Prep Profile Worcester Academy
The more things change the more they stay the same.
Worcester Academy has as much tradition as any prep school program in New England and the 2010-2011 season will mark a major change as they will no longer be playing in the NEPSAC’s top league. While the traditional class A schools are now in the AAA league, Worcester is playing in AA this year along with many of the previous powerhouses from class B and C.
And although the move suggests a philosophical change at Worcester Academy, that doesn’t seem to be the case judging from this year’s roster as head coach Ed Reilly has brought in a talented team that should be considered one of the favorites in class AA.
Age and experience, especially in the frontcourt, will be major assets for Worcester this year as their roster includes five post-grads, two seniors, and two juniors.
It all begins up front where Rutland resident Patrick Ackerman, who is already committed to Penn State, returns for his third year in Worcester. The six-foot-eleven big man is coming off a successful summer that was highlighted by his play in Orlando. He will be the defensive anchor for this year’s squad, patrolling the paint with his shot-blocking, cleaning the glass, and being the vocal leader that he is. Offensively, Ackerman should also find success as very few centers in the league will be able to match his size and strength.
The team’s best post-graduate additions come in versatile wings Tavon Allen and Jerel Scott who are both capable of playing multiple positions. Allen, a graduate of Hillhouse High School in Connecticut, is coming off a big summer of his own and having already committed to Drexel last month, the long and ambidextrous six-foot-seven wing should be able to completely focus on his prominent role on this Worcester team.
As for Scott, he shows signs of stardom at times with a well built six-foot-five frame with good length, strength, and athleticism. He owns one of the best defensive stances in all of the prep school ranks and is capable of making some big time offensive plays. Coming out of Albany, consistency has never been his forte but if Reilly can bring that out of him he could be a huge addition for Worcester.
Jordan Wejnert is an athletic face-up four-man who is already committed to UMBC and should be in contention for a starting spot along the frontline, depending on if Reilly chooses to go big or small with his line-up.
Two local post-grad products, Jose Cruz and David Mack, should also play key roles for this team along the frontline. Cruz is an athletic six-foot-seven forward who can impact the game in a multitude of ways and is flying a little under the radar in our opinion while Mack is as efficient of a low post player as you will find coming off the bench in this league.
Marlborough resident Canaan Severin returns for his second year at the Academy and while it is looking more and more as if his future will lie on the football field at the next level, he is sure to be an asset to this team.
With so much experience and depth along the frontline we initially thought it may be difficult for Thomas Rivard to see much time in the rotation, but the long six-foot-six forward has convinced us otherwise this fall showing great tools and potential moving forward.
The key to Worcester's success this season will lie in the backcourt where they have undeniable talent but not nearly as much experience or depth as they do up front. Olivier Paul Betu returns for his second year as one of the team’s top scorers and playmakers. He will be joined by Ausar Madison, a newly arrived sophomore from California, who is a pure point guard that is completely dependable with the ball in his hands and a capable scorer in his own right when necessary. Josh Peter also returns from last yea'rs squad and will play an important role off the bench as a steady distributor who can provide valuable minutes running the show.
This year’s Worcester roster isn’t so different from past years. Sure there is no Billy Baron to carry the torch but Coach Reilly’s squad still features a deep and talented unit who should be considered among the favorites in the newly formed class AA.