Spring Sports Update
For basketball, at least, April is not the cruellest month at Woodstock.
With Woodstock doing very well recently in local tournaments, basketball is on a high - - and the new courts at Hostel, and Ridgewood, not to mention the old favorite up at the Gym, are in constant use, including late in to the night under the excellent lights at Hostel.
The first tournament of the season is at Welhams Boys School in Dehra Dun, from April 8-11. Woodstock's boys' team will be there as one of the favorites, even though the entire starting "five" from last year has graduated.
Then, on April 16 and 17, the IV Woodstock Invitational Tournament for boys and girls will be held at the three courts at Woodstock. Mr. Ajay Mark is busy arranging for this tournament, which is growing in popularity every year. For the boys' competition, teams are coming from IMA, Dehra Dun, Doon School, Welhams Boys, and, possibly Bishop Cottons from Shimla.
Unfortunately, AES is not making it for this year's tournaments, but Montfort School from Delhi, will be sending its girls' team, to join Woodstock and Welhams.
The climax of the season is the Afzal Khan Memorial Tournament, held at the Doon School from April 27-May 1. This tournament grows in stature every year, and brings in teams from all over U. P., Delhi and Haryana and once again this year from Sri Lanka also. And Woodstock are the defending champions!
So, basketball is really bounding at Woodstock!
And, the cricket balls at Hanson Field are bouncing less!
No, not because the sport is any less popular this year. But, because for the first time, a "pukka" pitch has been laid down at Hanson. Funded by former Woodstock cricketers and students of Mr. Brij Lal - - Sanjay Narang ('81), Rakesh Kohli ('73), Sunil Dalal ('73), and Prem Punjabi ('71) - - the pitch has a base of crushed stone and then brick, topped with a layer of special clay brought up from Dehra Dun. A mat still has to be used, but the bounce is low and true, and yet still quick enough to give the batsmen a tough time.
This new pitch also means that Mr. Lal has to spend a fraction of the time in getting things ready for practice and matches, which is a real blessing, because as all of his former and present players know, Shri Lal has toiled over the Hanson pitch for the past 30 years - - often for hours and days on end.
The new pitch is dedicated to him, but we are also holding a very special Brij Lal Farewell Match at Hanson, on the new pitch, on Sunday, May 23rd. at 10:00 a.m. All former students and players, and friends, of Mr. Lal are warmly invited to join the festivities at Hanson, followed by a dinner in the evening.
And, the day before May 22 - - is the WOSA Woodstock Sale '99! So make it a weekend of fun, cricket, nostalgia, feasting, and fund-raising at Woodstock!
May I also add that the new wall put up at the southern end of Hanson with financial help from the Class of '49 and WOSA India is still going strong (except for one crack right in the centre) three good years after it was put up. It stops hundreds of cricket shots every season, and many former players will be very happy to know that they won't have to search for cricket balls down the "khud" any more.
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