For each is own folks. HS hockey has become the same as Town hockey, which is fine as to the previous poster's point, it provides more, not less options for kids. Just keep in mind that the quality has declined significantly, not just a players standpoint, but also with coaches. Public HS hockey is great for the kids who want to represent their town vs. actually improve. Remember the kids who were studs on the Pee Wee and Bantam town A teams? The one kid who's parents resisted the club scene. Well, what happens to those kids in the real development years, meaning HS? Exactly. Nothing. Not a judgement, just a fact.
If, and a big if, a kid wants to further his hockey experience, a CC, high level Prep, or club team is the only option this day and age. Your as good as who you consistently play with. It's that simple.
As far as underclassmen or even Jr High kids playing varsity? That's just a*s clown parental egos. Nothing more. Idiot dads trying to justify their kid being good vs. acknowledging the real problem, which is the program is really bad if they need help from first or second year Bantam age kids. If a youngster is that good, no way a bender senior with much more size and less skill will make him better. Go watch a USPHL or T1HL game u15, u16 or u18 game. Most upper classmen couldn't hang with a u15 team let alone a u16.
Schools should not allow 8th graders to play. It's that simple. Too young, too small, just dumb. Any good HS or College coach will tell you that. Just stupid. Dangerous on many fronts. 8th graders hanging and driving around with seniors who are through puberty, boozing, vaping and shagging their girlfriends? Really? Justify that parent of the year.
Stop being in such a hurry for your kid to grow up. It happens fast enough. If he's that good, he's playing for a top notch club team.
Just another insanity within the overly insane hockey world we live here in the northeast. Egotistical morons.
What about kids who are repeats and should be 9th or even 10th graders? Happens at prep and CC all the time. 14 and 15 yo 8th graders
If a kid is a 15 year old 8th grader then I would hope he’s on s full ride at his prep school.