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High School & Prep Hockey
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Re: advice

OP Here, so do players play for a split season team and then join their Full Season team? It looks like most area U16 Teams only play 5-6 games between Sept.-November?
U14 is a really interesting year in hockey. You will see a number of really good full season teams, usually Tier 1 national bound teams, then the usual E9/Fed teams and a few crazy parents taking their kids U16 FS.

The Tier 1 National bound teams are no joke and from what I understand the kids are very committed to the team. Take a look at who represented from our area and chances are, the same programs will be back next year, the the year after, etc. If my kid had the talent to make the BJE, that's where he would be.

Fed/E9 etc is much more of a crapshoot at U14. Teams that are brought together as FS teams often find themselves with a numbers problem after HS tryouts while other FS teams get stronger. If you could a team made up of predominately 8th graders, safe bet they'll be around all season. When a team is mixed, you are inevitably going to lose a few 9th graders so it can make for a long season. Org's like the Islanders that have both full and half for U14 seem to actually get stronger after tryouts as they have a number of players move over to FS when the half season kids don't make varsity.

U16..I don't judge these parents taking a U14 player to a U16 team but here are my observations. If the kid is an absolute stud, go for it. If your kid is just good, you will find a U16 team but most likely it will be a middle of the road or lower team as the top teams aren't taking 14 year old kids, the games are faster, the players stronger and the kids physical.

A coach gave me some advice years ago with my "fall five" kid, I wish I listened to him but I'll pass it along.

If your kid can't make a top Tier 1 team, go half season. In fact his advice was to go half season Midget with a town program, then shop around after Thanksgiving. You will ALWAYS find a FS team looking for good players and you can generally "negotiate" your financial commitment. I didn't like the uncertainty of it & ignored his sage wisdom.

I will be repeating this process in a few years with my youngest, I'm curious if anyone has experience with the U15 programs and if this becomes an option for good but not spectacular U14 players?

Re: advice

Hilarious that the guy thought Archie's, Austin Prep and St Mary's were in the Catholic Conference.

Re: advice

What r u a priest? CC means Catholic Central too. Some CCL teams like AP, SJS and PF are better than CC teams like X, CM and omg last year MC. Hilarious u think yr bender is better than pub hs player just bc his CC JV uniform.

Re: advice

What r u a priest? CC means Catholic Central too. Some CCL teams like AP, SJS and PF are better than CC teams like X, CM and omg last year MC. Hilarious u think yr bender is better than pub hs player just bc his CC JV uniform.
Exactly, Also play each other in non-league games pretty much every year. I think he was more trying to point out that there are some younger defensemen that can hang at the D1 level and not ride the pine like some people seem to think.

Re: advice

I have an 04, played EHF elite this past year and did very well. Do you still see kids doing a year or 2 of public school and then making the jump to prep or do they usually stay with their Full Season team and continue at the public school. Next year he will be with his u14 full season team and maybe play HS if its an option.
Yes you see kids go to public HS and then head to prep to repeat junior year (if it's a good ISL school at least which is my personal definition of prep) Picking between full season teams and high school is a personal choice for you & your kid. Most likely you aren't going to know about prep until after his junior season and if prep doesn't materialize, he'll have missed out on some fun experiences but the plus for FS is development. It's hard to argue that kids develop more in full season programs.

Trying to do both HS and FS can be very difficult, think it through before you do it.

Does your freshman have an honest shot at varsity? If he does, how good is the hockey?
Does the coach play more than two lines? If not, does your kid stand a shot as top 6 forward or top 4 D?
Does the varsity coach allow kids to take their gear out of the locker room after practices/games?
What time does freshman/jv/varsity practice?

If you sign up for both, HS must be the priority, even if he's just sitting on the bench. Part of the reason why FS is so much better for development.

Re: advice

I have two boys. Same dilemma as yours. Older one went the high school route. Totally flatlined. Younger one is a sophomore and has played full season club. Can’t even compare the two. Development way better at full season. Real development takes place at 14, 15 and 16. Let the kids play where he wants just keep in mind that if he plays high school his game will get worse not better. daddy coach in the fall and a high school science teacher in the winter will not make your kid better. The quality of high school hockey is so bad that the habits kids create playing it will ruin their game

Re: advice

Guy is 100% correct, top to bottom.

If the end-goal is realistic and aimed toward playing in college then you move on to F.S.; if the kid get playing time (again, usually as a forward) as a freshmen / sophomore then two years high school and then off to prep for a repeat year or then off to a real f.s. team. Staying in high school hockey does less than zero for the kid's game and there are tons of examples of the 'all-region' 14 year old players flaming-out before their senior year of h.s. hockey. Bad hockey, bad habits, bad coaching only pushes the kid's game one direction and that is down.

Re: advice

if the kid is clearly one of the better players or dominant in HS his first 2 years, move on to a prep or JR team if that's what the kid wants to do.

However, the kid better be a very good/dominant player to even have a chance of playing in college. If not, that's ok as well. Stay in HS, enjoy it, have fun.

If you try to force it and make it happen and the kids really not that good, you're just going to spend a lot of money chasing your tail.