Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Andover wins New England 7v7 Championship
By Brendan Hall
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -– Not too long ago, his cousin nearly made it onto the turf at Gillette Stadium as a member of the Patriots’ 53-man roster. Tonight, Cam Farnham will return to Andover with something of his own to brag about.
The pint-sized Andover rising senior hauled in two touchdown passes in the title game of tonight’s Under Armour New England 7-on-7 Championship, at Gillette, as the Warriors downed Reading, 19-6.
“It’s always good, but then again he’s a professional player,” Farnham laughed when asked about his cousin, Buddy, who was in the Patriots’ training camp in 2010 and ’11 after going undrafted out of Brown University. “I actually can’t wait to tell him that I scored a couple of touchdowns at Gillette.”
Speed runs deep in the blood of the Farnham family tree. Buddy is Brown’s all-time leading in punt return yardage; during his senior season in 2009, Buddy ranked eighth in the nation in all-purpose yards per game, and third in kickoff return yards per game. Cam’s cousins, twins Anne and Kate Farnham, are both high school lacrosse All-Americans who will suit up for UMass next spring.
So far, Cam has proven more than able to carry the torch. He says he’s tested as fast as a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, in addition to his 6.6 time in the 55-yard dash during indoor track. As a leadoff centerfielder, he snagged 25 bases this spring for the Warriors, and another 25 this summer playing American Legion ball for Andover Post 8. He’s looking to continue his baseball career in college, possibly in the Northeast-10 Conference.
“None of us really have the height except for Buddy,” said Cam, who is officially listed at 5-foot-7 during the fall. “So if you’re not going to have the height, you might as well have the speed. We just got gifted with the speed, and luckily it works out for me.”
Tonight, that speed was visibly evident. Quarterback C.J. Scarpa utilized underneath routes in the gameplan throughout the day, looking to get the speedster in space on the perimeter and turn it into a footrace.
“We wanted to get him open on the underneath, and then that will always get something open deeper,” quarterback C.J. Scarpa said.
Said Farnham, “I thought C.J. did a nice job of calling the plays. He called all of the plays. I felt like for most of the game, the middle was wide open. So I just stuck it to the corner, and then to the post, and it usually worked well.”
Scarpa started the scoring off in the championship game with a pin-point strike to Farnham on a skinny post down the left sideline. After a strike to Will Heikkinen, Scarpa put the nail in the coffin with three minutes remaining by hitting Farnham deep at the right pylon on a slant. Farnham laid out for the ball just inside the lines for the 19-6 score.
For the Warriors, it was the ideal culmination of their labors the past month. They came up short in the North Regional – the first of three qualifying regionals – in late June at Exeter (N.H.), and again last Sunday in the East Regional at Peabody’s Bishop Fenwick High. However, the Warriors wereable to snag one of four “wild card” spots – along with Quincy, Salem, and Essex Junction, Vt. – by finishing in the “Final Four” of one of the three regionals.
Andover beat Mansfield in the championship semifinals. In pool play, the Warriors went 3-1, with the only loss coming to Reading. They beat Franklin by a point, and added wins over Essex Junction and Pingree.
“We’ve been coming to all of these 7-on-7’s and coming up short,” Scarpa said. “To win the big one is pretty nice.”
Since Gillette Stadium began hosting high school Super Bowls in 2007, and 7-on-7’s last summer, this is the first time Andover has ever appeared on its turf. The Warriors fell short of a Gillette Super Bowl bid in 2010, losing to Everett in a Division 1 playoff.
“We’re trying to break that streak, and hopefully this is a step in the right direction,” Scarpa said.