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WEATHER UPDATE

Unfortunately, it rained a bit more than expected and the field quickly became unplayable.    Tonight's 6:00 P.M. scrimmage is cancelled and will be made up, with the same rosters, at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, October 9, 2022.    Enough of the 4:30 P.M. game was played so that it does not need to be rescheduled.

REMAINING FINAL WEEK SCHEDULE

The remaining schedule for the final week of the Fall Tryout Program is below.   

Friday, October 7, 2022 - Skills Sessions - Northfield
4:30 P.M. - 5:45 P.M. - 14U - players whose last names begin with A-M
5:45 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. - 14U - players whose last names begin with N-Z
7:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. - 13U - players whose last names begin with A-H
8:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M. - 13U - players whose last names begin with I-Q
9:00 P.M. - 10:00 P.M. - 13U - players whose last names begin with R-Z

Saturday, October 8, 2022 - 14U And 13U Scrimmages

(These rosters will be announced after the skills sessions on Friday, October 7, 2022).

14U or 13U, 9:00 A.M., Northfield
13U, 9:00 A.M., Winnetka
14U or 13U, 11:00 A.M., Northfield
14U or 13U, 1:00 P.M., Northfield
14U or 13U, 3:00 P.M., Northfield

Sunday, October 9, 2022 - Scrimmages

12:00 P.M., 13U, TBD, Northfield - rosters will be announced after the Saturday scrimmages

2:00 P.M., 14U, Northfield (Make-Up Of Thursday, October 6, 2022 Rained Out Game)
Yellow - Ballester, Candido, Catanese, Cusick, Feller, Fifita, Laden, Lehmer, Madden, Menyhart, Morcos, Paris, Trapp
Violet - Briones, Brown, Comstock, Hart, Kruse, Lin, Lorge, Nunez, O'Donovan, Ryan, Sheridan, Tucker

4:00 P.M., TBD, Northfield - rosters will be announced after the Saturday scrimmages

Rosters will be posted at approximately 9:00 P.M.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - Registration Deadline; All Spots Must Be Accepted By 9:00 P.M.

FINAL EVALUATIONS AND TEAM SELECTION - 2022-2023 SEASON

Introductory Thoughts

During our final week of the Fall Tryout Program, we will be running over 110 players through drills and games designed to highlight their athleticism, baseball skills and IQ so that the final decision on the proper team placement for each player in 2022-2023 season can be determined. 
 
We understand that this can be a stressful time for players (and parents) alike.  And this year, in particular, is especially hard for everyone (including the coaches), as there are simply too many players trying out for not enough spots.  For example, at 13U, we have over 65 players trying out for 48 spots (the maximum number of spots we’ve ever offered at 13U), and 45 trying out for three 14U teams.  Making any team this year should be considered a significant accomplishment for your player.

In addition, within the group of players ultimately selected for NTF, as always there has been throughout the fall intense competition for specific team placements.    So players, please keep in mind that no matter what happens over the next week or so, team placement this fall not only doesn’t define this group of players as people, it certainly doesn’t reach any final conclusions on them as baseball players.  Players grow, both as baseball players and physically, at different paces.  For 14U players—if you are unhappy with your final team placement, please know that many past NTF A2 and B players have gone on to successful high school and college baseball careers.  Indeed, in each of the past three years, the players on our 14A2 and 14B teams have had an amazing level of success in being placed on New Trier High School teams—truly, it’s been an incredible showing that no one, anywhere, has duplicated.  For 13U players—if you are unhappy with your final team placement, work hard over the next year and show the coaches you deserve to be on a higher team.  If you do, you will have a chance to move up next season, as there is often movement between 13U and 14U—at that age players are growing and developing rapidly and the field size increases considerably.  The converse of that is also true, and there have been years were numerous players were moved down from 13U to 14U, or not selected for any team (since we reduce from four teams to three at 14U).  So, 13U players, if you do make the team you want, please don’t get complacent. 

These tryouts, then, are merely a snapshot in time, no more and no less.

With that, some thoughts on the process:

Final Evaluations

Our final evaluations for the 2022-2023 season will take place from Monday, October 3, 2022  through Sunday, October 9, 2022.  On Monday, we will have a set of scrimmages for all of the 13U players in the program.  We will do the same on Thursday for all of the 14U players in the program.  Then, on Friday, each 14U and 13U player will undergo a set of final evaluations together, at which all players are run through different stations designed to test their hitting, fielding (including catching, if applicable), pitching (if applicable), and baserunning, and graded accordingly, as a final check on what our coaches have seen from the players previously.  On Saturday, we will have a second set of scrimmages, this time for all 14U and 13U players in the program.  (Monday scrimmage times have been posted; Thursday and Saturday scrimmage rosters, times, and locations will be posted on the website later this week).  Finally, on Sunday, we will have on final set of scrimmages.  Sunday scrimmage rosters, times, and locations will be posted on the website following the Saturday scrimmages.

One word on the final Sunday scrimmages.  They are handled differently than any of the other scrimmages you have seen so far.  The most obvious difference is that not every player will be invited to the Saturday scrimmages.  So—most importantly—please understand that an invitation to a Saturday scrimmage (or lack thereof) is not indicative of any final placement, and players are cautioned not to draw any conclusions from who is or is not invited.

Since no matter how often we say that, players leap to conclusions about what the Sunday scrimmage rosters mean anyway, let us explain that point a bit further.  For the most part, players are invited back because our coaches want one more look at them to determine a final placement, and players are not invited back if our coaches feel they have enough information and are already able to determine a final placement for them.  But that is not always the case, and there a myriad of “micro” reasons we invite certain players back.  Just as one example, in past years, we have often invited back some of the best players in the program because we want to see how other players still competing to make the top team perform against our best players.  The truth is that a large percentage of players not called back for the final night will make teams (some of them the top teams at an age), and many players called back for the final night will not make teams.

For all sessions, players should arrive at the field no later than 30 minutes before the start of their session.  The sessions will start promptly at their appointed times, and there will be no additional time for warming up.  If a player knows that they have to miss one of the final week events, the player should notify us at info@newtrierfeederbaseball.org.  For many players, this final week can be determinative, so we strongly suggest players attend all sessions they are invited to. 

Since we strongly believe in transparency, the entire week’s sessions are open to the public, and parents are welcome to stay and watch--we just ask that parents please not coach or talk to any of the kids, or talk to the coaches, during the tryouts.  (Yes, that really has happened).  

Number of Teams

As is almost always the case given demand, we have decided to again take four teams at 13U and three teams at 14U.  We will be fielding 13A1 and 13A2 teams, as well as 2 13B teams.  Our 13A1 and 13A2 teams will be stack-ranked; our 13B teams will be split evenly on a “depth chart” basis.  We expect all four 13U teams to be strong.  Our 14U teams (14A1, 14A2, and 14B) will, as usually be stack-ranked.  Finally, as we have often done, we will likely select 13 players for the 14B team.

Season Schedule And League Placement

In addition to the offseason training program beginning in early November and running through March (absences from which will be excused for in-season sports conflicts), regular team practices starting in April and running throughout the season, and “Coach Trey” weekly practices in April and May, each of our seven teams will be scheduled for up to 45-50 games from early April through late July.

As usual, we intend to play both our 13A2 team and 14A2 teams in the LSFBL’s A leagues, and our 14B and 13B teams in the LSFBL’s B leagues.  In addition, each of those five teams will face a rigorous tournament schedule—in particular at 14U, where we intend to front load a tournament schedule to help our players get ready for high school baseball summer camps.

We intend to play our 13A1 and 14A1 teams in the LSFBL’s AA leagues.    At this early juncture, we are canvassing other organizations to attempt to help the LSFBL ensure those leagues are formed (last year, they were at 12U and 14U, but not 13U).  If the leagues are not formed, rest assured that we will find the most appropriate and challenging league for each of those teams, and we will announce our plans as soon as we know them.  Those teams will face a similarly rigorous tournament schedule.

All three of our 14U teams will go to Omaha (if the tournament is played).  We will reserve blocks of rooms for the tournament, but payment for those rooms (and all other personal/family expenses) will be a player’s individual responsibility.  The other costs of the trip (tournament fee, coaching expenses) are already included in our all-inclusive dues.

We are excited about the level of talent at both ages in the program, and expect all of our teams to have strong seasons.

Team Selection

Each level (13U and 14U) is assigned a dedicated team of NTF coaches and senior IBA evaluators that have spent an aggregate 150+ hours evaluating the players at each level all fall in the Fall Tryout Program and will be determining team placement for each player.  All placement decisions are made by those independent coaches and evaluators—while NTF Board members without players in the program may be present at the evaluations and during the team selection process, even they will serve only as proctors to ensure the integrity of the evaluation and selection process and not have any substantive input in the team placement decisions.

Given the length of the Fall Tryout Program, 13U players (and any 14U players new to NTF) will be evaluated exclusively based on their performance in it, and not based on their performance in or coach evaluations from other programs or in any private lessons or other non-NTF programs they may have participated in.  That is because, as we have repeatedly said previously, our belief is that everyone should get a fresh start upon entry into NTF and while in our program.

Returning 14U players have an extensive, year-long body of work in front of our coaches.  They will be evaluated primarily based on that body of work—that is, based on their overall performance at the 13U level for NTF in the prior year, and the evaluation of their NTF coach.  That said, in close cases, their performance in the Fall Tryout Program, and in the upcoming final week of evaluations, is often a significant and potentially decisive factor—and that will definitely be the case in some cases this year.  This year, as a result of how strong and deep our 13U program was last year, the number of players who “graduated” to 9th grade and so aged out of NTF, and how close some of the decisions are, the Fall Tryout Program will be determinative in an unusually large number of instances.  In particular, the move from a 54/80 to a 60/90 field changes the game in material ways, and some players are simply more successful earlier on at making that move.

Since the focus of our program is development, we do not use any official or unofficial statistics in the evaluation and team selection process.  We know many don't believe us—we have even had instances, including this fall, of parents trying to send our coaches their player’s 13U batting statistics from GameChanger—but it really is true.  In the event that one of our 13U players is competing for a spot against a player new to the program, the tie goes to our returning player.  Please keep in mind, though, that it has to be a tie—as NTF is a meritocracy, a 14U player new to the program who is clearly better than a returning player will be placed higher.

Teams will be posted on the website on the evening of Sunday, October 9, 2022 at approximately 9:00 P.M..  As has traditionally been the case, final rosters are published by fall jersey numbers, so please make sure you know your player knows his or her fall jersey number.

After Team Selection

As team selection is in some sense inherently subjective, and only 12 players can make our top teams at each level, we know that there will be many players who are disappointed with their placement.  We can tell you that our coaches and evaluators try extremely hard to get it right, and spend hours and hours looking at and discussing the players and determining proper team placement.  They really sweat it and care a tremendous amount—and for what it is worth, while no one is infallible, in answer to an anonymous survey we have conducted from time to time, the parents of less than 5% of the players believed, in hindsight (i.e.  having seen the year play out), that their player had been incorrectly placed.  In light of that, we always ask that parents abide by the “24 hour” rule, and not contact any of the coaches, evaluators or NTF Board members with respect to your player’s placement until 24 hours following the team postings.  

Once the 24 hour period has passed, if you have a question or wish to discuss your player’s placement, please contact us at info@newtrierfeederbaseball.org.  Upon receipt of your email, we will put you in touch with the appropriate coach, who will be happy to speak with parents and players to explain a given player’s placement and discuss what our evaluators see as his or her strengths and weaknesses.  Just please understand that, once posted, absent some clerical error, the team placements are not going to be changed, and so all questions should be directed towards making your son or daughter a better player.  If parents and players approach the conversation that way, our coaches will be happy to talk to you for as long as you want.

We know this can be a difficult time for players who are disappointed with the results of the team selection and placement process, but we have found that a 24 hour “cooling off” period for players, parents, and coaches, tends to lead to better and more constructive discussions.  As a result, please understand that if you choose to reach out prior to then, our coaches will not speak to anyone until the 24 hours have passed.

Registration And Payment

Each player will have until Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 9:00 P.M. to pay in full on the website to hold his or her spot.  Accepting a spot means agreeing to comply with NTF’s commitment policy, which is available on the website now and will be available for further review as part of the website registration process.  For the entire 2022-2023 season, dues will $3,495 for all players.  That amount is all-inclusive—unlike some of the pay-for-play organizations, we will never ask you to pay anything further, so the only additional item you will have to pay for is your own hotel room for your out-of-town-tournaments.

In fairness to players who we have cut, and particularly this year given the sheer volume of those cuts, we will enforce the 48 hour deadline strictly and offer uncommitted spots to players who were not originally offered team placements

Good luck to all of the players trying out!!!!

Drew Cardonick, on behalf of
New Trier Feeder Baseball

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CHAMPIONS!!!!

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL CALENDAR

REGISTRATION FOR THE 2022 FALL TRYOUT PROGRAM IS NOW CLOSED

CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF OUR COACHES

DETAILS ON THE 2022 FALL TRYOUT PROGRAM

As many of you know, several years ago we substantially redesigned our program with the specific purpose of creating a best in class, year-round and community-based training program and experience in order to prepare our 7th and 8th grade players to play baseball at the highest levels for New Trier High School.  With those changes having taken root, we believe that our not-for-profit program, dubbed the “New Trier Feeder Baseball Program,” now exceeds the quality of those offered by the best “pay for play” organizations in our area while still permitting out athletes to play with their friends in their own communities, to be a part of what will be a true “feeder” program into New Trier, and to allow the significant number of multi-sport athletes in our community to be able to engage in other sports—all at significantly less than the all-in cost of what “pay for play,” for profit organizations charge.  

On the field, the program has been a rousing success.  We have won 14 MSBL and LSFBL league championships over the past several seasons, in one season winning all four LSFBL Pony leagues.

But most importantly, SIXTY (!!!!) of our alumni were selected to play baseball for New Trier High School this season—an amount exponentially larger than that of any other program.  (In addition, virtually every one of our alumni that tried out at Loyola also made a team this year).  Indeed, many of our freshman alumni were selected to play at the sophomore or junior varsity level in their first season, several of our alumni are poised to make the jump to varsity teams as sophomores, and an unprecedented five of our freshman were selected by NTHS Head Coach Mike Napoleon to play for his Wilmette Waves team this summer before ever playing an inning at NTHS.  That is not because NTHS favors our players; rather, it’s because our coaching staff, consisting largely of former New Trier players and coaches, knows exactly how to help our players prepare and develop so that they can be successful at New Trier and beyond.  It’s fun to win, but it is development that is our primary goal.

The Fall Tryout Program

Below you will find the details of this year’s fall program for incoming 13U and rising 14U (i.e.  current 13U) players.  That program, called the Fall Tryout Program, will be substantially similar to the program we have conducted for the last several years—to almost universal player and parent acclaim.  It is designed to help our evaluators see more of players than they would in two short tryouts, while still being flexible enough to allow multi-sport athletes to play their other, in-season sports.  While the Fall Tryout Program is optional, it is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED for players who intend to try out for the NTF Program.  Indeed, every single player selected for our teams in each of the last five seasons (and almost every WBA or NTTB 12U player) participated in the Fall Tryout Program.   

As usual, the Fall Tryout Program is scheduled to have three components.  First, beginning on Saturday, August 27, 2022 and continuing each Saturday thereafter through October 1, 2022 (but skipping September 3, 2022 this year), there will be intrasquad games for each of the levels at our home fields in Northfield, WJHS, and/or Winnetka, complete with senior umpires.  The 13U games will take place at 9:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M., and the 14U games will take place at 1:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M.    As in the past, each player will be invited to one of the two scrimmages at his or her age each Saturday, and all scrimmages will last 2 hours.   All game sessions are run by a combination of our tryout evaluators and our senior, professional coaches.    Each week’s scrimmage schedule assignments will be posted by the Wednesday preceding them.

Second, beginning on Monday, August 29, 2022 and on each Monday (other than Labor Day), Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday thereafter through September 29, 2022, there will be weekly skills sessions at each of the 13U and 14U levels, held from 4:30 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. at Northfield.  The 14U sessions will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the 13U sessions will be held on Wednesdays and Thursdays.   Like the scrimmages, each player will attend only one of the skills sessions; unlike the scrimmages, each player can choose which of the two skills sessions at his or her age each week to participate in—the choice is yours, and you can make it differently on a week-to-week basis without any notification to us required.  (The session for each age level is exactly the same on both nights).  As with the scrimmages, all skills sessions are run by a combination of our tryout evaluators and our senior, professional coaches.

Third, the final tryout sessions will take place the week of Monday, October 3, 2022—more specifically (a) on Monday, October 3, 2022, Thursday, October 6, 2022, and Friday, October 7, 2022 from 4:30 P.M. - 10:00 P.M., and (b) on Saturday, October 8, 2022 and (if necessary) Sunday, October 9, 2022 from 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M..    (To clarify—those are just the time blocks for the final week.  No one is going to have to be present at all of them—a complete schedule with assigned slots for every player within those blocks will be posted in the week leading us to the final tryout sessions).    Rosters will be announced immediately following the final session, and players will have 48 hours to claim their spots.    The cost of the Tryout Prep Program is $395, and there is no additional tryout fee.

Important Final Points:

A few final points about the program:

No parents, whether members of the New Trier Feeder Board or otherwise, are involved in training or evaluating our players or selecting our teams.  All decisions are made by our independent baseball coaches and evaluators.  Our program is a complete meritocracy.  As is made abundantly clear to all of the players on the first day of the program, the entire five week program is a tryout—that is, players are being evaluated throughout the five weeks, not simply at the final tryouts.    It is true that for our 14U players, there is a heavy emphasis on their 13U performance, but what happens in the fall does matter, in particular on the margins.  And at 13U, what happens in the Fall is all that matters—we strongly believe that 13U players should be given a clean slate at 13U and looked at anew, and as a result our coaches do not consider what team a player was on at 12U or how they performed at that level.  At all.

In addition, the Fall Tryout Program is intended for the competitive baseball player that intends to play at NTF and then go on to play baseball at NTHS (or Loyola or NSCD).   While (until we reach capacity, see below) we will not turn away registrants, we do ask that, as parents, you please consider carefully whether your player fits within that criteria.  Players are evaluated on a daily basis, the competition level of the program can be exceedingly high, and as a result parents often comment to us that the program is intensive and nerve-wracking.    Our answer is simply “yes, exactly.”  The high school tryout process is equally long and stressful.  Our job is to prepare our players for it, and this is part of that.    In addition, we strongly believe that our lengthy process improves our coaches’ decision quality by giving them a detailed body of work to review to make placement decisions, rather than the smaller sample size of simply a day or two. 

Finally, in each of the last few seasons, we have been massively oversubscribed, and have had to close registration early—usually after only a couple of weeks—as there is a limit to the amount of players our coaches can fairly evaluate.   For that reason, new this year, registration will open early for our current NTF players only, on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 10:00 A.M. on the website.    Registration for all other players will open on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, again at 10:00 A.M.    Thereafter, registration will remain open for all players until we hit capacity.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at info@newtrierfeederbaseball.org.

Drew Cardonick, on behalf of
New Trier Feeder Baseball

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR SIXTY NEW TRIER ALUMNI

Congratulations to the SIXTY (!!!!) New Trier Feeder alumni selected to play for New Trier High School teams this season:

Owen Appel
Wyatt Baumeyer
Gavin Berlin
Austin Brown
Colin Browne
Trevor Byrnes
Caiden Carpenter
Nunzio Castellano
Garrett Chong
Peter Conkey
Evan Dobsch
Chris Donaldson
C.J. Donnelly
Quentin Erickson
Jimmy Ertmann
Michael Essig
Liam Fitzgerald
Jack Flood
Louis Florida
Charlie Gainer
Sam Gossard
Charlie Hahn
Thomas Hartman
John Hatsis
Will Hayes
Patrick Heneghan
Ryan Hepner
Harry Higgins
Dylan Jeppe
Mason Jurewicz

James Karabas
Ben Kinzelberg
Charlie Krupski
Grant Lyons
Jack Mastros
Alexander Mendes
Trey Meyers
Aidan Nicholson
Sam Nigro
Aidan Nolan
P.J. Nylk
Charlie Olesker
Zach Perchik
Luke Richker
Sean Ropka
Andrew Rover
Neil Sanderson
Noah Shapo
Jack Simon
Conlin Spillane
Declan Spinner
A.J. Steinback
Daniel Stone
Ben Toft
John Walther
Asher Walsh
Charlie Wanzenberg
Jack Wilson
Henry Wolfe
Justin Wood