Returning Players
The Woodstock boys’ golf team will be paced by returning players, from left; senior Chris Thibault, senior Kyle Brennan and junior Davis Simpson. Photo by Marc Allard.

The Woodstock Academy boys’ golf team is ready to get back to work. When they will be allowed to is another question. The Centaurs return their entire roster from a year ago with some new additions.
But as it always is with the sport, it’s a case of hurry up and wait.
“I’m pretty excited about the season but I will be more excited when the golf courses start to open up,” said coach Rich Garceau.
Instead, the team has been going over the rules of the game in an indoor lecture hall.
“Usually, I get some sarcastic comments when we’re doing this from the kids but they seem fine with it. They seem like they want to learn and are involved even though we haven’t got to a golf course yet,” Garceau said. “You have to sit and wait. They’re doing a lot of work at Quinnatisset (Country Club) and Roseland (Golf Course) and golf is a patient game anyway. You can’t rush. There is no such thing as a fast break in golf. Maybe it’s a good life lesson to know that things don’t always move as fast as you would like.”
Some chose not to wait.
Senior Kyle Brennan and junior Davis Simpson, despite being involved with other sports – hockey and alpine skiing respectively – started with some captain’s practices in February, getting the indoor range set up to hit into nets.
“We tried to get started early because some other teams are, too. It’s going to be tough this year because Quinnatisset is opening late,” Brennan said. Their home course is not scheduled to open until April 8.
That is after the first two scheduled matches of the season.
The Centaurs are slated to open on the road at NFA on April 5 and were then scheduled to play a home match against Bacon Academy at Quinnatisset on April 7.
“We’re just going to do what we can and hit balls (at the South Campus of the Academy) and make the best of it,” Brennan said.
“Even though we haven’t been able to go out as a team, they’ve been swinging, digging up their backyards with their wedges and I’m fine with that. It’s not my grass,” Garceau said with a laugh.
Garceau reflected back on last year to provide motivation for himself. The team ended the season playing well including a fourth-place finish in the ECC tournament and qualifying to play in the CIAC Div. II tournament where it placed 14th.
“We finished last year with kids who I could tell were motivated to get better. Playing well, wanting to get better regardless of that fact, really bodes well for this season,” Garceau said.
In addition to Brennan, Chris Thibault and John Armstrong return as seniors with juniors Curtis Lefebvre, Anthony Listro, Simpson and Adam Thompson and sophomore Donnie Sousa.
When asked about turnout for the team, Garceau used one word to describe it, “big.” And more potential players continue to contact him. He also has several international players who have signed up.
The only problem is that their golf clubs, according to Garceau, are “on the other side of the planet” and he has reached out to the Woodstock community looking for golf clubs that could be borrowed.
He currently has 22 boys out, close to double what he started with last season.
But he has no idea what to expect from his newcomers, or for that matter, his returning players.
“I see a lot of drive,” Garceau said of his players. “They know they’re good enough to be a threat this year, whether we’re good enough to win everything, I don’t know. I haven’t seen a golf swing yet.”
One change for the Centaurs this season is that they will play in Div. I of the ECC alongside NFA, Fitch and E. Lyme.
“The only thing that has me a little concerned is that being in Div. II for the past couple years, my guys haven’t seen some of the courses that we will be seeing. Other than that, we were competitive with them last year,” Garceau said.
“Our goal is to be No. 1 in the ECC, obviously, just like it is every year and we will try and make a run at States, too. Get up in the top 10 of the States. We will see how it goes,” Brennan added.
Boys’ Golf Schedule: Tues., April 5: at NFA, 3 p.m.; Thurs., Apr. 7: vs. Bacon, 3; Tues., Apr. 12: vs. Fitch, 3; Wed., Apr. 13: vs. Tourtellotte: 3; Thurs., Apr. 14:  at  Waterford, 3; Tues., Apr. 26:  at E. Lyme, 3; Thurs., Apr. 28: at Stonington; 3; Mon., May 2:  vs. Killingly, 3; Tues., May 3: at Ellis Tech w/Vinal Tech; 2:15; Thurs., May 5: vs. E. Lyme, 3; Mon., May 9: at Wildcat Invite,  TBA; Wed., May 11: vs. Plainfield, 3; Tues., May 17 at Fitch w/Killingly, 3; Thurs., May 19:  vs. NFA, 3; Tues., May 24:at Windham/Parish Hill, 3; Thurs., May 26:  at Killingly, 3.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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