Like many others on the D-board I've been a big proponent of high school hockey. Why spend so much $$ for prep or Catholic when often the academics aren't much (or even any) better?? After sending my son to his local public for his freshman year and getting an up close view of his season, I think I finally get it. What it comes down to, I think, is that HS hockey really isn't mainly about playing good hockey. Most of the players haven't played Tier 1 hockey. Many have only played town. To these kids, hockey has always been just another activity. Either the kid wasn't really that into it or the parents didn't want to put in the effort required for a kid really get good. And that's fine. But to expect a coach with Tier 2 (or worse) kids to produce high level hockey is just asking too much. What HS hockey is about is hanging out with your friends, its about wearing your jersey to school. Its beer league without the beer (sometimes with the beer...).
Prep and Catholic draw many kids who have played Tier 1, whose parents have put in a lot of extra effort. Prep and Catholic players haven't been friends since kindergarten and haven't played town hockey together. Many, if not most, of them are attending their school because of hockey. It really matters to them They understand that you get to play on the power play because you're better than the other guy, not because you're older--although in preps and Catholics that's usually also true. How can public HS hockey possibly compete with Catholics in the Super 8? There would have to be some crazy confluence of events (like what happened in Hingham in 2010, when a number of kids returned from Catholic schools) for it to happen again.
The difference between prep and Catholic and HS hockey is equivalent to the difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2. Very few would suggest that the best Tier 2 team at any level could complete with the best Tier 1 teams. But that's essentially what the MIAA is doing when they mix Catholics with publics at the Super 8.
I wouldn't put all publics in the same basket. Some top D-1 public high schools have almost zero town hockey kids, have kids who can play prep hockey and stand-out in tier 1 tournaments and could play d-3 college and a few D-1 college players if they wanted to do the two years of Junior hockey. D-2 & D-3 high school hockey will have a kid on occation that can compete but overall it's town hockey.
As has been posted here before, the odds of a "perfect storm" and a public winning the Super 8 won't happen again. Last years (2014-15) Hingham team was maybe it's best since 2010 and they didn't even get invited and the publics that do, don't last long.
Excuse a question from the totally ignorant but how is it determined if a high school is D1, D2 or D3?
Generally speaking it is by the number of kids enrolled in the school. Most hockey kids that want to play after H.S. at a D-2 or 3 high school would leave by their sophomore year to either a junior team, prep or catholic school. D-1 kids would realize they need a PG year or a year or two of Juniors prior to playing college.
Divisions are mostly determined by enrollment numbers, however some schools apply for D1 status in hopes to keep kids from leaving. That is why Newburyport and Triton are Div 1 but Beverly is Div 2
Take the 19 and 20 year old PG kids out and pull the top couple D and the first line from a top public and they would have no problem...just like when they play in the show cases.
Oh you're talking teams and the other guy is talking players. Well of course the preps are deeper than the catholics and the catholics are deeper than the publics. The other guy's point is a good player is a good player regardless of where they play 4 month of the year.
That's only 4 that wanted to play but go to some of the other tournaments / showcases and combines and you'll see a handful that don't miss a beat playing against prep and top junior teams. I was standing next to a D-1 coach a couple years ago and he pointed out a public school defensemen and said he was the best defesnemen he had seen all season (and it was January) so they are out there.
Play the public and go off to Juniors if you want to keep going. Prep hockey, the cost, the added year, the academics make it a fading proposition. See you in the USPHL after your 5 years at $40k + 2 years at $10k just to play D-3 college hockey in most cases.
The best Div 1 public teams can compete with the middle of the road catholic teams but lose consistently to the better ( Super 8 usual suspects).
The better Catholic teams could compete and beat 50/50 with the lower tiered preps ( Pingree, Moses Brown, other EIL schools) and would be competitive with those preps outside of the top 25 or 30) Delbarton did beat MC 4-1 but only beat CM 2-0 ( HOW???) and tied Berkshire 2-2 and beat Dexter 3-2.
The Powehouse Preps- KUA, Salisbury, AOF, Cushing would beat the Catholics pretty handily. Those teams roll 3 or 4 lines as strong and better than Catholics 1st line. Fact!
Makes sense to have a Catholic Tournament Division 1 & 2 ( smaller catholics) and separate one for the publics.
Complaining about the USHL taking kids off your high school team is like BU complaining about the Buffalo Sabers taking Jack Eichel from them. What is a kid suppose to do when the majority of high school hockey isn't all that great in this area.
And it's hilarious for the MIAA or the state's high school coaches to think, like the earlier poster stated about MC successes that kids from one little ZIP Code can compete with a regional All-star team like MC. If they think a public school has a snowballs chance in ever winning again then they are living in a different era. I have news for everyone, nice little teams like Reading & Hingham will never have a chance again. Catholics recruit heavily, are a draw due to their success winning state titles and success placing kids at the next level, have repeat kids that end-up being 19 year seniors, have better and deeper coaching staffs, bigger budgets, better competition....let's not kid ourselves.
. [How they did get invited is beyond me--in 7 games versus the Catholic Super 8 teams this year, Hingham was outscored 26-2!]
Everyone knows why they were invited, it was a make-up call for the committee screwing-up the voting from the year before. And that team saved those coaches jobs for another five years. They get some pretty good players delivered to them via all of the local programs and still struggle with what to do with them.
Better team, better players the year before and the make-up call putting them in the Super 8 was silly. They should play every year to win the D-1 and forget about playing regional all-star teams (i.e. C.C. Schools)
No publics could compete with Catholics and this was an off year for Catholics, particularly up front.
the mica would never format the playoffs as D1 private, D1 public, D2 Private, and D2 public. Although its a better system than they have now, i would be very surprised if they did it
I think they're under the impression their current way is to maximize revenue.