New pg 1 1-6-22

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The Woodstock Academy alpine ski team coach Kevin Brody has his fingers crossed.
He has 18 student-athletes out for the sport this year, the most ever; 12 girls and six boys.
That means, according to Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League rules, the Centaurs can compete as a team.
“In order for our school to actually score as a team, we need to have, at least, six athletes on both the boys and girls side. This is kind of a landmark for us because we’re going to get to place a team score among the other schools,” Brody said.
It means, however, that the Centaurs can’t afford an injury or an illness to any member of its boys’ roster.
 “The team has grown exponentially and this is a good thing for Woodstock Academy, a good thing for high school ski racing and it’s great to see kids getting out there in the winter time,” Brody said.
The Centaurs also have one of their top skiers back.
Senior Eliza Simpson finished third a year ago in the CISL State Open Championship meet, just 25/100th’s of a second back of winner Lauren Jacobs.
“Eliza is going to dominate this season. I think she — knock on wood — will finish in the top three again, not trying to jinx anything. I know her skills, I know her racing and I know what is out there against her and I think she will be awesome this year,” Brody said.
Classmates Mariana Hernandez and Ksenija Martinovic will join her on the slopes. The only other upperclassman is junior Carlota Riestra.
The majority of the team is young — Peyton Bentley, Avery Kollbeck, Maeve Lusignan, Emma Reino and Lilly Verraneault are all sophomores and Ela Gadoury and Olivia Smith join fellow freshman Emma Brody.
Emma Brody competed as an eighth-grader last year and qualified for the State Open.
“I think Emma, being part of the crew, made some friends when she came in as a freshman, and she helped convince a few others to try it out. From what I’ve seen on the slopes so far, we have some pretty good talent out there,” Kevin Brody said.
Reino is showing some great skill early, according to Brody, as a newcomer and Martinovic brings not only skill but experience to the team.
The Centaurs boys did lose Zach Brody, who finished fourth in the CISL State Open, to graduation.
It does return Davis Simpson who qualified for the State Open. “Davis is the man,” Brody said. “He’s already stepped up and is helping out greatly with the larger group of athletes; it’s almost like herding cats. On top of his training, he’s actually stepped up to help with some junior assistant coaching.”
Neil Camara is the only senior on the boys’ side and he is joined by juniors Nicholas Betschmann, Daniel Hernandez, Anthony Listro and Aidan Soderman.
Listro did suffer an injury in training prior to the holidays but Brody is hopeful that he will return unscathed as he has progressed since last season.
“I want to try and get him and a few of the better kids to move into the slalom aspect. We do have slalom racing as part of the racing series which is the single-pole, with quick, snappier turns, and more technical racing than the giant slalom that we usually see,” Brody said.
“We’ve trained at Wachusett (Mountain in Princeton, Mass.) on a Sunday and on one other evening. Wachusett is the master at making snow in the Northeast. Mt. Southington (where the league competitions will be held) opened the day after Christmas and is looking decent for snow coverage. We’re also hoping to train at Powder Ridge but have not heard back from them yet. We’re on a roller coaster ride with temperatures and rain. It’s definitely been a battle,” Brody said.
Woodstock Academy Alpine Ski schedule
Thurs. Jan. 13:  Race 1 at Mt. Southington; Thurs., Jan. 20: Race 2 at Mt. Southington; Thurs., Jan. 27: Race 3 at Mt. Southington; Mon., Jan. 31: Giant Slalom shootout at Mt. Southington; Thurs., Feb. 3: Race 4 at Mt. Southington; Mon., Feb. 7: Slalom Shootout at Mt. Southington; Thurs., Feb. 10: Race 5 at Mt. Southington.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy