USC athlete named to U.S. National Development team
An Upper St. Clair High School student is on his way to achieving his goal of competing in the Paralympic Games. Rising sophomore Harrison Burgess was recently selected to the 17-member 2017-18 U.S. National Development Sled Hockey Team, which will compete in various national and international events as well as train with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team during the 2017-18 season.
At age 15, Harrison is the youngest member of the development team that includes 11 returnees from the 2017 U.S. Development Sled Hockey Team that swept Canada in its three- game series at the Defi Sportif AlterGo event in Montreal this past April. In total, 14 of the 17 players have previously skated with the U.S. Development Sled Hockey Team. Harrison is one of only three new players.
Elite athletes, nominated by their local coach, had the opportunity to attend a six-day 2017 USA Hockey Sled Hockey Player Development Camp
from July 9-14, 2017, in Williamsville, NY. The purpose of the camp is to identify, train and educate the top sled hockey athletes in the United States. Throughout the camp players are evaluated for possible selection to the U.S. National Development Sled Hockey Team.
Born with spina bifida, a disability that involves muscle weakness in the legs, Harrison began competing in sled hockey in 2010 after discovering the sport
during intermission at a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game. Locally, he is a member of the Pittsburgh Mighty Penguins
sled hockey team, which trains at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex
The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team represents the United States at the Paralympic Winter Games. The event is held every four years directly following the Winter Olympic Games in the same city that hosts the Winter Olympics.
“Harrison is hoping to grow as a player during his time on the development team and potentially make a run for competing on the 2022 Paralympic Team,” Michele Burgess, Harrison’s mom said.
In addition to sled hockey, Harrison has participated in musical theater – including portraying Beast in Fort Couch Middle School’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” in eighth grade. During his freshman year, his sled hockey schedule prevented him from auditioning for the Upper St Clair High School musical although he enjoys attending the Center for Theater Arts where he played the role of Willard in “Footloose.”
Harrison is the son of Michele and Kyle Burgess and big brother to Scarlett, a first grader at Streams Elementary School.