• Centaur Nation

  • Cole Hackett signs NLI with Boston University

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 3/20/2019

     

     

    Woodstock Academy senior Cole Hackett signs his National Letter of Intent

     

     

    Woodstock Academy senior Cole Hackett, flanked by his parents John and Brenda,  signs his National Letter of Intent to play men’s soccer at Boston University last Wednesday on the South Campus at Woodstock Academy.

     

     

    Hackett signs NLI to play men's soccer for Boston University

     

     

     Woodstock Academy boys soccer coach Paul Rearden just pointed to his head when asked why senior soccer player Cole Hackett drew the attention of Boston University.

     

    “He is just a natural soccer player, and he has the brains to back it up,” Rearden said. “He’s got it all. The next step in his career is a big test, but through the years, every test that has been put in front of him on the field he has risen to and he’s ready for the next one.”

     

    On Wednesday, Hackett signed his National Letter of Intent to play Division I men’s soccer for the Terriers.

    “Ever since I was in seventh grade I wanted to play college soccer. To be given the opportunity to play at Boston University is really special,” Hackett said.

     

    All through the process, Hackett had one question for Rearden.

     

    Was he good enough to play for a club like Boston University?

     

    “I kept telling him, ‘Cole, you don’t know how good you can be. That’s the exciting thing for him. I’ve played with some quality players, coached some quality players and he’s as good as any of them. That’s a compliment,” Rearden said.

     

    Hackett said while his dream was to play college soccer, he also knew that it had to fit him academically and the future economics major feels BU fits the bill.

     

    He also will not be going alone.

     

    Jacopo Ambrosetti, who played for the Centaurs in 2017 as a transfer student from Italy and finished with 17 goals, went home to complete his final year of high school.

     

    He will return stateside as a member of the Terriers in the fall.

     

    “It’s going to be awesome. We’re going to be rooming together, too, so I’m really looking forward to it,” Hackett said. “One of my biggest concerns was rooming with a random person so knowing that it will be Jacopo is cool.”

     

    Hackett said Boston University also had several other advantages for him. It is Boston, in the middle of the action of a lively city, but it’s also close enough so that his parents, Brenda and John, can come and see his games.

     

    “Far enough, but not too far,” Hackett said with a chuckle.

     

    Hackett also thanked Rearden for his influence.

     

    Rearden, a native of Liverpool, England knows Boston University associate head coach Scott Black who also coaches in Liverpool.

     

    “Coach Paul has a really good connection with him and was able to get Jacopo looked at by him which got me looked at,” Hackett said.

     

    Hackett finished with two goals and three assists for the Centaurs this season.

     

    “He’s a special lad. This is a just reward for all the work he has put in since the day he walked in at Woodstock Academy. It’s been a privilege to work with a great role model for every kid who comes to high school, does athletics, and wants to pursue his dreams,” Rearden said.

     

    Hackett won’t be gone from Woodstock Academy forever.

     

    In fact, he will return shortly after graduation to participate in the Boston University preseason camp which is held at Woodstock Academy.

     

    “I’m really looking forward to it,” Hackett said. “I remember last year coming to their preseason here and it will be really exciting to come back to Woodstock to play. Hopefully, all my friends come to preseason to watch me.”

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  • The Woodstock Academy hosts Winter Sports Awards Night

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 3/19/2019

     

    All-Stars and other award winners were honored during Winter Sports Award Night Monday

     All-Star and other award winners were honored at Winter Sports Awards Night Monday in the Center for the Arts on South Campus at The Woodstock Academy.

     

     The Woodstock Academy hosts Winter Sports Award Night

     

    The annual Winter Sports Awards night was held at The Woodstock Academy on Monday in the Center for the Arts on South Campus.

    The event honored those who participated in basketball, cheerleading, E-Sports, gymnastics, boys and girls ice hockey and boys and girls indoor track.

    The Awards Night saw a couple of newly received awards handed out.

    The Centaurs gymnastics team, in addition to winning the Eastern Connecticut Conference, Class S and State Open championship were also named as the Gymnastics Team of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association.

    Woodstock Academy senior Tre Mitchell was honored for his being named the Connecticut Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year recently and boys ice hockey player Ethan Thorpe was given the Hobie Baker Character Award.

    The team grade point average award went to the Unified Basketball team while the boys ice hockey team was selected Best Dressed team in attendance.

    The individual awards given out were:

    Coaches Awards

    Boys Indoor track

    Varsity Coaches Awards – Danylo Ntamwemizi and Kenneth Birlin

    JV Coaches Award – Aiden Lisee

    Girls Indoor Track

    Varsity Coaches Awards – Ivy Gelhaus and Julia Theriaque

    JV Coaches Award – Zoe Manfredi

    Girls Ice Hockey

    Varsity Coaches Awards – Emma Ciquera and Irene Askitis

    JV Coaches Award – Ciara MacKinnon

    Boys ice hockey

    Varsity Coaches Awards – Connor Starr and Kyle Brennan

    JV Coaches Award – Gabe Geyer

    Cheerleading

    Varsity Coaches Awards – Stephanie Lizotte and Margaret Ebberling

    E-Sports

    Varsity Coaches Award – Yilin Chen

    Gymnastics

    Varsity Coaches Awards – Maddie Grube and Emily Arters

    Unified Basketball

    Coaches Awards – Dylan Wynkoop and Lauren Hovestadt

    Girls Basketball

    Varsity Coaches Awards – Heather Converse and Kayla Gaudreau

    JV Coaches Award – Aurissa Boardman

    Freshman Coaches Award – Logan Reynolds

    Boys Basketball

    Varsity Coaches Awards – Eric Preston and Jake Marsalisi

    JV Coaches Award – Grayson Walley

    Freshman Coaches Award – Hamilton Barnes

    ECC Sportsmanship Award winners

    Boys indoor track – Noah Salsich

    Girls indoor track – Aochen Li

    Cheerleading – Alina Michalski

    Gymnastics – Emily Arters

    Boys Basketball – Aidan Morin

    Girls Basketball – Linda St. Laurent

    ECC Scholar Athletes

    Boys Basketball – Cole Hackett

    Girls Basketball – Rachel Lambert

    Gymnastics – Maddie Grube

    Girls Indoor Track – Megan Gohn

    Boys Indoor Track – Spencer Collins

    Cheerleading – Sarah Tuttle

    All-Star and Other Awards of Note

    ECC Honorable Mention in girls indoor track – Julia Therique

    ECC Honorable Mention in boys basketball – Cole Hackett

    ECC Honorable Mention in girls basketball – Heather Converse

    ECC Honorable Mention in cheerleading – Sarah Tuttle

    All-Nutmeg Conference 2nd team performer in boys hockey – Matthew Odom

    All-ECC first team award in boys basketball and 1,000-point scorer – Chase Anderson

    Power 5 Conference AA tournament Most Valuable Player - Dyson Frank

    Power 5 Conference AA Player of the Year - Jeff Planutis

    McDonald’s All-American basketball nominee - Preston Santos

    McDonald’s All-American basketball nominee - Ronnie DeGray III

    All-Power 5 Conference AAA 2nd team and All-New England Prep 3rd team - Matt Cross

    All-Power 5 Conference AAA 1st team, All-New England Prep 2nd team and McDonald’s All-American basketball nominee - Noah Fernandes

    Power 5 Conference AAA Tournament Most Valuable Player and Player of the Year, All-New England Prep 1st team; McDonald’s All-American basketball nominee, 1000-point scorer and Gatorade Connecticut Boys Basketball Player of the Year - Tre Mitchell

    First team All-State in gymnastics – Abby Vaida

    First team All-State in gymnastics – Emily Arters

    First team All-State and All-ECC in gymnastics – Maddie Grube

    All-ECC and first team All-State in gymnastics – Jenna Davidson

    All-ECC and First team All-State in gymnastics – Ali Crescimanno

    All-ECC and First team All-State in gymnastics – Lydia Taft

    Michael Savage Unified Sports Award  - Emmalee Binette and Abigail LeBlanc.

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  • Tre Mitchell named Gatorade Connecticut Boys Basketball Player of the Year

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 3/15/2019

     

    Woodstock Academy Gold prep player Tre Mitchell

    Tre Mitchell named Gatorade Connecticut Boys Basketball Player of the Year

    Before Tre Mitchell was even awake on Friday, his phone was already abuzz.

    “I got a couple of text messages and then, everybody just started to blow my phone up at the same time,” Mitchell said.

    It’s how The Woodstock Academy senior center learned he was named the Gatorade Connecticut Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

    “It’s just an honor to be named as such. There are just so many names that are just so big time, like in the NBA and all over the world, who have been named Gatorade Player of the Year. It’s just nice to be recognized for all the hard work both on and off the court,” Mitchell said.

    Mitchell has played for The Woodstock Academy Gold prep basketball team in its inaugural two seasons and has been the cornerstone of a program that has posted 73 wins against just seven losses.

    It has finished in the top five of the prep basketball rankings nationally in each of those two years.

    “Only losing seven games in two years, only two this year, it’s been kind of crazy. Everybody has put in the work and you can see how good the teams have been. It’s just an excellent opportunity for anybody that gets to come here,” Mitchell said.

    Mitchell is originally from the Pittsburgh area but has been a resident of Woodstock for the past two years.

    The 6-foot-9-inch forward scored over 1,000 points and grabbed over 700 rebounds in a Woodstock Academy uniform over the past two years.

    Mitchell was named Power 5 Conference Player of the Year and tournament Most Valuable Player in each of the last two years. He is also a McDonald’s All-American nominee.

    “You’re talking about a kid who came in at 33 percent body fat and 265 pounds. He’s currently at 13 percent body fat, 230 pounds. He’s upped his vertical leap eight inches. He’s transformed his entire body,” said Woodstock Academy prep basketball coach Tony Bergeron.

    Bergeron said while that may sound easy – it’s not.

    “What people don’t understand about these kids – they see these kids walking around and think it’s so fantastic for them and so easy – is that they have been uprooted, left all of their family and friends to come here, to make this sacrifice and to put themselves in a better position. It’s extremely difficult for these kids to do that and I commend all of them, certainly Tre,” Bergeron added.

    Mitchell is Bergeron’s second Gatorade POY in his 19 years of coaching and working with 170 scholarship players.

    Tyreke Evans, who now plays for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, was the first.

    “I love it because it’s a tri-award,” Bergeron said. “You’re talking about an elite level athlete who has to do it academically and has to be of the utmost character. To get it is terrific.”

    Mitchell has grown not only as basketball player, but as a person.

    “As I said in the Letter of Recommendation (to Gatorade) about Tre, which I was honored to write, he says ‘Hi’ to you every day. He acknowledges you when he walks by you in the hallway. He’s a nice human being. It’s great that he has this wonderful athletic talent, but most important to me as Head of School (at The Woodstock Academy) is that we have produced a fine young man who, no matter what the future holds, will be successful because he has those skill sets,” Chris Sandford said.

    Mitchell said the decision to come to The Woodstock Academy proved to be the right one.

    “It’s been an excellent opportunity for me. Every single day, I get in the gym and I’m constantly pushed. There is never a day where you relax. You don’t have time off. You are always being pushed to be a better player,” Mitchell said.

    Mitchell had considered re-classifying to the Class of 2020 and re-enrolling at The Woodstock Academy for a post-grad year.

    “I thought he was a little complacent in December so I told him, ‘Listen, you’re going to do a post-grad year,’” Bergeron relayed. “He didn’t really need one, but I knew that’s what it was going to take for him to step on the gas pedal. To be frank with you, I knew all along he was not staying, but I was the only one. He thought he was (re-classifying). He asked me what he needed to go (on to college) and I showed him the numbers and he reached them. He’s certainly ready. He has great schools (to choose from), can’t make a mistake with any of them and he has aspirations of playing professionally (after college) and I think those are realistic.”

    Mitchell, armed with that information, has decided to remain in the Class of 2019.

    He has whittled down his college choices to six; Providence College, UMass, Indiana University, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech.

    He has not made an official visit to any of those schools.

    “I’m not completely sure,” Mitchell said when asked when he planned to make a decision. “I’m not going to put a timeline on it because anything can happen. It’s just when I get that feeling that it’s the right school after I go on these visits. That will be it.”

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  • Girls hockey clinic draws good numbers

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 3/3/2019

    Woodstock Academy girls ice hockey players help youngsters in recent clinic

     

     

    32 turn out for "WA Girls Play Hockey Night"

    The Woodstock Academy girls ice hockey program is the only one of its kind in Northeastern Connecticut.

    For that matter, it’s the only one of its kind in just about all of Eastern Connecticut.

    For that reason, Woodstock Academy co-head coaches Jeff Boshka and Sean Farrell know that they have to help to cultivate players to keep the program going.

    That was the thought process behind the “WA Girls Play Hockey” night held recently at the Jahn Ice Rink at Pomfret School.

    The Centaurs girls ice hockey team came out to try and encourage young girls to get involved with the sport and 32 girls, ages pre-school through eighth grade, took part.

    “Fabulous,” Boshka said of the turnout. “We weren’t quite sure what to expect. The prior couple of weeks, we had gone into the (elementary) schools to promote it. There was great enthusiasm there and many said they were interested in coming out. You just never know who will really do it.”

    The young girls were broken down into three separate groups; girls who had skated, those who had skated a little and those who were, basically, beginners in both skating and in the game.

    “It was just so wonderful to see our players out there. We had grouped them, who to help, and they were engaged and helping the kids. There were lots of smiles on faces. It was just a home run,” Boshka said.

    The turnout virtually assured a similar effort will be undertaken prior to next season.

    Boshka said he and Farrell only discussed the idea midseason. In hindsight, Boshka thinks it should take place much earlier in the year.

    “That would promote our sport and, hopefully, get those girls interested in playing (in the Griffin Youth Hockey League). We worked in conjunction with Griffin so they can get more players and get them interested. Than the girls may say, ‘Oh, there is hockey here’ and they will come out and play. Just continually foster and promote girls hockey,” Boshka said.

    Some of the participants also received free skates and hockey equipment for attending the event.

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  • Sean Saucier named Woodstock Academy Athletic Director

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 1/14/2019

     

     

    Sean Saucier has been named athletic director at Woodstock Academy

     

    Saucier named Woodstock Academy Athletic Director

     

    Sean Saucier graduated from Putnam High School in 1994.

    He never imagined his future path would take him just a few miles up Route 171 to Woodstock Academy.

    On Monday, Saucier was officially named athletic director of Woodstock Academy.

    “You don’t anticipate things like this, but life happens. You just try to take advantage of opportunities as they come and certainly the last few years presented a few changes, unexpected changes, but changes for the better. I’m very happy with where I am right now,” Saucier said.

    Saucier had been the athletic director and football coach at the Hyde School in Woodstock for 11 years.

    But two years ago, the Hyde School decided to merge its Woodstock campus with its sister school in Bath,Maine and Woodstock Academy announced it had purchased the local facility.

    Saucier opted to stay in the area and became the assistant athletic director and head football coach at Woodstock Academy last year.

    When Aaron Patterson resigned as athletic director just before the start of the 2018-19 school year, Saucier was named the interim AD.

    “My experience last year as the assistant and being the interim this fall has prepared me for what’s ahead. Without that kind of adjustment period, I think it would be a monumental challenge. Having worked with Mr. Patterson last year and then getting my feet wet this year was a nice transition,” Saucier said. “It’s different than some of my past experiences, but it’s also an opportunity for growth for me.”

    Head of School Chris Sandford said Saucier proved himself while serving as the interim AD of the school.

    “He did a great job,” Sandford said. “His experience from Hyde, the experience of running an athletic program at an independent school is what we were looking for. Sean has demonstrated over the last few months the skill set that we are looking for. He’s innovative, a good manager, great with people, and doing a great job with the budget. Managing the athletic department here at The Academy with a budget of almost a million dollars is not easy.”

    Woodstock Academy associate head of school, Holly Singleton, said it’s not only his professional acumen that qualified Saucier for the job.

    “Sean is the right person to lead our athletic program,” Singleton said. “Kids are his No. 1 priority. He believes in the core values that the athletic department has set and he is one of the hardest workers I know. All of his time is dedicated to making things better for kids.”

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  • BU goalie pays visit to Woodstock Academy

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 1/13/2019

    Boston University goalie, Kathleen Keegan, visited Woodstock Academy on Saturday, Jan. 12

     Boston University senior goalie Kathleen Keegan (center), worked with Woodstock Academy field hockey goalies (left to right) Rachael Roberts, Olivia Stanikmas, Alina Michalski and Kailey LaChappelle on Jan. 12.

     

    BU Goalie pays a visit to Woodstock Academy

    The Woodstock Academy field hockey team welcomed a visitor on Saturday.

    Kathleen Keegan, the senior goalie for the Boston University field hockey team, came to The Academy on Saturday and gave a 90-minute clinic to four Woodstock Academy players; senior Olivia Stanikmas, junior Rachel Roberts, and sophomores Alina Michalski and Kailey LaChappelle.

    “She did a lot footwork drills, a lot of higher-level technique and updated skills for ground work,” Woodstock Academy coach Lauren Gagnon said.

    Keegan started all 20 games for the 12-8 Terriers this past season and earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors on two occasions. She finished with a goals against average of 1.67.

    Keegan has also worked with the trainer for the English National team goalie, Maddie Hinch.

    “She has a ton of experience,” Gagnon said.

    The 5-foot-6 Keegan is a Connecticut native, having graduated from Hall High School in West Hartford. Gagnon coached her in the past with the HTC field hockey club.

    “I couldn’t be happier for her. She is an amazing kid. She told me that someday, she was going to play D-I and she was this tiny little thing and you’re like, ‘That would be awesome, but who knows’ because it’s the pipe dream for everyone. She always put in the work and was totally committed. I always saw her at UConn games just watching. She was so focused on the game,” Gagnon said.

    Keegan has possibly played her last field hockey.

    She plans to go into finance after graduation.

    Stanikmas, the starting goalie for the Centaurs, is currently looking at a number of colleges both academically and athletically. She plans to continue to play field hockey and Gagnon feels that it’s possible she will recieve a Division II offer.

    Roberts will be doing Futures with Centaur teammates Avery Jones and Eliza Dutson which Gagnon feels will be beneficial come the fall.

    Gagnon was also pleased to see the goalies get a little attention for a change.

    “I have very little time to dedicate to just four kids when I have 55 others. It’s huge for them to be able to have someone dedicated to just looking at their body position and distribution of weight and all that type of stuff that can be real nit-picky but can translate to huge gains,” Gagnon said.

     

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  • Burgess to play for Colgate University

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 12/13/2018

     

     

     

    Hannah Burgess signs her Letter of Commitment

     

     Burgess signs commitment letter to play softball for Colgate University

    Woodstock Academy softball coach Jay Gerum remembered the first time he saw Hannah Burgess play.

    It was in Little League about a decade ago.

    “I was trying to watch the Little Leagues and trying to figure out what they were doing and get an idea. No one was really playing travel ball around here much and some of the things that you have to do to get really good at softball weren’t happening around here,” Gerum said.

    Gerum got into a conversation with Hannah’s father, Paul, about slap hitting.

    It’s one of Gerum’s passions about the game, but not every player or parent is amicable toward it.

    “It’s a different type of hitting and most dads want their kids to swing the bat right-handed and be a power hitter,” Gerum said.

    Judging by what happened this past week at Woodstock Academy, slap hitting should be taken a little more seriously.

    Hannah Burgess used that talent to catch the eye of college coaches and on Thursday, in a dream come true moment for the Centaurs All-State shortstop, she signed a Letter of Commitment to play Division I softball for Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y.

    “It felt amazing. I’ve been working toward this for the past four years and it’s always been my dream to play Division I softball. It’s just so exciting,” Burgess said.

    What caught Gerum’s eye about Hannah Burgess was her athleticism and both her and her father’s willingness to experiment.

    “Both Hannah and Paul were willing to try it and our friendship grew from there,” Gerum said.

    Gerum recommended travel teams and hitting coaches.

    Hannah Burgess played for the Rhode Island Thunder travel team in winter ball where she piqued the interest of Neil Swanchak who coaches the Connecticut Charmers Gold travel team.

    She played second base and outfield for the Charmers, traveled to tournaments across the country and began to get collegiate offers.

    “You need to understand that if you want to play Division I, you have to sacrifice a lot of things,” Swanchak said. “You have to dedicate yourself to your academics. You have to be willing to give up certain things, maybe your friends, maybe going to the beach. Nobody sacrificed more than Hannah did. This is her dream.”

    Colgate University was the first school where she attended a softball clinic and she never forgot it.

    “I love the atmosphere of the team and I love (head coach) Marissa (Lamison-Myers) and (assistant coach) Amanda (Fazio), they are really great coaches,” Burgess said of the choice.

    She becomes the second player from the Centaurs softball program in the last three years to get a chance to play Division I softball.

    Rylee Hehir plays for St. Bonaventure.

    “We’re not in a very populated area and you don’t have as many kids willing to put the time and the money and make the sacrifices necessary to play D-I,” Woodstock Academy softball coach Jay Gerum said. “For us to have two in three years, they played on the same team together, it’s a testament to their hard work. It’s a great choice for Hannah.”

    Burgess hit .551 with 23 RBIs and 22 stolen bases for the Centaurs last season.

    Now, she gets to look forward to a senior softball season without the pressure of trying to impress at the next level.

    “It’s definitely a relief, but now it’s all about getting ready to play at the next level. I have to keep putting in the same hard work, getting stronger, getting faster,” Burgess said.

     

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  • Centaurs' Student-Athletes take part in "The Program"

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 12/12/2018

     

    Luis Miranda instructs his classmates in an exercise for "The Program"

     

     Centaurs' Student-Athletes take part in "The Program"

     

    Woodstock Academy junior Luis Miranda was doing everything that was being dictated to him by instructors of “The Program” correctly.

    But he was still catching flak for his performance during the opening drills.

    That’s because his fellow Woodstock Academy student-athletes on either side of him were not following the instructions.

    It was a "teachable" moment and Miranda got the concept.

    “Even if I’m doing my job right, it doesn’t matter if someone to my right or left is not doing theirs. It means we’re all not doing our job right. Being called out for that made me realize I had to communicate with the people around me to make everybody better,” Miranda said.

    About 40 Woodstock Academy student-athletes took part in The Program on the South Campus of the school.

    “It’s a team-building and leadership development company with one single mission; to develop better leaders and create a more cohesive team. We’re not a strength and conditioning company, just strictly leadership development,” said part owner and Program instructor Sam Cila.

    The company was founded by Eric Kapitulik of Thompson and consists, for the most part, of former military personnel, most with special operations backgrounds and each with their own story to tell.

    Kapitulik was a survivor of a helicopter incident in training off the coast of California in 1999 when his copter tumbled off the Pecos, a Navy oiler. Six fellow Marines were killed in the incident.

    Cila, from West Palm Beach, Fla. who has been with The Program since it started a decade ago,  was a member of the 1st Cavalry Army Division out of Ft. Hood, Texas and later with the 5th group Special Operations. He was injured in 2005 in an ambush in Baghdad.

    “I lost most of my left arm, had shrapnel wounds in my left side. I have undergone under 50 surgeries and in 2008 elected to have my left hand amputated. Since then, I have continued to be an Elite level endurance athlete,” Cila said.

    While athletics is not what The Program teaches, physical exertion is part of the whole exercise.

    “The way we create the adversity is with the physicality piece of it. Anyone can teach leadership in an air-conditioned classroom, but we believe that you develop it when the first bead of sweat runs down your forehead. The only way to do that is raise the level of physicality. That is how we create the environment that most people find challenging; to lead when they are uncomfortable,” Cila said.

    The Program instructors were in the area for their annual company meeting and an internal team training session.

    The Program will work with approximately 150 collegiate teams, a handful of professional teams and corporate teams over the course of a year.

    The internal team training included working with student-athletes from both Woodstock Academy and Shepherd Hill Regional in Massachusetts.

    “It was a wonderful opportunity,” Woodstock Academy interim athletic director Sean Saucier said. “I think the students rallied and really got into it, gave it a lot of effort, both physically and mentally. I think everybody walked away feeling pretty satisfied with the experience.”

    In addition to the student-athletes, a half-dozen of The Woodstock Academy coaching staff also took part.

    “I have got feedback from a couple of coaches who were there that kids have reached out to them with ideas and goals for themselves as to how they will lead in the future and techniques that they will try that they learned (Tuesday). That’s exciting. The kids are internalizing what they went through,” Saucier said. “It was also a great affirmation of some things that our coaches try to teach here.”

    Miranda said, overall, he was pleased with the three-hour session.

    “What I got most out of it was to just take my time when talking to my teammates or someone else when I’m telling them to do something and to also be more supportive as a leader and as a teammate,” Miranda said. “If one person gets better, we all get better. I want everyone to be involved and get better together.”

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  • Two Centaurs sign National Letters of Intent

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 12/4/2018

     

     

    Audrey Poehler and Eric Preston sign their National Letters of Intent

     Two Centaurs sign National Letters of Intent

     

    Two members of The Woodstock Academy athletic community were congratulated on Tuesday for successfully making the next step in their athletic careers.

    Senior Audrey Poehler recently announced that she had signed a National Letter of Intent to play women’s soccer for Division II Post University in Waterbury.

    Classmate Eric Preston will also continue his playing days at a Division II school. Preston will head north to play baseball for Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.

    Poehler never played soccer for the Centaurs.

    She chose instead to play for the South-Central Premiere program which is based in North Branford. The goalkeeper also received some private tutoring.

    “It’s interesting, a different path,” Poehler said.

    Poehler played for South-Central program for the past three seasons. She started reaching out to college coaches two years ago and began to receive interest. She said she was “excited” when the offer came from a Division II school.

    “I could have played high school soccer, but I thought it would be more of an advantage to get private goalie training all year,” Poehler said.

    She had begun her career as a forward for the Northeast Premiere program but didn’t think she was making much progress. When the keeper left, Poehler seized the opportunity.

    “I started to go to goalie training, really liked it, and went to a higher level from there,” Poehler said.

    She added she was attracted to Post University, not only for the soccer, but also because the Waterbury school has a good Homeland Security program.

    “I’ve always known Audrey to be a very hard worker as a student, super-diligent in class, a subtle but real superstar in the academic world so when I found out that she had this great athletic accomplishment, it didn’t surprise me,” said Woodstock Academy associate Head of School Holly Singleton.

    Preston said it was a nice relief to have his destination planned out well before the baseball season begins.

    “I can relax and just do what I have to do,” Preston said. “For 17 years now, I’ve been wanting to play college baseball and working toward it. It’s a huge load off my shoulders.”

    The Assumption College choice was not all that difficult for Preston.

    He has been working with the Greyhounds’ pitching coach, Aaron Kaska, since Kaska coached Preston’s 12-U team.

    “I’ve been working with him for the last five years and I’ve also been playing with one of their players so I know it’s a good atmosphere and the right fit,” Preston said.

    Preston, a catcher for the Centaurs, will likely remain in that position in Worcester although Preston knows the Greyhounds like their athletes to be ready for other positions if necessary.

    “Catcher is definitely a hard-working position and I accept any challenge that comes with it,” Preston said. “Division II is quality baseball. There is a little difference between it and Division I, but sometimes, the competition level is the same.”

    Preston will be a health science major with a focus on physical therapy.

    “I watched him play in Little League and I knew he would be something special. Not only is he a great baseball player, he is also a great leader, one of our co-captains and more importantly, a great young man. He’s got good morals, good values and a good work ethic – a tremendous kid,” said Woodstock Academy baseball coach Brian Murphy.

    For now, Preston can focus on the high school baseball season this spring.

    He hit .303 with one homer, two doubles, four triples, two stolen bases and 11 runs batted in for the Centaurs last year.

    He also posted a 3-2 record on the mound with 30 strikeouts.

    “We would like to win the Eastern Connecticut Conference championship and compete in the state tournament,” Preston said.

     

     

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  • New weight room opens on South Campus

    Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 11/30/2018

     

     

     Brenden Ostaszewski directs students in The Academy's new weight room

     

     

     New weight room opens on South Campus

    The Woodstock Academy football team filed in Wednesday to the weight room on the South Campus of the school for the first day of offseason work.

    The words flew out of many of their mouths, “It smells new in here.”

    That’s because most of what is in the former wrestling room is just that; brand new.

    Thanks to an anonymous donation, strength and conditioning coaches Brenden Ostaszewski and Jeff Higgins have a new home.

    “It’s wonderful,” said athletic director and football coach Sean Saucier. “We’re very fortunate to have the donations to provide such a top-notch room for our athletes. It’s exciting. It looks beautiful. The strength coaches are excited, the kids are excited. We’re going to have hundreds of athletes utilizing that space.”

    The work was completed over the Thanksgiving break and the first workouts in the facility took place Wednesday.

    “The new weight room allows us to serve more athletes in a shorter time frame. A lot of the athletes come in after school from about 2:15 p.m. to about 5 p.m. before practice starts in the evening,” Ostaszewski said.

    The demand for training for athletic teams is larger in the offseason so 75 minutes of time on weekday afternoons is blocked off for offseason athletes. There are scheduled team lifts, for those teams in-season, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The physical education department at Woodstock Academy also has access to the room.

    The weight room had been in the same building, which also houses the South Campus gymnasium, only on the lower level. That area now houses cardio workout equipment such as treadmills and elliptical machines.

    The new weight room has six squat racks with Ostaszewski hoping that number will double in the near future.

    It also has six benches and several sets of power blocks (adjustable dumb bells).

    The highlight of the room, however, is what makes it rather appealing to the eye.

    Down the entire right side of the room is a strip of turf, resembling a football field.

    The turf will be used for speed and agility training as well as dynamic warmups.

    It’s an area that Ostaszewski wishes he would have had growing up in Pennsylvania.

    “We had a class-sized room with one or two squat racks, and one or two benches, that’s it,” Ostaszewski remembered. “This is going to better serve all of the students here at The Academy. We have two certified strength coaches on staff. I wish I had that when I was in high school. It’s going to help the students later on in life. Some of them won’t be able to play college or professional sports, but it’s going to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout adulthood.”

    The presence of the strength and conditioning coach already started to show results last year with the prep basketball teams, Saucier said.

    The addition of a second coach and the new weight room can only expand that progress.

    “I’m excited see where we are two years down the road because it takes time. Now that we have the spaces in place and the programs in place, all formalized, the kids are lifting and training and I’m excited to see what the benefits will be,” Saucier said.

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