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13 take part in Senior Signing Day at the Loos Center

In one of the final gatherings for Woodstock Academy senior athletes, 13 members of the Class of 2022 announced where they would be heading to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

The event was held in the Loos Center lobby on South Campus recently.

Woodstock Academy cross-country and track standout Linsey Arends will be continuing her athletic endeavors at the Division I level at the University of Rhode Island.

“It’s an amazing school. It has everything I want academically and it can offer me what I want athletically to compete at that level,” Arends said. “Laurie-Feit Melnick is an amazing coach and Coach (Woodstock Academy girls cross-country coach Joe) Banas recommended her from the beginning and said the two of us would get along. I owe a lot to (Banas) because we did hit it off and I’m so excited to run for her.”

Arends said it also meant she accomplished another personal goal of running for a Division I school. Arends will have to get used to a longer distance.

Cross-Country in college is almost double that of the 3.2 miles in high school, going 10,000 meters (6.2 miles).

“I think I’m going to enjoy racing long mileage. I’m excited to try it. If I like it at three miles, why wouldn’t I love it running even more?” Arends questioned enthusiastically.

Arends said as far as track is concerned, she is happy to do whatever the Rams’ program needs whether it be the 800-meter which she ran for the Centaurs for the most part this outdoor season or something longer.

Arends plans to major in Ocean Engineering at URI.

“I’ve been interested in the ocean all my life and to combine mathematics, which I really enjoyed these past two years at Woodstock Academy, and my passion for the season- it seems like a cool field,” Arends said.

Another track standout, Keenan LaMontagne, will head to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to compete for Bucknell University in the Patriot League.

Huck Flanagan will also compete at the Division I level as he will go to his father’s alma mater and walk-on to the football team at the University of New Hampshire.

His father also played football for the Wildcats.

“My father was a big motivation for me. I want to follow in his footsteps but also make a name for myself,” Flanagan said.

Woodstock Academy football teammates Ethan Davis and Everett Michalski will both play Division II football for Southern Connecticut State University.

The remainder of the athletes who announced where they will continue their athletic careers will do so at the Division III level.

Ian Hoffman, who recently set the Woodstock Academy school record in the 800-meter, will compete in outdoor track and cross-country at Southern Virginia University.

“It’s really bittersweet to end this season. I’m excited to go off to college and compete for a few years but it’s sad to leave the high school track team,” Hoffman said.

Jon Smith will continue his baseball career at Eastern Nazarene College while Hamilton Barnes will head to Keene State in New Hampshire.

“I really like the coach, Justin Blood, who just got there from a Division I program. He’s a great guy. It feels like home up there,” Barnes said.

Barnes will get a chance to play close to home again as well as Keene State plays in the Little East Conference alongside Eastern Connecticut State University.

“It’s a tough conference. Eastern just won the Division III championship so it will be tough but we will see what we have in a couple of years and see if we can compete,” Barnes said.

Jonah Libby will take his lacrosse acumen to Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Libby finished with 93 points for the Centaurs this past spring.

Evan Haskins will stay close to home, playing tennis for the University of St. Joseph’s in Hartford.

Collin Manuilow will play soccer for Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA. and Aurissa Boardman plans to play volleyball for Springfield College.

Mia Dang, meanwhile, will jet across the country to Los Angeles, CA. to play golf for Occidental College.

“I chose Occidental because I want warm weather, I want to play golf there and I really like the coach,” Dang said.

Dang was the CIAC Division II girls individual state champion in golf in her junior year.

But hip surgery, due to an injury suffered in hockey, denied her the chance to repeat or even play for the Centaurs in her senior season.

“Going through rehab taught me to be stronger and to fight through things, to just keep working,” Dang said. “I feel a lot stronger now.”

Dang does have family in Southern California which made the decision easier.

“That’s going to be my place to escape if I don’t want to stay in my dorm and for Thanksgiving, for example, because I won’t be coming home since it’s so far away and the break is short. I’m an independent person so being far away from home doesn’t matter to me,” Dang said.