Selects U-16 American hockey team finds success

Nov 11th, 2014 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Ice
Photo courtesy of South Kent School.

Photo courtesy of South Kent School.

By Corson Sundquist, contributing writer

The start of the new 2014-15 season started off pretty well for the Selects U-16 American team. The American team has 6 returning players from last year’s team, therefore there are a lot of new faces in the locker room. Through the first 5-6 weeks of the season, the team has a winning record of 13-6, which is pretty strong.

The U-16 Americans have been ranked 117th in the country by myhockeyrankings.com, surprising for a team with of a lot of freshmen playing up on U-16. Also they’ve had some injuries throughout the year. A couple of players who have recently gotten concussions have been goalie Matt Stephan and forward Jack Hannan.

Their games went very well when they played New Jersey Hitmen and York Devils. When they played the New Jersey Hitmen they came on top with a 5-3 win Oct. 4.

Starting left winger Griffin Cain said the team’s success had to do with the team unity.

“It was a great team effort and everybody came to play, which was why we won the game,” Griffin said.

Then on their next game day, Oct. 5, the Selects Americans ran through the York Devils with a hard working, gritty game and a good 6-0 group win.

“It was a great team effort and everybody came to play, which was why we won the game.” – Griffin Cain

Grant Adams was also perfect in net and received the first star of the game by recording over 30 saves and putting the team on his back.

The Selects Americans were off during Fall Family Weekend Oct. 18-20 and the players got to spend some time with their families, before getting back to work Oct. 23-26 with the Beantown Classic.

The boys had two practices before they loaded the bus and took off to New Hampshire Oct. 22 for the Beantown. They had a huge weekend with three games being played. The first game was on a Thursday night against number 67th ranked New Jersey Rockets u16, the second game was early that Friday morning at 7 a.m. against a Michigan u16 team. Then the final game of the round play was against Pittsburgh u16 late Friday night. Since they didn’t make it to the playoffs they had a consolation game on Saturday night.

Will Gavin, who is a winger for the Selects U-16 American team, said the team played well but can improve.

“I think we have a pretty good chance of winning a couple games and we need to pass the puck more to get more goals,” Will said.

Overall the team has started off well this year and had a decent tournament and still have many more games left to play.

U14s looking forward to next year’s Selects teams

Mar 2nd, 2013 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Ice

U14s Andrew Peake is one of the players looking forward to next year's U16 teams. Photo by LMW

U14s Andrew Peeke is one of the players looking forward to next year’s U16 teams. Photo by LMW

Video by Ryan DeMatteo

The current U14s will return next year to field a second U16 team for the Selects Hockey Academy.

Planning for new rink underway

Dec 13th, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Ice, South Kent Community

Varsity hockey practices in Cuyler Rink. Photo by Cam Loomis.

Video and Text By Cam Loomis

South Kent’s own Richard M. Cuyler Rink currently has four hockey teams including the Varsity team, U-18, U-16, and U-14 Selects. Also area programs, like Kent Youth Hockey, use the rink for practice and games. With so many teams practicing and playing games on the rink, there is not a lot of ice time for all these teams to be playing.

There has been talk about building new rink throughout the school. Mr. Richard Brande, who is a SKS alumnus from the Class of 1988, is also part of the Development Office. He has been dedicated for the past year planning out the new rink. The school is still in the beginning processes, since not of the money for construction has been raised yet.

“We would like to provide an ice rink to the community that is able to run 12 months a year,” Mr. Brande said during a recent interview.

The rink was built in 1968 as an outdoor rink until the fall of 1986, when the roof was put over it.

Mr. Brande is creating a plan that will be presented to the Board of Trustees to be voted on. His current plan is to build a new rink in the vicinity of the old rink, possibly take down the old rink and rebuild on top of it. However, there is an alternative plan being considered to build next to it, so they would have two operating rinks. If that happens, then they plan to upgrade the old rink. They hope to build the new rink as all-season facility, which will run throughout the whole year. This would allow holding clinics and camps during the summer

There is much to consider with either the rink renovation or new construction.

“We hope to improve on air quality and insulation,” Brande said.

The current rink doesn’t have the best air quality, but the school is trying to improve on that by having air conditioning and dehumidifiers, so it is less foggy on those 65 degrees days and more like its 25 degree days.

Students around campus are looking forward to a new rink in the coming years. Many of the hockey players have a variety of suggestions.

“I’d like to see new stands in the new rink,”  said Senior Shane Starrett who is one of U-18 Selects goalies.

“I’d like to see new boards and glass, cause the stuff we have now is pretty marked up and is kinda hard to play off of,” said by Post-Graduate Devon McLaughin, who is a defender for the Varsity Hockey.

Students are excited to see the new rink construction begin and some of the younger students are looking forward to playing on the rink in the coming years.

Varsity Hockey begins its season

Dec 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Ice


Video and Text Story by Brian Farrell

Kevin Butler of the Varsity Hockey team takes a shot during a recent game. Photo by Lynn Mellis Worthington

This winter, South Kent School has expanded its ice hockey program to include three Selects teams and Varsity Hockey as a developmental team.

It is the first time in the school’s history of hockey that so many players have been offered the opportunity to play at a higher-level of hockey. The Varsity Hockey team has been established to provide a competitive developmental team for boys who are experienced skaters.

The team plays a 20-25 game schedule that includes other prep schools’ junior varsity and “B” teams, high school varsity teams, and club teams from the New England area, according to the school’s web site. The team plays Division II level schools, but is in an independent league.

Players said team goals include winning as many games as possible while developing their skills, but having fun and developing a brotherhood between their teammates.

Three-year veteran Patrick Pedraja, a sixth former, is looking forward to seeing the level of play improve as the team bonds.

“Once we build up our chemistry, we will be running a lock down defense and a high octane offense,” he said.

Other teammates are there for the good time and believe consistent success will come when the players are comfortable with each other.

“Some of the boys need to crack their shell,” said first-year power forward Devon McLaughlin, a post-grad.

The team has started the year off well with a 2-1-2 record. It’s a team goal to finish above an overall 500 record.

Although a lot of the boys are there for a good time, its not all fun and games. The boys are all willing to work and pull through as a brotherhood to achieve their ultimate goal.

U-18 Selects Hockey Academy attracts players from around the world

Nov 23rd, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Ice

Selects Hockey Captains for U16 and U18. Photo courtesy of South Kent School.

Video and Text Story By Nolan Long

Selects Hockey Academy at SKS is a very advanced hockey program in the area. Many guys from all over the world come to South Kent to play hockey. This year’s U-18 team has attracted many new and returning players.

“I came from Florida to Connecticut to South Kent to play hockey because at a certain age in Florida the hockey kind of decreases skill-wise,” said Cole Karklins, a sixth former.

Hockey at SKS makes players better because of the competition and the coaching staff.

“Selects Hockey Academy has made me a better player because of how we have a lot of ice time, so we are on the ice every day,” Cole said.

Selects Hockey at SKS makes players better right from the start, and from their track record, it shows. The U-18 team is 16-9-7 but it just started its winter season, after 31 games during the fall.

Jesse Schwartz, a post-grad from Canada, has played in many hockey leagues in his life, including last year’s Prep Hockey team at SKS.
“Junior A was a better league, but there is a lot more exposure here in America, and I think I easily made the right decision,” Jesse said.
Making the move to come to South Kent to join Selects Hockey is a privilege. The high level of play and also the exposure is the reason why this program is so successful. This year SKS has three Selects teams with the U-14, the U-16 and the U-18.
The exposure the Selects Hockey Academy has to offer is head and shoulders above the rest of the leagues, according to Eduardo Camet, a sixth former from Canada.
“It’s better because there is more games and there’s better exposure,” Eduardo said.
With all of these athletes looking to get into a good college to play the sport that they love, a longer season with good exposure should prove to be a great step for players to take in order to pursue their dreams to play in college.

U-16 Selects Hockey team provides opportunities to players

Nov 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Ice

U-16 Selects Hockey Team. Photo courtesy of South Kent School.

Video and Text story by Ryan DeMatteo

The impressive U-16 Selects Hockey Team kicked off its regular season on Friday, Nov. 16 against Hill Academy.

The Selects are currently one of the top teams in their league to beat this year. The team’s record is 31-8-1 overall. The Selects are also known as the Selects Hockey Academy because of the combination of a long and intense hockey season with the everyday academics of a independent school student.

This is the second year South Kent has fielded a U-16 Selects team. Coach Devin Rask is also back, along with Assistant Coach Dillon Duncan.

Recently, the U-16 Selects Team made it to the finals in a tournament that could have potentially led them to the Nationals. Had the team won that game in the finals, it would have moved on to the National tournament to compete for a championship playing against other competitive hockey teams from all over the country. Although the U-16s did not win, the team is currently ranked sixth in the country and are a threat to the teams faced during the regular season.

Only the players themselves know how stressful it can be playing on the team and the responsibilities that come with it.

“It’s hard being the starting goalie for the team because there is a lot of pressure from my friends, family, and the whole school watching me,” said Jeremie Linter, a fifth former who is the starting goaltender. “I have to do my best.”

There are multiple college and junior hockey scouts at each game looking at every player on the Selects Hockey team to make a possible offer to them for their team in the future. The amount of pressure this puts on the players is unbelievable knowing that they must perform their best consistently every game.

The Selects Hockey team offers intense hockey that challenges the players and makes them better.

“This team helps make me become a better hockey player because its a faster pace of hockey and gives me a chance to play with players from all over,” said defenseman Joe DeLandro, a fifth former.

“We get better as a team, make mistakes as a team but we pick each other up which makes us hard to beat,” said forward Ethan Bassile, a fifth former.

Selects to attend national camp

May 28th, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Ice

Video and text story by Alex Poulin

Selects Hockey Academy

Four hockey players from South Kent were selected to attend the U16 national camp, and they will be heading to Rochester, NY, this summer for the final camp. To make it to the final camp, they had to get picked in their own states which they tried out in and then go to their regional tryouts earlier this year.

Third former, Austin Mcllmurray, freshman forward, and Mitchell Lundholm, freshman forward, along with fourth former, Joe Snively, sophmore forward and MVP of the team and Anthony Siderio, sophmore forward will all be going to Rochester on July 7 to the camp to compete for a spot on the USA national U16 team. To go to the final camp, there is a long process that starts from state tryouts.

“People get picked from all sorts of different regions. I started in state tryouts in Florida and then they picked 20 kids to go to North Carolina for the Regional tryouts for all the southeastern states of the United States.” Austin said.

All four of them went to the final camp last year and are looking forward to their return this year. They each hope their time on the South Kent Selects team this year helped prepare them for the national level of competition.

Joe Snively, who just commited to Yale University, will be heading to Rochester looking for a spot on the U16 squad.

“South Kent helped me become a better player because we had the chance to skate everyday on the ice, Coach Rask ran good practices. The gym was always open to be used to work out and we had good competion playing in a good league,” Joe Said.

Anthony and Mitchell are looking forward to the second chance the have to represent their country.

“Going to the camp last year is going to help me this year, I know (how) hard and long it is going to be. I know the regiment of the camp and how to get seen more and I know some kids that are going to it so it is going to make my experience a lot better,” Mitchell said.

Players will have to prepare for the camp because as Mitchell said, the final camp is very hard and long.

“To prepare for camp, I train on the ice and work out in the gym four to five times a week, try to eat healthy and play summer tournaments,” Joe said.

Five Selects players drafted to the USHL

May 28th, 2012 | By | Category: On the Ice

Video and Text story by Keegan McCarthy

FIve Selects Hockey Academy players were drafted to the United States Hockey League earlier in May.

FIve Selects Hockey Academy players were drafted to the United States Hockey League earlier in May.

Five Selects Hockey Academy hockey players were drafted during USHL Futures Draft, which includes top players from the birth year 1996 and up.

Mitchell Lundholm, a third form foward, Charlie Manley, a fourth form defenseman, Joe Snively, a fourth form forward, and Anthony Siderio, a forth form forward, all got a phone call on May 1 congratulating them and informing them that they had been drafted among the top hockey players in the country.

Mitchell was drafted 22nd overall by the Sioux Falls Stampede. Charlie got the next phone call, getting drafted by the Waterloo Blackhawks at number 32 overall. Joe then went at 57th overall to the Sioux City Musketeers. Anthony was the last to go at 79th overall to the Youngstown Phantoms.

Chase Priske was drafted on May 22 in the USHL entry draft to the Fargo Force at 233rd overall.

It is called the “futures draft” because the players that are drafted often do not play in the USHL the year that they are drafted. This year the draft restricted each team to only pick from the 1996 age group, each team drafted six players. After a player is drafted, they are put on an affiliate list, while they develop at lower levels.

When Mitchell was asked about his experience of getting drafted, he couldn’t describe it.

“I remember everybody screaming that I got drafted,” Mitchell said. “I just thought they were kidding me, but then they actually showed me and I saw it and I was pumped.”

Mitchell also elaborated on how the Selects Hockey Academy helped him this year.

“Selects has helped me,” Mitchell said. “Instead of playing junior hockey, I feel like I got recognized more.”

Mitchell said his goal is to play in the USHL in two years but he is staying with the Selects next year.

“It would be sweet if I could play a couple of games next year in the USHL,” Lundholm said. “But at the same time I am looking to be an impact player here for the Selects Hockey Academy next year.”

Charlie described his draft experience as, “humbling.”

“At first I was really relieved,” Charlie said, “and then I started getting really excited, and I called my parents and they told me they were proud of me. It was just a really cool experience.”

Charlie also agreed with Mitchell on the fact that the Selects Hockey Academy and South Kent School helped him in getting drafted.

“I do believe it helped me,” Charlie said. “We had a great coaching staff here, a great head coach in Coach Rask, he really helped me develop this year, making the speed of my game faster.”

Charlie shares the same goal as Mitchell, but plans on being back on the hillside next year.

“The ultimate goal is to play in the USHL,” Charlie said, “if not next year then the year after that. Right now I am looking at coming back and being and impact player here at South Kent on the Selects Hockey Academy.”

Being drafted by the Sioux City Musketeers, Joe could only describe it as, “awesome.”

“I was excited when I got the call from Coach Larson,” Joe said. “When he told me he was going to draft me, I was just really excited to play.”

Joe also agrees with his team mates that the Selects Hockey Academy and South Kent School helped him get to where he is today.

“I think coming to South Kent really helped me a lot,” Joe said. “Coach Rask really got the coaches to come see us, gave us a lot of exposure, and being on the ice everyday and also having the availability to train everyday really helped me.”

When asked what his plans are for next year Joe also said he will be returning to the Hillside.

“I will be returning to South Kent and playing for the Selects next year,” Joe said. “The hope is to make my team my senior year and play there one or two years before I integrate into college hockey.”

Even though he was drafted last out of all of his buddies, Anthony called his draft experience a “relief.”

“It was a humbling experience,” Anthony said. “First thing that went through my mind was pretty much relief. Being the last out of all my buddies here at South Kent to get drafted was an interesting experience, but once I got past that it was really exciting.”

Anthony agreed with the rest of them that South Kent really helped his draft stock this year.

“The exposure I got at South Kent and playing for Selects,” Anthony said, “really boosted my stock this year in the hockey world.”
Finally, Anthony shared his main goal after next year and it includes, just like the rest of them, playing in the USHL.

“Playing there my senior year is pretty much my goal,” Anthony said. “It’s pretty much what I’m working for, besides being successful next year, my main goal is to play in the USHL.”

Catch these five young prospects on the ice next year on the Hillside trying to win a national championship and bring it back to South Kent School.

The Cardinal Way: An inside look at Prep Hockey

Mar 6th, 2012 | By | Category: On the Ice

Documentary by Ben Welton, Advanced Digital Communications

Yannik Crete, a Sixth Former, scores against Kent's Hill during the 2011-12 season.

Dedicated and hard-working are just some of the ways to describe South Kent School’s Prep Hockey team during the 2011-12 season. SKS attracts players from all over the world, including many from Canada and across the United States.

Head Coach Eric Soltys worked diligently this season to bring this group of players together into a cohesive team that captured the second place seed in the Small Schools Tournament.

“We try to call South Kent the Red Army because we try to go about our business like the Red Army did,” he said. “Being disciplined in our actions (and) making sure that we stick to our systems on the ice, making sure we’re there as a brotherhood together, having each other’s back on and off the ice is just a small way of putting us into the Red Army.”

South Kent’s Anthony Florentino Plays for USA

Mar 1st, 2012 | By | Category: On the Ice, Student News

Video and Text Article by Keegan McCarthy

Anthony Florentino playing during his recent stint with the United States U17 National Development team in the Czech Republic

Anthony Florentino recently got to impress the hockey world on the U17 National Development team in the Czech Republic.

Anthony, one of four captains on the South Kent Prep hockey team described the feeling of getting called up to play for his country on Feb. 6 to 11.

“The feeling I had when I got called up is something I cannot describe,” Anthony said, “It was the best feeling in the world.”

Coach Eric Soltys, the head coach of the South Kent Prep Hockey team and director of hockey operations, described the pride that the South Kent Hockey program felt after the call-up.

“I think that it reflects on us on the fact that we are really proud of him,” Coach Soltys said. “When you have a player in your program that gets called to go to an international event such as that (it) is a really special thing.”

Sotiri Anthanasopoulos, a co-captain on the South Kent Prep team, describes his reaction.

“I think that he felt like he was on top of the world,” Sotiri said, “Flo is a great guy and a hard worker. It couldn’t have happened to any better kid.”

Anthony also described the experience of putting on his countries colors.

“I felt more than a sense of pride putting the jersey on,” Florentino said. “It was a great honor for me. It was such an honor because not everyone gets to represent their country by playing the sport they love more than anything. It was my dream to play for them.”

Coach Soltys described how special it is for a hockey player to represent his country.

“It’s a special opportunity to be able to wear your countries colors,” Soltys said, “To go over there and compete as an American is an absolute ultimate honor for a hockey player playing in the US, and it could not have happened to a better kid.”

Anthony described how it felt being in the Czech Republic for a weekend.

“My experience of playing in a different country was amazing,” Anthony said, “It was a great experience. I enjoyed it more than anything.”

It is no secret that after this recent stint with the United States U17 National Development team proves that he can go nowhere but up.  Anthony is a recent commit to Division I Providence College in Hockey East, a very competitive collegiate hockey league. Coach Soltys thinks that Anthony can do anything he sets his mind to.

“As one of the top players in the United States is certainly a feather in his hat,” Soltys said. “He works hard, (however) he is a very humble boy. He defines determination for me. He is always starving for new knowledge, and I think the sky is the limit here for him.”

He continues to rock the hockey world here on the Hillside playing with South Kent Prep again as the Cardinals work their way into the playoffs.

Sports Lingo: what are those athletes saying?

Feb 3rd, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court, On the Ice, soccer


Video by Kevin Golden

Prep Hockey players Zach Carrano and Matt Swett are two of those who share their sports’ lingo.

Kevin Golden interviews several SKS student-athletes about some of the words and phrases specific to their sport.

Varsity Hockey looks for wins at home

Feb 1st, 2012 | By | Category: On the Ice


Ben Welton, right, is the captain of the Varsity Hockey team. Photo by Andy Tang.

Video and Text by Jesse Schwartz
This is a big season for the Varsity Hockey Team. It is a big season because there are many newcomers and veterans on the team. They are already halfway through the year and have a 4-6-2 record.

The month of February will be spent at home with eight games in the next four weeks.

“All in all we’ve been having a good season,” says Coach Rory DeRocco. The head coach is looking forward to winning a championship. He is very happy to see so many new players tried out this season.

The team this year has a very solid top two lines and has depth with the third line as well. There are three hockey teams at South Kent, a first, a second, and a Selects Team. The Varsity team is the second and the Prep team is the first. The Prep team is very strong this year which will allow others to get more playing time on Varsity Hockey, who don’t play as much for the Prep Team.

Ben Welton, a 6’0” right-winger who lives in New Milford, CT, is the captain of the Varsity Hockey team. He is one of the top players on the team as well.

“The season is going well. We’ve got a lot of returning talent, a lot of newcomers, and a lot of great day students,” he said. Ben displays his leadership skills by working well with all the players on his team.

“We’re doing well and there are big expectations,” he said.

Luc Chatelain, a 5’10” left winger out of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is the leading goal scorer for the Varsity Hockey team. “Chats,” as people call him, has 13 goals and four assists in eight games played, which is an average of over two points a game.

“We need to improve our power play, penalty kill, making good passes, (make) no turn overs in the neutral zone, high man, and not give up fast breaks,” said Luc.

Varsity Hockey has only home games left in its schedule this year. The next game will be Feb. 8 against Brunswick.

Selects hits its mark on The Hillside

Jan 31st, 2012 | By | Category: On the Ice


Video and Text by Keegan McCarthy

The U16 Selects Hockey team is making big strides this season.

The Selects Hockey Academy has made a positive impact on the ice, throughout the community in their first year, and the future is bright.

Head coach of the Selects Hockey Academy U16 team is impressed with the season so far.

“It’s going pretty good,” Coach Devin Rask said. “We have a really talented group. They are committed to the Selects program and making South Kent a better place. We have won a few tournaments, and a couple of kids are getting college looks.”

Coach Eric Soltys, the head coach of South Kent’s Prep Hockey team and director of hockey operations, is also impressed with what the Selects have done so far this year.

“I think they came in here as a first-year club and couldn’t of done any better,” Soltys said, “They are up in that top 20 pack of the best U16 teams in the country, as far as 95’s and 96’s are concerned. A lot of scholarships aren’t handed out, (and) three kids from this team already have scholarships.”

Roberts Smits, a player for the Selects U16 hockey team and a Fourth Former, is also impressed with his team’s performance so far this year.

“I think we are doing pretty good,” Smits said. “We had some tough losses, but we got up from them and we are back on track for the rest of the season.

Coach Soltys has high expectations for focused on the rest of the year and what he expects out of them to finish the year strong.

“For the rest of this year I expect them to continue to compete and battle hard,” Soltys said, “They will continue to make us proud and defend our hillside on the road.”

It is no secret that the South Kent School hockey program is changing drastically after this year. South Kent hockey will be changing to a U14, U16 and U18 team format. All three teams will be playing in highly competitive AAA hockey leagues throughout the United States. As far as Coach Rask and Coach Soltys are concerned: the sky is the limit.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Coach Rask said, “for both the school and the players coming in, it is beneficial. It combines high-level hockey with high-level academics, which is what it takes to get to the next level.”

“I think the sky is the limit,” Coach Soltys said. “We are up and coming, growing and getting bigger, and starting to get commitments from some of the top players in the country.”

The future is bright for the Selects Hockey Academy, not only for the rest of this year, but for the many years to come. The Selects have their next home game on Feb. 2 against Northwood.

Anthony Florentino: ‘My motivation’

Dec 5th, 2011 | By | Category: On the Ice, Student News


Video and Text by Danny DeRocco

Anthony Florentino is a valued member of the Prep Hockey team.

Anthony Florentino has proved himself to be one of the hardest-working athletes on this campus. He took the opportunity to come to South Kent to play hockey and pursue his dream of moving to the next level. As a member of the Prep Hockey team in 2010-11, he proved his stuff right away. As the defensive partner of Union commit Shayne Gostisbehere, Anthony too looked to commit to a good school by the end of the year. With offers coming in the door, Anthony decided on Providence College. This season is a big year for him and he looks to continue his good work for the Cardinals.

The Cold Hard Truth

Nov 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: On the Ice, South Kent Community

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDErBVFeZYQ” width=”600″ modestbranding=”1″]

Video and Text by Keegan McCarthy

The Richard M. Cuyler Ice Rink before the ice went down this fall.

Almost a month ago, the ice of Cuyler Rink was supposed to go down at South Kent. However, the skating surface wasn’t available as planned and players voiced their opinion loudly about the ice going down late.
As of mid-November, players have only been able to skate six times.

“The main advantage of having ice early in October is that the team could prepare themselves by working on skating, shooting and stickhandling,” said Sotiri Athanasopoulos, a captain of the Prep ice Hockey team said,
“You do not have much time to work on skills when the ice is down later in October or early November, because tryouts are around the corner.”

“I believe it helps a lot for team chemistry because everyone gets a feel of how everyone plays and everyone knows where they stand on the team,” Sotiri says. “Everyone has a certain job on the team and that is why it is important to play together earlier in the year.”

Even with the season right around the corner Sotiri says, “The team will work on conditioning drills, and various battling drills in order to get in shape. Everything falls into place as it gets later in the season.”

“The ice at SKS is always a topic of discussion,” Coach Eric Soltys said. “Unfortunately, it is out of our control. The weather plays the biggest factor in when we can lay the ice.“

An improved rink is in the works and Mr. Rich Brande, the new director of hockey development, is responsible for raising money to “winterize” the Cuyler Rink, Coach Soltys said. “His main goal is to have open ice for the players from day one of school. With the new structure of Selects Academy at South Kent, it’s a must,” Coach Soltys said. Winterizing the rink will help hockey players in the years to come at South Kent School.

“The advantage of having the ice down is two-fold,” Coach Soltys says, “First, no matter what you do, nothing puts you in hockey shape except for hockey. Secondly, the friendship and team bonding right from the start helps every member get to feel that brother hood early on at school as a member of the South Kent hockey program.”

Coach Soltys feels the players’ frustration.

“I think the students of SKS that play hockey would love the ice to go down a.s.a.p.” But, Coach Soltys also sees the other side of the argument. “I also think they realize that we control what we can control and regardless that we are at the mercy of mother nature, the show must go on and we must find a way to be ready for Nov. 19 when Hill comes into our house!”

Coach Soltys sees pride in the red army.

“No one leaves with points from our house! Be it day one of school or mid January. The RED ARMY will defend our home with courage and honor,” Coach Soltys says.

“During the early fall season, the ice cannot be put down.” Mr. Mike Gawel, the rink manager said. “The temperatures are too high, and the ice is unable to freeze. It is about a weeklong process to get the ice to freeze, (and) the weather just was not cooperating.”

Now the ice is down, and hockey season is right around the corner. Players have been waking up at 5 a.m. starting to practice for the season. The ice is down at South Kent, and South Kent is ready for some hockey.