Centaurs pg 1 4-8-21

feeling pretty
good about '21
There was some concern going into the 2020 high school softball season for Woodstock Academy coach Jason Gerum. He had lost starting catcher Julianna Nuttall to graduation and wasn’t sure who was going to replace her. But the pandemic washed the season away.
A year later, Gerum has a totally different problem. He has six catchers in camp, all of whom play outside the high school softball season and all have been able to catch his starting pitchers.
If that’s the only problem the veteran coach has to work out this season, 2021 is going to be a pretty good year.
 “We’re really excited,” senior Meg Preston said. “It was a lot for the seniors from last year to miss so we’re just excited to be back out here with our friends. We’re definitely a little rusty, but I know myself and a couple of other seniors spent a lot of time this winter getting ready and getting everyone else excited.”
The players weren’t the only ones who came in a bit out-of-practice.
“I’m somewhere in the mid-40’s (as to the number of seasons he has coached a high school team), but it’s amazing how one year ends up being a two-year stretch since I’m only doing one sport now and I was a little rusty speaking on the first day,” Gerum said with a smile. “I found myself going ‘That didn’t sound right. I used to be a lot better explaining that.’ It took me a couple of days to get the rust out.”
Fortunately, Caitlyn Hitchcock, who played at Trinity College, has been there to help him a bit in that regard as his new assistant coach has brought “a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of drills” to the program, according to Gerum.
He returns not only a wealth of talent behind the plate but in the circle with three pitchers, seniors Mackenzie Leveille and Preston and sophomore Lexi Thompson.
“Mackenzie has been our number 1 pitcher for four years now and Meg has been her back up for the last four years. Meg won’t have to pitch much this season, which she is OK with because it’s not her No. 1 position, but she will be on standby. The reason for that will be because Lexi is already clocking numbers (on the radar gun) that matches Riley Hehir who had the highest numbers we’ve ever had here and Lexi is only a sophomore,” Gerum said.
Preston, Amanda Bond and Leveille will anchor the infield.
Gerum said he also has some new athletes that he can tell have played a lot of softball who are ready to step in.
The biggest thing is, he is confident about the team’s play up the middle at second and short and he thinks the Centaurs will be able to capably field the infield corners.
The Centaurs did lose Hannah Burgess and her .569 batting average and 22 stolen bases at the top of the lineup from 2019.
But Leveille (.395, 8 RBIs, 3 doubles and a triple and home run in 2019), Preston (.265, 10 RBIs) and Bond (5 RBIs) return.
The Centaurs did add Norwich Free Academy and Waterford to the schedule since Woodstock Academy was only supposed to play a regional schedule this season.
In most seasons, the Centaurs would welcome that as Division I has been difficult and they will be very competitive in what is considered to be Division II this season.
 “It’s going to be nice to have a real good shot at our region’s title but in the big picture, I like playing tough competition, too,” said Gerum.
Woodstock Academy 2021 softball schedule
Schedule: Sat., Apr. 10: NFA (2) Home  11 a.m.; Tues., Apr. 13: Tourte., Away, 4 p.m.; Sat., Apr. 17:  Putnam, Home, 11; Mon., Apr. 19: Waterford, Away, 4:15; Tues., Apr. 20: Windham, Away, 4; Sat., Apr. 24:  St. Bernard (2),  Home, 11; Tues., Apr. 27: Lyman,  Away, 4; Sat., May 1:  Griswold (2), Home, 11; Tues., May 4: Plainfield, Away, 4; Sat., May 8:  Killingly (2),  Home, 11; Mon., May 10: Bacon, Away, 4; Wed., May 12: Wheeler, Away, 4; Sat., May 15: Tourtellotte, Home, 11; Tues., May 18:  Putnam, Away, 3:45; Sat., May 22: Windham, Home, 11. * = doubleheader.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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