Jack Conway – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

BVSA Athlete of the Month February 2022 - Jack Conway

Bobby Valentine’s First County Bank Athlete of the Month for February is eighteen-year-old, Jack Conway. Baseball is not just a game for Jack, it is a lifestyle. You would have to go back 16 years (when BVSA first opened their doors) to where Jack first fell in love with the sport. All the way back from the age of two, Jack was hooked.

Jack plays the game with great passion and tenacity, while at the same time, spending hours and hours analyzing statistics, history, and current and former players alike. You could call Jack a utility player, but only in the greatest form of the phrase. He is a utility player in the sense that he plays numerous positions, and plays them extremely well. He is the definition of versatile. He wants to learn about every position, and thrives on getting better and better at each and every one.

When Jack was twelve years old, he realized he had a great opportunity to play this game at a high level. Since then, it’s been full steam ahead, working relentlessly to accomplish his goals. Coach Anthony Conte had this to say; “Jack and I had our first session on June 6, 2014 and WOW has it been such a fun journey watching him grow into the young man he’s become! Jack is one of those athletes that comes in, listens, applies, and works his tail off to achieve his goals. He’s one of the few local athletes I know who wakes up before school to hit the gym so he can dominate the rest of the day! Fun to work with someone who knows how to work, compete and still be one of the kindest people in the room.”

Not only is Jack a work horse on the field and in the cages, but he also is a tremendous student at Darien High School, where he will finish this past semester with a 4.0 GPA. He is still considering all of his college opportunities, but the plan is to major in Business. Wherever he ends up, he is confident that baseball will be in his future plans.

As a mentor and a role model to so many kids in his community, from baseball to church and town organizations, Jack continues to share his knowledge of the game, and the lessons he has learned throughout this journey. Baseball is so much more than just a game or a sport to Jack, it is something that has helped mold him into the outstanding young man he is today.

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Jack once more on earning this honor of First County Bank Athlete of the Month for February. His dedication and commitment to the sport speaks volumes, but the life lessons and the impact he is able to make on so many kids is truly remarkable, and why we all choose to be a part of this great game. We are beyond excited to see where Jack goes from here!

The BVSA Experience: 16 Years of Excellence


As Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy enters its 16th year of training and educating young athletes in Fairfield County, we challenged ourselves to answer this question: what makes BVSA so special?

While our excellent team of coaches and expansive facility on Largo Drive in Stamford stand out among other baseball training facilities in the area, it all starts with the man whose name is on the front of our building. 

Bobby Valentine is recognized as one of the world’s brightest baseball minds, which has been developed over a storied history of playing and coaching baseball at the professional level. Bobby has interacted with and learned from many of baseball’s most iconic names at every level of the game throughout his career, yielding a plethora of knowledge that has helped shape the trajectory of professional athletes in both Major League Baseball and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League. 

In 2006, Bobby realized his dream to share this lifelong insight with the youth of his beloved hometown, opening the first Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy on 72 Camp Ave in Stamford. As Bobby opened his own training academy, his mission was to ensure that only the best knowledge and skills were passed down to the community’s athletes.

That mission led to the creation of BVSA’s unique curriculum, derived straight from Bobby’s lifelong experiences around the game of baseball and faithfully passed down to everyone who has entered our building ever since.

The purpose of this curriculum is to provide professional-level instruction that is unified across our brand, and having this system in place has made BVSA successful in maintaining a high level of instruction over the past 16 years.

Every BVSA coach has been educated in this curriculum and delivering Bobby’s distinctive knowledge along to our students. This means any time you step into the BVSA facility, you’ll receive the same high-quality instruction, whether you are working with Bobby himself or the most recent coach added to our staff.

Rather than an environment where each coach instructs his or her individual students using their own teaching methods, BVSA has created a team of unified coaches, which has helped us retain the highest level of coaching throughout our many years in business.

Most recently, our team first mentality has allowed us to persist through the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re proud to announce that despite shutting our doors for 3 months during the early days of the pandemic, we were able to retain all of our staff members and have been able to emerge stronger than ever.

Having this strong curriculum at our core has allowed us to easily adapt our methods of instruction to match these times. In the event that one player’s coach is unavailable, another coach is able to step in and easily provide the same high-quality instruction with which our students are very familiar. 

Additionally, as Bobby Valentine’s archive of baseball knowledge continues to grow, our curriculum evolves to stay ahead of the times. Each person who comes through our building has contributed something special to our program, and we value the ability to integrate our coaches’ unique experiences into the teachings of our entire staff.

Our team is also well versed in using advanced motion tracking technology and metrics to reinforce the concepts we teach. In our facility today, you’ll already find slow-motion video, radar guns, hitting performance metrics, and motion feedback programs. 

As the number of digital performance programs grows, we are continuing to research a variety of new technologies and are excited to continue implementing these state-of-the-art systems into our instruction.

While our curriculum has evolved over the course of 16 years, and will continue evolving in the future, our mission to provide the young athletes of Stamford and our surrounding area with professional-level instruction has stayed tried and true since we first opened our doors in 2006.

As proven over 16 years, BVSA’s curriculum and team first mentality has helped bring the best out of thousands of young baseball and softball players, and with these aspects of training at our core, we’re prepared to continue pushing the bar of athletic instruction for many years to come.

Connor King – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

“Connor is one of the most exuberant and fun kids to be around in any setting at BVSA. From baseball to our All Sports Clinic, nobody is ready to learn while at the same time having a blast doing so more so than Connor. To top it all off, he has such an unique personality that sets him apart from his peers. He really is a pleasure to coach and be around, and there is definitely a bright future ahead!”
Justin Virgulak, BVSA Facility Director


Bobby Valentine’s First County Bank Athlete of the Month for January is nine-year-old Connor King. Connor is simply everywhere, constantly on the move. He started his 2021 playing for the BVSA Fury 9u team, and then continued into the summer with Darien Little League. He played for the Darien AA summer travel team in the Friendship League where he competed against teams throughout Fairfield County. Heading into 2022, he’ll be playing for the Darien Blue Hawks 9U-A team and he could not be more excited.

Connor throws lefty and hits both righty and lefty. You read that correctly. He is probably the first switch hitter in the history of little league. The craziest part about it is that when you watch him hit from the right side and then the left side, you would not be able to tell which side is his natural side. He is THAT good and THAT comfortable from both sides of the plate. He is definitely a must see at BVSA. When we asked him about how he got into switch hitting, he said one day he just simply mixed up his left and his right and accidentally started hitting the other way. If only it were that easy for the rest of us.


“Connor brings positive energy to every practice and game, and always puts in the maximum effort to improve. He has taken huge strides in all aspects of the game, especially with his must see switch-hitting ability.” 
Matt Diurno, Coach/Instructor


When Connor is not playing baseball, you can find him on the ice. He plays for the Connecticut Junior Rangers 2012 Elite team, competing against the best teams in the country all year round. If not on the ice, he is on the lacrosse field playing for 2Way and the Greenwich Warriors.

Across all three sports, Connor is known for his work ethic, his coachability, and his overall positive attitude. He prides himself on being a good teammate and a good playmaker, and his selflessness is remarkable to say the least, especially at such a young age.


“Connor gets it in a way I’ve never seen most high school players understand. What I mean by “it” is a couple of different things. He comes into BVSA wanting to improve in all aspects of the game, both as a player and as a teammate. He demonstrates to other nine year olds, as well as to his little brother, the near impossible balance of hard work, fun, and some messing around with friends and coaches, and then how to put all three together. He carries himself with such a high level of respect, kindness, and genuine happiness. He is always just smiling and happy to be a part of a game he so clearly loves.” 
Joe Wanderlingh, Instructor 


Connor’s favorite teams include the New York Yankees and the New York Rangers, and he particularly enjoys watching Aaron Judge take the field and Adam Fox on the ice. In the classroom, he loves reading and math. He somehow finds the time for hobbies on top of the three sports, and those hobbies include reading, fishing, and golf. When he grows up, his dream is to become a three sport professional athlete. If anyone can accomplish that, it is definitely Connor. 

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Connor once more on earning this honor of First County Bank Athlete of the Month for January. Both the commitment and the love for so many things at such a young age is impressive and flat out remarkable to say the least. Combine that with the respect and care Connor has for everyone, from his coaches, to teammates, to teachers, to his little brother, Chase, and it is safe to say we are beyond excited to watch Connor grow both on and off the field.