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I think you have it backwards. If you are looking at, in your words, a "real" half season team the talent and competition is considerably better than the Fall Prep league. If you are looking for a consistent schedule, then stick to Fall Prep.
If truly a U19 player and not playing up, then Fall Prep League is pretty much your only option.
He is an 04 so will be playing up.
Where is he going to HS or prep school?
Boarding or day school?
Where is school/your home?
Is he playing U15 or U16 this year?
What level of play?
What is your realistic assessment of his ability?
How much does he want it?
Will he be playing varsity HS or varsity prep?
Will he skate at school during fall split season or do you want a split season team that has skills/practices occasionally?
Answers to these questions will help you decide. My sense is that next year the best place for an 04 id likely U16 on a split season team, but fall prep could be a good place to play against older players. Again, need more details to make an informed decision.
At the urging of the coach, my 04 played u19 fall prep this season to get ready for the prep season. He also played u15 split. His school put in a full team. It was a great experience for him to play with and compete against older, stronger, faster men. Playing fall prep sort of ruined his split season as he felt that level was slow, but I could see how that may flip over the next couple years.
Based on our experience U19 fall prep was better for development that U15 split NB. Yes the best 15 yo players are playing split but are the best 15yo better19 year olds?
We had bad luck with our first go around. I am not anxious to see my son return to it. To me 2,500 for 5 tournaments is a big price tag for hockey. A player in Canada could do 5 tournaments with recycled jerseys and poor organization for around 600 to 700. Hockey quality is similar to spring hockey up and down for sure and far less games that we expected. That coupled with the fact that due to rides and injury he played 2 games total it was a complete wash for us.
That said we hope he goes to a school that offers lots of options for training because I think they don't need the games, if they are that good, they don't need the "Exposure" either. Train and get stronger and remain healthy for the season.
He goes to a public high school 25 minutes down 93.
No plans of going to boarding school or prep school yet.
Has always played club hockey U15 this year. Not the best in the team but he's pretty good.
I was told if he did this summer program in Salem NH they usually put you in the U 19 pool. I looked at the rosters and that seems to be the case.
The top players played on the top half season teams against the the top players in the nation virtually every weekend in Showcases right here in New England, That is where the best hockey was fot the U14, U15, U16 and U18 levels. if you are 14 or 15 playing mediocre 18 And 19 year olds I can see why you may think it was faster. But don't confuse it with great hockey. The 15 yo South Kent team would have run the table in that league.
"..I can see why you may think it was faster.". What a smug, condescending ***** response.
An 18 or 19yo is bigger, stronger, faster than a 15 year old. So u19 hockey is faster than u15 regardless of the team.
The difference between u18 and u15 games this past weekend in Marlboro was big as it should be.
PF and BM thank you for your contribution! Please comeback next year and write out that check.
Where is South Kent? Is that in Connecticut or Canada?
Does not interfere with academics
A great value compared to split season programs
Coaching was strong
Fall prep is trash. One of the refs was 100 years old and couldn’t find his whistle. Money grab.