The South Kent School Hockey Experience
The South Kent School Hockey 18U program allows those players moving on from the 16U levels to continue their education without disruption, while offering a widely desired and, until now, unavailable alternative to New England Prep School Hockey. Our 18U team plays the most competitive Tier I Midget schedule, participating in the top 18U tournaments in the northeast and across the country.
By continuing their high school education at South Kent School, our 18U players position themselves to make the transition to higher levels on graduation, including the NCAA, USHL and CHL. South Kent School students on the 18U team are receiving college commitments from some of the top academic and Division 1 NCAA schools in the country. In addition, our students regularly receive attention from NHL scouts. They are placed on the NHL Central Scouting List and projected as future NHL draft picks.
Director of Hockey Operations and 18U Head Coach
A native of Kamloops, British Columbia, Coach Russell started his career as Assistant Coach at Ferris State University (1994-1999) and then at Cornell University (1999-2003). He returned to his alma mater and spent eight seasons at Michigan Tech as Head Coach (2003-2011) and was named the 2007 WCHA Coach of the Year.
Coach Russell spent three seasons at Providence College (2011-2014) as Assistant Coach. He went on to become the Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL (2014-2016). Most recently, Coach Russell served as General Manager and Head Coach of the Worcester Railers Hockey Club of the ECHL (2016-2019) where he oversaw all elements of hockey operations including coaching, recruiting, negotiations with the New York Islanders and Bridgeport Sound Tigers affiliates, media, and community outreach.
Prior to his coaching career, Coach Russell played collegiate hockey at Michigan Tech where he was assistant captain, winner of the Outstanding Leadership Award, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He played professionally in both the ECHL and AHL after his NCAA career and earned a Master of Business Administration from Lake Superior State University.
18U Hockey Assistant Coach
Ryan comes to South Kent School from UMass Amherst, where he volunteered as an assistant coach for the last two seasons. Prior to transitioning to coaching, he was a grad transfer to UMass during the 2018-19 season. Before UMass, Bliss earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in 2018.
A Raleigh, North Carolina native, Bliss spent two seasons playing with the National Team Development Program in Michigan after attending prep school at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. He lived in Massachusetts for the last eleven years and has two younger brothers, both hockey players at Bowdoin College and Brown University, who share his passion for the game.
Human Performance Coach
Coach Bonis has extensive experience with both hockey and athletic conditioning. He played both at Proctor Academy and in the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL). He is a USA certified swim coach, lifeguard, lifeguard instructor and is the Connecticut Trainer for Heroes of Tomorrow, run by former Navy Seal Stewart Smith.
Coach Bonis was a competitive cyclist and now competes as an open water swimmer, conquering the 2018 Lake Champlain Open Water Race and the 2019 Peaks to Portland open water swim. Whether it is climbing the tallest peak in the Rocky Mountains, swimming across the largest lake in New England, clinging to a rock face, or pushing impressive weight in various directions, Coach Bonis has spent the better part of his life connecting with people through fitness.
Coach Bonis has a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health and has taught anatomy, physiology and philosophy. He has been mentoring student-athletes both inside and outside the weight room at South Kent School since 2005. The classes he has taught, as well as the training programs he has designed, always take the mind and body connection into account. An excellent motivator, Coach Bonis knows that it takes self-reliance to accomplish anything, “Working out is not always the hardest thing, it’s sometimes just getting to the gym that is the most challenging part.”