soccer season. And what a season it has been!
Every Saturday morning, there were 20 first and second graders diligently practicing their skills at Blackwater Field with Bruce Clough. The boys and girls learned dribbling and passing skills and ended their season in a heated game against their parents. I want to thank Bruce, Chris Buswell, and all the parents who helped Bruce keep all those eager soccer players focused at nine o’clock on a Saturday morning.
The third and fourth grade boys and girls wrapped up their season on October 13. Both teams had a chance to play nine games this year, giving them quite a bit of game experience.
Before the season started, it didn’t look like we were going to have a coach for the third and fourth grade girls, but Emily Furtkamp and Jen Bent volunteered to help out, which was a huge blessing for the girls team. I ran a combined practice with all the third and fourth graders after school on Thursdays, so there were quite a few boys-against-girls scrimmages and much friendly competition.
The fifth and sixth grade boys and girls participated in their season-ending tournaments on October 21. Andover had the opportunity this year to host the boys tournament for the Merrimack Valley Soccer League A Division (Andover, Penacook, Boscawen, Salisbury/Webster, and New London Royal). It was a hard-fought battle, with Salisbury/Webster taking first and Andover finishing fifth. The boys will get a second chance for redemption when they play the same teams (Loudon instead of New London) at the Merrimack Valley Cup on the 28.
The fifth and sixth grade girls traveled to Warner this year and competed against three other teams in their tournament. They all played hard, consistently beating the other team to the ball, and the girls placed first, bringing home a trophy and individual medals. The girls will also be playing in the MV Cup and hoping to repeat their excellent performance.
I would like to thank Brian Kellogg for heading up the boys team with the help of Doug Bent and Dave Powers. They enjoyed a winning season at 7-3-1. I also want to thank Claudio Marcus for coaching the fifth and sixth grade girls. He had a small team to work with this season, but with every game, the girls came out to play and played to win.
Another important aspect to our program is the referees. We wouldn’t be able to host home games without them. A special thank you goes out to Leighton Terwilliger for reffing all but two of the fifth and sixth grade home games. Alan Hanscom filled in where needed, and Claudio Marcus did double duty again this season, coaching and refereeing. Leighton and Claudio also mentored our newest referees, Mackenzie Donovan and Hannah Munson. These ladies did a great job in their first year, and we hope to have them back again next year.
Congratulations, Andover, on a season well done!