high pg 4 9-9-21


Wyatt Thienel and the Woodstock Academy football team are ready to kick off the football season Sept. 10. Marc Allard photo.

High hopes for
football in ‘21
It’s not just the numbers. It’s the distribution of those numbers.
The Woodstock Academy football team has just over 50 student-athletes out, which may actually be on the high side for ECC programs.
Almost half are seniors.
“We’re senior heavy,” said Centaurs coach Sean Saucier. “We have high expectations. I know what we can be. I know what our potential is. We’re not there yet. I know how much work we have to do to reach it, but I’m optimistic because of the attitude of the kids. We’re going to be a handful. We’re going to compete and we’re going to win football games.”
If there ever was a time for Woodstock Academy to challenge for a state playoff berth, this might be it.
Saucier and the team know that.
“I want to go to the playoffs, so does everyone else I’m sure, that’s the goal. Twenty seniors is a lot of kids and I’m happy to have one last ride with them,” said one of those seniors, quarterback Ethan Davis.
That ride begins Sept. 10 when Woodstock Academy travels to Willimantic to play the Windham Whippets in the season opener for both at 6 p.m.
It’s been a long time coming. High school football teams didn’t play a real season last year. Most took part in a passing league/skills competition season. The Centaurs elected to skip that to play intrasquad games. It was far from normal.
The senior threw for 1,570 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore, completing 129 of his 229 passes and also rushing for 569 yards and six scores for the 7-3 Centaurs.
“Ethan is a gifted athlete. He will make plays that few kids can make and he’s exciting to watch,” Saucier said.
Braiden Saucier, a junior, will back up Davis.
In front of them will be an experienced offensive line with seniors Keenan LaMontagne (center), Huck Flanagan (tackle), Everett Michalski (tackle), and Sean Fitzpatrick (guard) and junior Evan LaBounty (guard).
“We have some decent size there. They are intelligent, have lifted a lot of weights and are physically capable. They also understand what we are doing whether it’s the zone-blocking concept or pass protection. We just have to improve our execution,” Saucier said.
With the exception of Davis, the skill positions will be occupied by players who didn’t see much varsity time two years ago.
Seniors Jackson Goetz and Parker Anderson and juniors Carter Saracina and Will Basiliere will handle much of the receiving duties with River Favreau at H-back. Payton Barna, a junior, will head a running back-by-committee approach with five or six players filling that role.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior Evan Roy will be a key. Flanagan and junior Jared Eaton will be at the ends.
Behind the front, twins River and Scout Favreau, both seniors, will comprise the outside linebackers with Tyler Green and Wyatt Thienel both in the middle. Goetz and Saracina will be on the corners with several juniors still competing for the starting safety spots. Thienel will handle the kicking and Davis the punting responsibilities.
The Centaurs have had two scrimmages. They went north to play Auburn, Mass. two weeks ago and played Quinebaug Valley last week.
“It feels like we haven’t played a real game in forever and I’m so excited and everyone else is so excited to get back out there (Friday),” Davis said.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy
Football schedule: Friday, Sept. 10: at Windham, 6 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 18: vs. Norwich Free Academy, noon; Saturday, Sept. 25: vs. Plainfield, noon; Saturday, Oct. 2:  vs. Waterford, noon; Friday, Oct. 8:  at Montville, 6; Saturday. Oct. 23: at Bacon Academy, noon; Friday, Oct. 29: at E. Lyme, 6:30; Saturday, Nov. 6: vs. Griswold/Wheeler, noon; Saturday, Nov. 13: vs. Ledyard, noon; Thursday, Nov. 25:  at Killingly, 10:30.


RocketTheme Joomla Templates