Pat Ruthirawut: Thailand native finds his niche in Sem sports, clubs

Patsakorn Ruthirawut ‘22 was born in Bangkok, Thailand, but soon developed an interest and curiosity about life in United States schools.

He’d seen the campuses, the cheering sections, the Halls of Fame and the variety of sports depicted in American television shows and films, thinking it was too good to be true.

“It happens to be true!” Ruthirawut said. “It’s very similar, very accurate.”

Few students have ever learned and lived as much as Ruthirawut has in his junior and senior years at Wyoming Seminary, where he’s played six sports and joined numerous clubs.

“It’s really nice to have all those clubs and teams for kids to find which path they want to take, which path they like,” Ruthirawut said. “If you like it, you stay. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to come back.”

Ruthirawut learned to speak fluent English in his native Thailand, where he attended school up to eighth grade.

He attended schools in Canada and Wisconsin for ninth and 10th grades, respectively, but didn’t feel like either was the right fit.

“I was searching around, talking to some friends about where to go,” Ruthirawut said. “One of my friends who came here — his name is Benz Krittapat ‘16 — said there’s a good program here, so I decided to come here.”

Ruthirawut arrived at Wyoming Seminary in hopes of making friends, exploring new interests and refining present ones, and living the American high school dream.

He has accomplished all those goals.

Patsakorn "Pat" Ruthirawut, far right, poses with other seniors on the boys soccer team.

Inside the classroom, Ruthirawut is a Dean’s List student. He’s also the student leader of the 3D Printing Club and a member of Sem’s Science Olympiad team.

Outside the classroom, Ruthirawut has tried out for six varsity sports teams (baseball, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer and swimming), including three in the fall term.

Ruthirawut had prior experience in golf and soccer — and he starts for both teams — but he figured he’d try something new, as well, with American football.

“Pat is a cherished member of the football team,” said Kevin Burke, Sem’s head football coach. “He reached out via email, saying, ‘I want to kick for you guys.’ I gave him a couple balls and a tee this summer.”

Ruthirawut entered football camp as a newbie and left as the team’s starting kicker.

He made four extra points and a 34-yard field goal in his first game, a 51-7 win against the Peddie School in front of a packed home crowd at Nesbitt Memorial Stadium.

Patsakorn "Pat" Ruthirawut is the starting kicker for Wyoming Seminary's football team.

“It’s very exciting playing sports here because the school spirit is amazing,” said Ruthirawut, whose closest friends at Sem include Gabe de Luna ‘23 and Nate Mcgruder ‘22. “The football games, a ton of people come and watch. The soccer games, a ton of people come and watch. A lot of people watch and cheer for you and it’s the best feeling.”

After graduating from Sem in the spring, Ruthirawut plans on furthering his education in the U.S.

Ruthirawut would like to study biomedical or mechanical engineering, he said, and is considering Vanderbilt University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Miami (Fla.), among others.

— Article and photos by Matt Bufano (Published Oct. 21, 2021)