Category: Current Issue

Members of the Woodstock Academy boys’ soccer participate in a preseason workout.  Photo by Marc Allard.

Over the past several months, people have been trying to find things to do with their suddenly abundant spare time.
Woodstock Academy boys’ soccer coach Paul Rearden used his to take a course in something he has always been interested in: sports psychology.
It may come in very handy this fall. “It’s going to be interesting. What will drive the kids to better performances if you say never mind the wins and losses?” said Rearden.
Wins and losses, truthfully, will not mean all that much.
There is no league or state titles to play for and only regional competition to play against.
That is, of course, if the boys’ soccer season even gets underway when it’s scheduled to on Oct. 1.
The Centaurs don’t seem to mind about the lack of normalcy, provided they get to be out on the field, kicking a soccer ball, with their friends.
 “It’s amazing to be playing again. I’ve been waiting all summer and with the cancellation of spring sports, I’ve just really missed sports. It’s really great to be out here and see all the boys again,” said senior defender Gabe Geyer.
He and his classmates know what the mission is: Prepare the program for the 2021 fall season.
“We’re really looking to improve and set up for next year. We’re bringing in a bunch of new guys and want to build a foundation for the years to come when there will be stuff to play for,” Geyer said.
Rearden said if there is a bright spot in that picture, it’s that the Centaurs do have some talent on the way up.
“We’ve got a very strong sophomore group and some good juniors. It’s fallen at a nice time so we can get the sophomores and juniors ready for next year,” Rearden said.
There is something for the seniors to play for this year.
Eclipse last season’s win mark.
The Centaurs won’t have far to go to accomplish that after a 1-12-3 record last year.
“We’re much hungrier,” senior Huck Gelhaus said. “We’re so fortunate to be able to play and I think we will take advantage of that. I think we will do well.”
The preseason has been a long one with most of the practices through this past weekend consisting of just conditioning and skill work.
It means Rearden, like many other coaches, are still sorting out the pieces.
He does like one thing that he has seen so far.
“We have some young ones coming in who are real leaders and have already shown that. It wasn’t a lack of leadership last year, they just weren’t as vocal. It was more lead-by-example. I think we have a good mix there this season,” Rearden said.
The seniors in addition to Geyer and Gelhaus include Richard Hickson, Andrew Johnson, Nate Majewski, Marco Maluf, Matt Marshall, James Phongsa, Colin Smith and last year’s leading scorer Eric Phongsa.
Juniors likely to see varsity time include keepers Zach Roethlein and Collin Manuilow.
Sophomores Noah Page, Jeff Phongsa, Wyatt Robbie, Brian Jameson and Baden Eaton will likely see some playing time as well.
Boys’ Soccer Schedule: Thurs., Oct. 1: vs. Ellis Tech, 4 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 3:   at Windham Tech, 4 p.m.; Wed.., Oct. 7:  vs. Killingly, 4 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 9: at Tourtellotte, 4 p.m.;
Wed.., Oct. 14: vs. Putnam, 4 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 17: vs. Windham, 4 p.m.; Wed.., Oct. 21: at Parish Hill, 4 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 24: vs. Windham Tech, 4 p.m.; Wed.., Oct. 28: at Killingly, 6 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 31: vs. Tourtellotte, 4 p.m.; Wed., Nov.4: at Putnam, 4 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 6: at Windham, 3:45 p.m.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy