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Adam Thompson moved up to the No. 3 slot and shot a 49 for the Centaurs in the win over Griswold. Photo by Rich Garceau
The Woodstock Academy baseball team celebrated Senior Day for its six seniors. Photo by Trent Peters.

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Freshman Reegan Reynolds won the long jump against Windham in the final dual meet of the season for the Centaurs. Photo by Marc Allard.

Girls’ track
The Woodstock Academy girls’ track team finished off the regular season with a 110-38 win over Windham in Willimantic.
It meant the Centaurs finished with a 6-0 overall record and captured the ECC Div. 2 regular season championship with a 5-0 mark.
“We talked about this as a goal on the team, but really we weren’t sure it would be in reach,” said Woodstock Academy coach Josh Welch said. “Starting out with a win in a non-divisional meet with NFA pointed to good things but, it was tough to know which teams would have what in Division 2. I thought it was a lofty goal at the start of the season, but once the girls got the ball rolling, it seemed more and more likely.”
The key for the Centaurs this year has been their interchangeability. Multi-talented athletes who can easily go from event to event and score points for the team.
“We were able to adjust our meet plans to fill out events and make sure we didn’t leave any points on the table. So while we aren’t a huge team this year, we had the numbers and the diversity across events to grab wins over teams that were depending on a handful of standout athletes,” Welch said.
“This year was a big shift in team culture,” Welch said. ”Athletes were ready to jump into new events, they were committed to the season, and their team, at a deeper level than we have seen in the past.  It’s the first time I’ve seen our girls team really adding points up during the meet, asking how we are doing as a team, and engaging in the sport at that team level.”
Sophomore Bella Sorrentino and freshman Jillian Edwards were both key contributors to the win over the Whippets.
Sorrentino was first in both the shotput and the 100-meter while Edwards won the high jump and 100-meter hurdle competitions. Both also were members of the winning 4x100-meter relay team. Ksenjia Martinovic was also a member of that relay team and finished first in the 300-meter hurdles. Talia Tremblay won both the 200 and 400-meter races while Reegan Reynolds was first in the long jump and second in both the 400-meter, where she qualified for the Class MM state championship meet, and the triple jump. Linsey Arends won the 1600-meter race, qualifying for the state championship meet, Carah Bruce took the 3200-meter first-place finish and Magdalena Myslenski was first in discus.
It was those state qualifiers that Welch took most happiness from.
“Three new state qualifiers was a great thing to see.  Linsey qualified for the 1600m and while she doesn’t plan to run that event, it did show that she was getting her mile times back down which was encouraging to see.  Reegan Reynolds has been getting closer in the horizontal jumps but she had the chance to race the open 400m for the first time and qualified for states.  Jillian Edwards has gone back and forth with her hurdle times frequently landing less than a tenth of a second short, in Windham, she finally qualified for states,” Welch said.
The Centaurs now have the larger meets ahead for them with the ECC Division 2&3 championship meet at Plainfield.
“This ECC meet is a bit of a different animal this year, combining division two and three means we will see more than 50 percent of the teams for the first time this season at that meet. Entries are restricted to one athlete per event per team unless they have all surpassed state qualifying standards, so we have to leave a lot of athletes behind this year,” Welch said. “Still we have 19 girls heading to the ECC meet, this will be roughly the same as the class MM meet for us. There are several promising competitions to watch.  Linsey and Leila (MacKinnon) are seeded 1st and 3rd respectively for the 800m, with Jordan Malloy from Bacon seeded 2nd. I expect that to be an exciting race. Talia Tremblay has a great shot at the 400m and 200m and our 4x800m should do very well.”
The ECC championship will be followed by the Class MM championship June 2.

Boys’ Track
Centaurs finish with tie
The Centaurs girls’ track team flirted with a couple of tie results this season, but ended up winning both meets over NFA and Killingly by slim margins.
The Centaurs boys’ team actually finished with a rare tie result as it and Windham deadlocked at 75.
The tie meant the Centaurs finished the regular season with a 3-2-1 mark overall and a 3-1-1 record in the ECC  Div. 2.
“Very satisfied to have a season at all, but, yes, I am pleased with the condition of our athletes and their level of commitment to the sport,” said Woodstock Academy coach Pete Lusa. “We have a nice range of abilities, with beginners, advancing, and top performers in nearly every event. This affords each level to look forward to the next skill level, or to assist in teaching/coaching the level below.”
Adam Schimmelpfennig won both hurdle events for the Centaurs against the Whippets while Ethan Aspiras took both the 1600 and 3200 meter events and Keenan LaMontagne was a double winner in the shotput and discus. Other first-place finishes were had by Liam Wilcox (long jump), Alex Smith (javelin) and Jackson Dias (high jump).
Matt Marshall qualified for the Class MM state championship meet in the 100-meter and Ian Hoffman did likewise in the 400-meter. Carter Saracina qualified for the ECC championship in the 100.
Lusa feels he will have every event covered in the ECC championship at Plainfield with two or three athletes in just about every event. After that, the Centaurs will take aim at the Class MM state championship meet June 2.

Centaurs 1st seed in ECC tournament
It’s not how the Woodstock Academy baseball team thought the season would end.
Instead of a Senior Day game against Windham Saturday and a season finale in Willimantic Monday, the Centaurs instead were able to get a little extra practice in.
They celebrated Senior Day with an intrasquad scrimmage after Windham could not field a team and forfeited both games to the Centaurs who finish the regular season 16-4.
That was good enough to give them the overall No. 1 seed in the ECC tournament.
The Centaurs received a first-round bye and will play the winner of the play-in game between No. 8 East Lyme and No. 9 St. Bernard in a quarterfinal game May 26.
“We’re happy. We worked hard and we’ve got to be happy. It’s the highest we’ve ever been ranked in baseball. Hopefully, we’re going to peak at the right time and do well in both tournaments,” said Woodstock Academy coach Brian Murphy.
Following the ECC tournament, the Centaurs will play in the Class L state tournament.
Earlier last week, Kaden Murphy got the best gift for a pitcher. The big inning.
Woodstock delivered that for Kaden Murphy against Putnam as it broke open a 2-all tie with nine runs in the fourth inning and rolled to an 11-2 win.
“It’s great. The guys gave me a good cushion and we just rolled off of that,” Kaden Murphy said.
Kaden Murphy didn’t have his best stuff against the Clippers who were able to reach him for a pair of runs in the third inning and briefly held the 2-1 lead.
“When you go through a season, pitchers have days when they have to battle and be tough and (against Putnam), this was his day to do that. He wasn’t the sharpest that we’ve seen him but he battled and got us the win,” said Woodstock Academy coach Brian Murphy.
Kaden Murphy pitched five innings, gave up six hits, but struck out eight, raising his record to 5-0. Kaden Murphy was also coming off a week away from the mound.
Kaden Murphy helped himself in the fourth inning as he doubled to score Brendan Hill, who had been hit by a pitch, with the lead run.
Hamilton Barnes singled to load the bases and a bunt by Jacob Hernandez was thrown away, resulting in a pair of Centaur runs.
Jackson Goetz singled to knock in Barnes, a walk to Zach Roethlein loaded the bases and Avery Killingsworth was hit by a pitch to force home another run. Roethlein came home on a wild pitch.
After a foul out, a fielder’s choice by Trey Ayotte scored a run and Murphy came up for a second time in the inning and knocked in another run with a single.
Kaden Murphy finished with three hits while Goetz added two.
The Centaurs also played an ECC non-divisional game against Ledyard and the bats came alive late again. After Ledyard built a 2-0 lead, the Centaurs tied the game in the fifth inning on a two-run Trey Ayotte double. Woodstock Academy added three more runs in the sixth and four in the seventh for a 9-2 win. Hamilton Barnes went 4-for-4 at the plate while Jacob Hernandez added three hits to back the pitching of Jon Smith who scattered seven hits and raised his record to 4-1 on the mound.

Centaurs clinch tie for title
The Centaurs finished in a tie with Griswold for the ECC Div. 2 crown as both sported identical 14-1 league records after Woodstock bested Windham, 5-1, in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader.
“We got it done. We had a great season. Even though the division might not have been as strong as a normal year, Killingly is still in the division and has a great team this year. Griswold is one of the best teams in the ECC year in and year so to be able to co-champ with them, beat them and have great games with them, this was as good a championship as any we ever had,” said Woodstock Academy coach Jay Gerum.
The Wolverines will be the No. 1 seeded team in the tournament with Woodstock as the second seed.
That was determined by a coin flip. The Centaurs hosted the winner of the Wheeler-Killingly game in a semifinal. The championship game is scheduled May 26.
Madison Martinez drove in two runs and Lexi Thompson, Delaney Anderson and Meg Preston all had two hits for the Centaurs (16-3) in the win over Windham May 22. Alyssa Figueroa had two hits and the RBI for the Whippets.
Windham (10-7, 9-7) forfeit the second game of the scheduled doubleheader.

Boys’ Golf
Centaurs battling for state spot
If the season were to end now, the Woodstock boys’ golf team would qualify for the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division II state championship tournament. But, they sit in the 20th and final spot.
Fortunately, the Centaurs may be playing some of their best golf of the season and, ironically, it may be because they don’t have a senior on the squad.
“This group is extremely focused on the task at hand.  One of the unique things about this group is the fact that I have no seniors.  Seniors get easily distracted come late May.  We are focused on playing golf and bringing our scores down,” said Woodstock Academy coach Rich Garceau. “At the start of the season we struggled to break 200.  This week we nearly broke 170 with a score of 172.  I have not had a team go that low in a few years, so right now the struggle is consistency.  That really isn’t from focus, it is more from the reality that we are still learning to make good decisions and execute the game plan.  All of that really seems to be coming together at just the right time.”
The Centaurs finished the week with a solid 7-0 win over Griswold to raise their record to 6-5 overall and 6-3 in Division 2 of the ECC.
The win coming despite the absence of their No. 3 man, Chris Thibault, who had a family commitment. Adam Thompson stepped into Thibault’s spot and delivered the second best score on the team, a 49.
“Adam is really turning a corner with his game.  He is relatively new to golf so structurally his driving and iron game can be a bit inconsistent.  He is always open to criticism and suggestions.  Where he scores is around the greens.  Sometimes Adam takes a unique route from the tee to the green but once he is on or around the green, he can be an absolute beast with his short game,” Garceau said.
Kyle Brennan was his consistent self as the junior finished with a 4-over par 40. Brennan has also been the leader of the team.
He was paired with Thibault for much of the season which helped the more inexperienced player. Garceau felt that guidance would also work with No. 3 man Davis Simpson so he moved Simpson up to the two slot to be paired with Brennan.
“Davis has had some ups and downs during the season and I felt it was healthy for both of them to give them a fresh look on the course to help their focus toward the end of the season,” Garceau said. “I thought Davis could learn a great deal about course management from Kyle.  Chris took the move very well and seems to have put his foot on the accelerator and Davis, although he did struggle with his game against Griswold is learning so much in the 2 spot that will benefit us for the rest of the season and two seasons to follow.”
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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