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Re: High School

Just assuming your math, (I really don\\'t think about it that deeply, it\\'s more about my kid and his development) I know a **** ton of people that spend more than what full season hockey costs on lottery tickets every year, \\$25 at a time. What are their odds of winning? Doesn\\'t stop them, though.

Hockey is a healthy pursuit, as long as you stay away from the drugs and tobacco use that are way too prevalent in the sport. For me, it\\'s an investment in helping my kid to develop the drive to succeed and the lifelong pursuit of excellence. Whether he plays in college or not, that\\'s the lottery ticket I\\'m buying.
It doesn't help your case to tell us paying for full season hockey is better than throwing away your money on lottery tickets.
Don't think i said or implied that, but thanks. The analogy was to people that make spending decisions all the time that some would say are foolish. But, in this forum, for some reason, spending money on Prep school and full season hockey is seen as a waste.

Maybe it is. But, that's sort of up to the individual. I personally think of lottery tickets as voluntary taxation. Doesn't make me right.
You made a loose comparison between spending money on private school/full season hockey and playing the lottery. It was not persuasive.

I'll go with the lottery thing, and maybe shed some light on why some people have disdain for families that choose prep school. If you are going to prep school solely because it is the best route to college hockey (admit it, many do), then you are essentially buying a lottery ticket. There's a very good chance you will come out the other end having spent a lot of money but not being any better off for it. That expenditure of time and money (these schools are often not in your home town) for a long shot drives people nuts. It's a very high stakes lottery that stretches the finances of most people. A rich man's game that many mid- to lower-income people are being persuaded to play.

I'll qualify again that my comments pertain to someone attending prep school solely for the advancement of their hockey career. I know there are great benefits to the education obtained from attending these schools. Although I would say that if you don't end up in a college that is top 5 percent (Ivy, MIT, Stanford, Duke, UChicago, etc) you probably could have achieved that at your public school at a much lower cost, but that's one for the education dboard.

Re: High School

I'll start with Elite is just a word, it means nothing outside of New England. Most elite teams are made of up of really good mite/squirt kids who rode the coattails of a couple of players who developed into elite caliber players through the squirt major to bantam minor years.

Having a couple of kids in HS (Jr. in DI public, freshman in DIII public at a tech school) and one 05, here are my observations.

All contributing members of HS teams are club players, at least on our teams. Not necessarily elite but not EMHL either. On my Jr.'s team, two freshman made varsity, one getting a regular shift. The one getting the regular shift is EHF Elite, other was EHF Tier 1. JV team littered with both EHF Elite/Tier 1 & E9/BHL kids who will move up over the next two years. Most of the town only kids don't even get a regular shift on either JV team.

D-III team, two freshman made varsity, one E9 and one EHF Tier 1. JV team is made up of sophomores and juniors who played primarily town and a few freshman who who played BHL/PHL/Tier 1 but aren't quite ready for the jump.

What is fascinating though is that many of the kids who are very good but not "elite", i.e. not going Prep in 9th grade, are opting for U16/U18 FS teams with the goal of going to Prep either as a repeat Junior or do a PG year. Not judging any parent/player for their choices, just making an observation. If I'm being intellectually honest, those kids are going to develop more than the HS kids as HS coaches aren't focusing on development. Each of my kids high schools have some really talented kids who don't play for the school & a few more whose parents are supporting their dream hoping that eventually it will all click. (meaning they need to really develop because they aren't close right now) Much like youth hockey has become watered down to the point that the labels are essentially meaningless, I'm going to guess U16 & U18 will go the same route with more teams and levels and essentially leave HS hockey to the VHL/SSC kids.
You are correct, we are at a fulcrum point. Just like Town Hockey, very few kids are jonesing to play Public HS hockey. If they have a choice, more and more will go full season.

This includes kids that might be able to play at lower level Prep programs, or fill out a top Prep roster. And, you hit on the reason.

Development. Playing half season and not practicing very much, and then playing HS or Prep, with its abbreviated schedule, isn't going to develop anyone as much as practicing 3 times a week with real, paid coaches and playing a 60 game schedule over 6 - 7 months.

You're also right, we will see more and more full season teams. But, just like in Youth Hockey, there will be good teams and mediocre teams.

And, it's going to kill the HS programs. They won't be able to get decent ice, as the FS programs buy it all at a premium (just like Town youth hockey). They'll be back to 6 AM practices, if they aren't already.

Re: High School

This is the most stunningly helpful and earnest conversation ever on the Dboard. Good stuff.