EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

March 14, 2014

Respecting a star

Andover coach has been on the wrong end of many Tyler Nelson battles

(Continued)

As for Central being a “big” underdog to undefeated defending champion Putnam Tech, Fazio isn’t buying it.

“When you have Tyler Nelson,” said Fazio, “you are never the underdog.”

Fazio moved by support

Andover coach Dave Fazio is still hurting over the loss to Central Catholic in the Division 1 North finals and probably will be for some time.

But he said one thing that has made it a tad easier has been the support he has received.

“On the bus I get a personal tweet from (ex-AHS star) Sean Ryan, saying he felt really sorry,” said Fazio. “Then we pulled up to Andover High and there were about 500 kids there. I started crying in front of all the kids. It really affected me.”

Fazio said state tourney losses probably affect coaches more than they do the players, but the support he gets will never be lost on him.

“Before the game I got about 150 texts from former players,” said Fazio. “What a feeling that is. We are a family here in Andover. Those kinds of things are important, the relationships. Winning and losing won’t ever define me, it’s just that I personally take losing hard.”

Nelson named Gatorade MVP

Central Catholic senior Tyler Nelson’s work isn’t done just yet, but that hasn’t stopped the awards from coming in.

He was named Massachusetts’ Gatorade MVP yesterday.

Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.

“I’m incredibly proud of this young man,” said Central coach Rick Nault. “Nobody has put in more time than Tyler.”

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