Prep Profile - Woodstock Academy
Last year was Woodstock Academy’s first in the prep school ranks and they made a splash to say the least, advancing to the semi-finals of the National Prep Championship and sending 16 players on to four-year schools, including 11 on full scholarships.
More than that though, they introduced a new model, one that offers the volume of a basketball academy with the setting of a true school.
This year, head coach Tony Bergeron’s club is looking to raise the bar even more and with 30 players on board to fill two different teams, they look poised to do it.
Tre Mitchell isn’t just the only returning player from last year’s gold roster, but he’s also become the poster-child for the program given the tremendous strides he made last year. Mitchell arrived a skilled, wide-bodied big man but lost 30-plus pounds over the course of the next ten months to totally change his body, transform himself into a priority high-major recruit and a consensus top 100 national prospect. Now, he’s being asked to take another step and assert himself as one of the team’s leaders on a daily basis. Also back is Skylar Kooyenga, the 6-foot-10 big man from Illinois, who made strides on the blue team last year.
Noah Fernandes, who committed to Wichita State last month, will join Mitchell as one of the team’s leaders while he takes charge from the point guard position. Coming off a big summer, Fernandes is now well-known for his toughness, skill, and feel for the game.
Other familiar faces from the local ranks include Preston Santos, Darion Jordan-Thomas, Tyrone Weeks, and John Korte. Santos is coming off a strong EYBL season and should thrive in Woodstock’s up-tempo system. Jordan-Thomas and Weeks have all played to rave reviews so far and should be important contributors this season. Jordan-Thomas is a bouncy athlete who consistently finishes inside and rebounds the ball while Weeks is a long and athletic southpaw wing who is also starting to shoot the ball more consistently from three. Korte, a Watertown alum, has put on notable muscle mass and been a pleasant surprise so far.
Fernandes is one of three players on the roster who have made commitments so far this fall. The others are Tre Williams and Mikal Gjerde. Williams, a thick 6-foot-7 forward, is headed to Indiana State in the Ohio Valley Conference while Gjerde, a strong and skilled swingman from Norway, is headed to the west coast to play for San Diego. Both are expected to be important players for Woodstock this season.
Trey Anderson and Ody Oguama aren’t off the board yet but have already taken their recruitment to new levels. Anderson is a 6-foot-7 jack-of-all-trades from California who can play multiple positions and impact the game in various ways. Oguama, a long and athletic 6-foot-9 big man from North Carolina, came in with a couple of low-major offers but has already pushed his recruitment to the Atlantic 10 level given his physical potential.
Romar Reid and Kaleb Thornton are two more quality pieces in the backcourt. Reid, a late bloomer from Iona Prep in New York, is a physical guard with mid-major recruitment while Thornton is a nice compliment as a quick, jitter-bug type who can get into the lane at will. Carson Meier and Ahmad Jeffries have also attracted scholarship attention while Stefanos Psarras, Guillen Gonzalez, Kruno Macner, and Jahden Erold should all make contributions on the Blue team.
There’s a deep collection of versatile and talented wings and forwards including Ronnie DeGray, Ty Mosley, Darweshi Hunter, Jeremy Robinson, Jacob Toppin, Jeff Planutis, and Dyson Frank. DeGray is a versatile 6-foot-6 mismatch problem who was one of the most efficient players in the Adidas Gauntlet last summer with Billups Elite. Mosley is a long and wiry athlete who was previously committed to Milwaukee in the class of 2018 while Hunter provides another athlete, but with a powerful downhill style. Robinson is a strong lefty with a good skill set as well as the younger brother of former Boston College star and current Clippers rookie Jerome Robinson. Toppin and Planutis both have older brothers in the A10 (Dayton’s Obi Toppin and St. Bonaventure’s Bobby Planutis) and are already among the team’s most improved players. Frank is a strong-bodied forward who can also stretch the floor.
Of the 30 players on the team, there are only two not in the class of 2019 – local products Matt Cross and Daniel Dade. Cross has played to rave reviews this fall with his toughness and three-point shooting and may even be poised to be among the team’s starting five. Dade too has had a strong six weeks and risen up the team’s depth chart in the backcourt as a result with his ability to make plays and score the ball in different ways.
There’s about to be a new definition of the phrase, “they can come at you in waves.” Woodstock is three deep at every position on the floor, and maybe even on both teams. They’ll undoubtedly continue to play with the same attacking style and mentality that Bergeron’s teams have always been known. There unparalleled depth will also make competition at a premium as all 30 guys are fighting for their spot every single day.
With 16 kids in four-year schools, 11 on full scholarships, a 35-5 record, and a run to the semifinals of the National Prep Championship, Woodstock blew away expectations in their first year in the prep ranks. This year, they’re looking to raise the bar even more and appear to be on their way to do that as they’ll again have prospects for all levels of college basketball while being among the very top prep programs in the country.