Jenna Davidson captured the ECC individual title last year and returns to lead the Woodstock Academy Centaurs this season. The Woodstock Academy file photo.


The legacy.
The Woodstock Academy gymnastics team always has to go up against, not only its opponents, but its history.
Ten straight ECC titles, nine consecutive state championships and just as a kicker, seven State Open championships in the last eight years.
“I hope we can live up to that. We don’t want to go out early,” said Centaur senior Jenna Davidson. “We have to get bigger skills, honestly, and the people who do compete All-Around have to make sure their routines are solid, no mistakes.”
The difficulty level may be raised a bit this season.
The Centaurs lost Ali Crescimanno, Lydia Taft, Abigail Vaida and Maddie Grube from last year’s team that also finished third in New England.
“It’s not easy at all,” Woodstock Academy coach Kasey Tocchio said of losing the four seniors. “They were four great seniors who really led the team and were great scorers on top of that. It’s a big number to lose. We haven’t lost a big number like that in a while.”
But all is not lost. The Centaurs do have Davidson back who is the defending ECC individual champ.
Davidson just got past Taft in last year’s league championship, 36.5 – 36.
“The target is on my back a little bit,” Davidson said with a laugh. “I’m going to try to carry the team if I can with the other captains. We’re going to try and get everyone on the same page and do our best.”
Those other captains, in addition to Davidson, are fellow seniors Emily Arters and Elise Boisvert.
“Jenna, hopefully, will be as good a scorer as she was last year and Emily Arters is peaking on vault and floor and has upgraded her bar routine. She has worked really hard and will be a big scorer for us,” Tocchio said.
Boisvert, who was injured last season, returns and brings a lot of leadership and some really good skills on the floor.
The Centaurs are also blessed with another strong freshman.
Taylor Markley will make her debut for the blue-and-gold this season.
“She is an amazing freshman, a level-10 gymnast this year. She is on the mend from an injury right now, so, hopefully, by midseason she will be back to peak form. She will be another Paige (Stuyniski) or Grace (Logan),” Tocchio said. “We’re very excited about her and we’re just hoping that she stays healthy.”
Estella Douglas returns as a junior as do sophomores Lindsey Gillies and Hannah Bell. The freshmen class, in addition to Markley, includes Madison Martinez and Bella Webb.
“It gives us a little more,” Tocchio said of the depth. “You need four scorers.”
Davidson said it’s a group that will have to work for everything that it receives.
“We think the year will be a lot of fun. We don’t have the strongest team that we’ve ever had, but it’s OK because it’s our last year so we’re going to have fun and do our best,” Davidson said.
Davidson said her goal is to just score well for the team, get into the 9’s in her events and, hopefully, the high 9’s.
“It’s all about the team, the team’s all-around score,” Davidson said.
The expectations are high.
But the Centaurs are familiar with them,
“It gets a little nerve-wracking,” Tocchio admits. “The pressure has always been there, this year more than ever. The girls have to work really hard for it and we said that last year because we lost Grace and Paige from the year before and the team had to regroup and find their way. They had to realize everyone counted and they couldn’t depend on some big scores. I think the girls on this team have learned that lesson already and we, hopefully, can keep building.”
Tocchio said the key might be how well the team performs early and if it can build confidence going into the larger meets.
“The goal is to be consistent and find that consistency within the team that we have this year because it is so different. We need to take the first meet and build from there and learn what this team is capable of,” Tocchio said.
The Centaurs are scheduled to open on the road in Glastonbury on Jan. 3.
Fri., Jan. 3 Glastonbury Away  TBA
Mon., Jan. 6   East Lyme Co-op, Old Lyme  Home  6 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 8  Stonington  Away  6:30 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 13  Killingly, Ell.  Home  6 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 27  NFA, Fitch  Home  6 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 1  NFA Away  3 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 3 Kill., Ston.  Home  6 p.m.
Feb. 10  ECC Championship  Home  6 p.m.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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