Centaurs pg 1 7-22-21

Centaurs take
to court in a
different role
WOODSTOCK— – It may be the heart of summer, but there was plenty of activity at the Woodstock Academy Alumni Fieldhouse last week.
The Woodstock Academy boys’ basketball team played host to the Centaur basketball summer camp for a first time in the summer under the direction of Centaurs head coach Marty Hart.
The Centaurs, due to the pandemic, did host a camp during the holiday week in partnership with Hoops for Hunger in late December.
About 15 young athletes turned out to take part this time.
Most for the same reason. “I’m really bored. It was just fun to play some basketball,” said eighth grader Cotter Pierce from Woodstock.
Hart said the emphasis of the camp was on offense. He brought in Mike Phelps from All-Pro Shooting to help with the camp. “Mike was a shooting coach for UConn. He has worked with a lot of athletes and a lot of schools. His specialty is offensive moves and shooting,” Hart said.
Pierce said he did receive personal instruction especially in how he aligns his feet when taking a shot.
Seventh-grader Anna Hernandez, whose older brother Jacob graduated this past year from the Academy, said it helped her game.
“I’m more of a defensive person,” Hernandez said. “I’m more of a passer, not a shooter, so I wanted to get better in knowing when to shoot and when to pass.”
Hernandez, from Pomfret, is a chip off the block of her brother as she is also an all-around athlete, participating in soccer, cross-country and track and field as well as basketball.
The camp spent about half the six-hour per day time allotment on offensive skills with rebounding, defensive skills, and team play rolled in following lunch. The campers also had a host of scrimmages and games during the course of the week.
In addition to helping youngsters better their game, the camp also brought back about a dozen members of the Centaurs boys’ basketball program to campus to help out.
“I used to look up to (the high school players) when I was a kid and they were like five years older than me. It’s nice to teach the kids and it taught me some stuff,” said Anderson who will be a senior for the Centaurs in the 2021-22 season. “I kind of like (teaching). I used to be the little kid and my brother (Chase) was always the one playing basketball here. It’s nice.”
Anderson said it was also a chance for him to bond with some of the younger players who will be his teammates this coming winter.
“It’s great for team camaraderie,” Hart said. “It says ‘Centaurs’ on the front of all of our shirts. We’re one big family, one big nation so it’s great for our players to get together and start to form those relationships and demonstrate their commitment to the sport.”
The camp will also help in another way as the tuition money paid by the campers will go right back into the program.
“It’s a way for us to earn money for the incidentals that will come up during the year. It’s a chance for (the players) to volunteer and none of us are collecting a check or a stipend. All of the money is going back into basketball,” Hart said.
Hart said the plan is to continue to run the camp each year on the week following the July Fourth holiday and he hopes it will continue to grow even larger.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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