Young Alumni Make Patriotic College Choice

Two Northwood School alumni from the class of 2019 have decided to combine patriotic service with academics and athletics by committing to play hockey for the United States Military Academy at West Point. Defenseman Andrew Gilbert and goaltender Ryan Wilson recently announced their commitments to West Point on their social media feeds. These former Husky hockey players chose to attend an institution where they not only have an opportunity to play hockey and get a great education but also commit themselves to serve their country as officers in the United States Army.

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is a four-year Federal service academy on the Hudson River in West Point, New York. The Academy’s mission is “to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.”

Gilbert CommitAndrew Gilbert is from Fairfield CT and he went to Northwood for 2 years. He is currently playing junior hockey for the Jersey Hitmen. In a recent interview, he said. “I chose to commit to West Point because of the great education, the chance to play Division I hockey and also the opportunity to attend one of the best academies for leadership skills.” He went on to describe the requirement to serve after graduation. “After the 4 years of college, you are required to serve in the military for 5 years. After the 5 years I have the choice to stay in the military or to become a civilian,” he said. The coaching staff at West Point was a deciding factor for Gilbert, as was his family connection to the school. “I was compelled to make this decision because the coaches at West Point are some of the best and have really created a great program. My grandfather also attended West Point, and he has nothing but great things to say about the whole process.” The school spirit and atmosphere on campus also impressed Gilbert. “A couple of weeks ago I was at one of their home games and experiencing the atmosphere really sealed the deal for me. I haven’t second-guessed myself once. I am 100% committed and can’t wait to get started,” he said.

Wilson CommitRyan Wilson attended Northwood last year for his senior year and his successful stint playing for Coach Cassidy brought him a great opportunity to play in the North American Hockey League, which is where he is playing now for the Springfield Jr. Blues. “I decided to commit to West Point for a few reasons,” explained Wilson. “Obviously for the great hockey program they have become. Another reason is for the amazing education you receive while you’re there. It’s comparable to an Ivy League,” said Wilson, who also emphasized the benefits of the military and leadership training provided by West Point. “The endless opportunities you have once graduating from there was a big factor in my decision. When I was younger I used to love watching military movies, so getting the opportunity to play hockey, get a great education, and serve our country seemed like an unbelievable decision to make,” said Wilson.

Both former Huskies expect to enroll at West Point over the summer and play varsity hockey for as a cadet during the 2020-21 season.

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