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My son is the first in our family to ever attend a prep school. It is what he wanted to do and he interviewed and we got the aid to make it work. He is a junior and I am already reaching out to junior programs because I know he will have to play juniors before he ever thinks about playing Division I or III. I dont think that I brag that he is at prep school, we like it because he gets the small class size and way more attention to help him improve as a student. He would not get that in our public system. I have been to plenty of prep games and they are packed with kids and its a really fun atmosphere, I think both highschool and prep school would be equally fun for a kid to play. The truth is that prep, high school and junior hockey are all just places to play. Many of these kids have been on track to attend D1 way before they worried about prep school. Numbers are probably lower right now because of COVID more than anything else. If I am trying to go D1 or already have my comitment then playing 20 games of hockey in prep is really not all that enticing (if I care more about hockey than edcuation). Probably why the hockey power house preps are not doing as well as they have in prior years. Everyone is so concerned about whos way is the right way and there is none. Kids will come out of all different leagues and situations as it always has been.
It's a different model out here. Midwest produces plenty of talent with no prep school. Boys play AAA hockey until 16-17 and then go Jrs and then college. Girls play AAA their entire career and then go straight to college. All play entire year (8 months) instead of split seasons. Minnesota is even a different model. High School is the end all be all and more boys and girls go to college to play than any other state. Parents have bought the "prep is the only way" BS out here. It's a flawed expensive model.
Completely regret sending our son to prep. 2 years of Covid, 20 games total, no real exposure. Terrible hockey decision, he’s a smart kid and would have been fine at our public. Sports makes some parents make dumb choices. I’m some parents. Time to move on to pay to play jrs and try to find a spot at a D3 state school. Fun time!
My oldest wanted to go prep school purely for academics. We visited and she applied to only a couple. We did not get any financial aid. 50k a year for a day school over 4 years was not something we wanted to take on. My local public school is good but certainly not in the top 50 for Mass. She took as many AP classes as she could, was a great student and parti****ted in activities. She received a tremendous scholarship to an excellent college, not an Ivy but not a diploma factory either. She is happy she didn't go the prep route. She feels she would have landed at the same type of school coming out of prep as she did from our local public. We are not Ivy legacies so going prep would not have changed her going the Ivy route. For our son, we looked at a prep for hockey as that is what everyone told us he needed to do.Repeat him and go to prep. He did not go prep and we did not repeat him.. He pla*** full season hockey, developed and sta*** at our local public. He's pla*** against the same kids (EHF/E9) for years and there are some his age playing in the USHL or on NHL prospects lists but for the most part, they are in the same boat. They all need to play a couple years of jr hockey.
Most kids dont commit until they are 18 and above, so its not always being captured while in prep. Prep is great to get the elite from the team to D1, and gives a great opportunity for D1 schools to view players repeatedly. As some of those players from prep move on to Jrs, their opportunities solidify. There are only so many D1 spots available and only the top players will get D1 spots, anyone thinking there are teams full of players committed to D1 schools would be wrong. There are a few prep schools that have multiple players and they are the top of prep, but they are the exception. Prep is a great route for great hockey, great exposure and a chance to prove yourself. It is up to the player to do the work
……and you just said it. Prep doesn’t make the player folks. You are wasting your money at Prep schools. Repeat after me, PREP SCHOOLS ARE FOR BOOK WORMS AND TIN FOIL LIBERAL RETARDS.