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Two SKSA Students Head to Youth Olympics (Part Two)

January 10th, 2020

USA Hockey has named fourth formers Arthur Smith (goalie), and Vinny Borgesi (defenseman), of South Kent Selects Academy’s U15 hockey team, to the 2020 U.S.A. Youth Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. Read part one of this article here.

Arthur Smith

Arthur fell in love with hockey at the age of three while watching a Quinnipiac University game. He started skating at four, and by five was playing as a Mite with the West Hartford Wolves. Arthur’s family was looking for a traditional boarding school academic experience that also offered hockey at the highest level, when a family friend who had attended SKS recommended our program. They already knew about our Head of School Lawrence Smith’s strong leadership at Phillips Exeter Academy and St. Paul’s School, and were eager to be part of this new chapter in the School’s history.
“We have really enjoyed being at South Kent. The hockey experience has been remarkably strong and we have appreciated the way that the adult community has focused on our son’s academic and social-emotional development, which is critical during this time as an adolescent.  We also appreciate that he is surrounded by students from across the world and this has helped our son begin to develop a global competency that we know will aid him now and in the future,” said Arthur’s parents Christine Pina and Alex Smith. 

Arthur’s family appreciates the deep camaraderie felt among the boys, the personal development, and community engagement that are possible through South Kent’s small and intentional setting. When it comes to what it means to be in the Youth Olympics Arthur’s parents shared that, “It’s not lost on Arthur or us what a privilege and honor it is to represent the United States in this incredible international competition. We count military veterans on both sides of our family, and have many friends who are actively serving our country now. Donning the Team USA jersey for global competition means he’s also honoring the servicemen and servicewomen who are dear to us, and he’s representing the ideals of freedom, decency and generosity which define America, and bear amplifying.“

“When I first learned about it over the summer, I was really hopeful that I might be considered for the Youth Olympic team. When I learned that I had made the team I was ecstatic! It’s the biggest honor I’ve ever had, and it feels really special,” said Arthur about being selected. At the Youth Olympics, Arthur looks forward to, “playing against some of the best hockey competition in my age group in the world. I also look forward to meeting athletes from around the world. I have a chance to make connections with other young people and I’m interested in finding out what we have in common.“

Beyond his experience on the ice, Arthur came to South Kent with a number of other honors under his belt, including winning a Silver Key in the 2019 Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards, and the Kingswood Oxford School 2019 Alumni Character Award. In his time on the Hillside, Arthur appreciates the friendships he is making, the learning done in classes, and his advisor. “Mrs. Garcia is great. She helps make sure I’m on track with my work and that I’m preparing myself for the college learning experience. I feel privileged to continue my education and development as a person and player in such a beautiful setting as the Hillside. There is much history here at South Kent, and I’m glad I get to be a part of this place.”

Arthur’s parents shared that, “We are so grateful for the support South Kent has given to Arthur and Vinny Borgesi. The coaches, players, parents and teachers have been spectacular, and their encouragement has meant the world to us.”

“As an African-American family, we are proud to be a part of a growing group of families and players of color who have benefited from the work of [hockey] pioneers like Willie O’Ree and Neal Henderson. The game is changing and growing in so many ways, and the increased diversity of players and spectators is a good step. We are encouraged by the fact that Arthur’s South Kent U15 team has four incredible players who are kids of color.“

“Having Arthur and Vinny named to the YOG team is a tremendous honor for our program and our staff. Any time you have the opportunity to play for and represent your country is a huge honor and I couldn't be more excited for these two,” said Coach Jon Hutcheon, Director of Hockey Operations at South Kent School. “Last season our U15 team had four players play in the Canada Winter Games and now we have two players playing in the Youth Olympic Games, I think that shows what our school and program offers. We give young men the opportunity to develop as a person and as a player. In the classroom, in our dorms, and on the ice, our faculty and coaches do a great job working with the boys, molding them into high performance student athletes who are prepared for the competition and challenges they will face when they graduate.”

Hutcheon added, “Our schedule offers players the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of NCAA, NHL, junior and major junior coaches every night that we play. Ryan Ward and Karl Linden have done an incredible job with our U15 team all season from managing expectations to enhancing every player’s talent on the ice. These latest selections to represent our country and school are a tribute to what we are fostering here at South Kent School.”

Please join South Kent School as we cheer on Arthur and Vinny as they head off to play in the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games from January 9-22, 2020, in Lausanne, Switzerland. The United States team will play against teams from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Switzerland, with their first game on January 18th  against Finland.

Best of luck boys, we are proud to have you representing the Hillside and our nation! 

Posted in the categories General, Athletics.


Angelina Raneo Chilaka
7 months, 2 days ago
Wishing Arthur, Vinny, and the team the best of luck.

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