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    REGISTRATION FOR THE 2024 FALL TRYOUT PROGRAM OPENS JULY 1, 2024

    To The 13U/12U New Trier Feeder Baseball Community:

    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.  Our not-for-profit program, dubbed the “New Trier Feeder Baseball Program,” now exceeds the quality of those offered by the top “pay for play” organizations in our area while still (1) permitting our athletes to play with their friends in their own communities and with the vast majority of players they will be playing with in HS, at a time when they make the important transition from their middle schools into a large high school, and (2) to allow the significant number of multi-sport athletes in our community to be able to engage in other sports.    All while playing—and beating—many of those top pay-for-play programs in head-to-head action on the field.  

    Indeed, on the field, the program has been a rousing success.  We have won 15 MSBL and LSFBL league championships over the past several seasons, in one season winning an unprecedented all four LSFBL Pony leagues.  This season, as we write, we are poised to add more to that, with teams having legitimate chances to win their league championships.  Our 13A Blue team is ranked 1st in the state at the level, and leads their division.    Our 13A Green team has already won the 13A Division of the Bulldog Classic.    Our 13B teams are both at or near the top of the league standings, as is our 14B team.    And our 14A teams are coming on strong, with our top 14A team burnishing its recent reputation as a late season powerhouse.  10 of our recent alumni have committed to play college baseball in just the past 3 years!!!!    But most importantly, SIXTY-EIGHT (!!!!) of our alumni were selected to play high school baseball this season—an amount exponentially larger than that of any other program, and one that included the vast majority of the starters’ on this year’s VARSITY NTHS team that won 30 straight games. (In addition, virtually every one of our alumni that tried out at Loyola or NSCD 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, with several of our alumni poised to make the jump to their varsity teams as sophomores.  That is not because NTHS or any other high school 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—and on that score, we continue to dramatically outperform all other programs in the area.

    The Fall Tryout Program

    We write to share 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 in nature to the program we have conducted for the last several years.  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 seven seasons (and almost every WBA or NTY 12U player) participated in the Fall Tryout Program.  The most significant two changes this year—changes that come directly from your feedback over the years—is a shortening of the program for 14U players to account for the fact that our 14U team selections are mostly based on performance in our program during the players’ 13U year, and a slightly earlier start date to allow the program to end earlier to accommodate our many multi-sport athletes.

    The Fall Tryout Program will have two components.  Both programs will start on Saturday, August 24, 2024, with the 14U program taking place over a 21 day span through September 14, 2024, and the 13U program taking place over a 28 day span through September 21, 2024.    First, on Saturday, August 24, 2024, Saturday, August 31, 2024, Saturday, September 7, 2024, and Saturday, September 14, 2024, there will be intersquad games for both levels at our home fields in Northfield, WJHS, and/or Winnetka, complete with senior umpires—with the 13U players only participating in a final set of games on Saturday, September 21, 2024.  The scrimmage game slots will continue to be 9:00 A.M., 11:00 A.M., 1:00 P.M., and 3:00 P.M.  All scrimmages will be run by our team coaches and our professional Director of Baseball Operations—in other words, solely by the people actually picking the teams.  Each week’s scrimmage schedule assignments will be posted at least two days prior to the scrimmages.

    Second, beginning on Monday, August 26, 2024, there will be weekly player development sessions at each of the 13U and 14U levels, held from 4:30 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. at one of our home fields.  The 14U sessions will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the 13U sessions will be held on Wednesdays and Thursdays.   Consistent with the above shortening of the 14U schedule, the 14U sessions will go through Tuesday, September 10, 2024, with the 13U sessions continuing in the next week and ending on Thursday, September 19, 2024.  This year, each player should attend only one of the player development sessions per week, and unlike the scrimmages (where we assign slots), each player can choose which of the two development 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.  (The session for each age level is exactly the same on both nights).

    Important Final Points:

    A few final points about the Fall Tryout 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 solely by our coaches and our Director of Baseball Operations.  Our program is a complete meritocracy.  As is made abundantly clear to all of the players on the first day of the program, the entirety of the program is a tryout—that is, players are being evaluated throughout the program.    While for our 14U players, there is a heavy emphasis on their 13U performance, what happens in the fall does matter on the margins, in particular because the field increases in size.  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.  Indeed, our process is blind, and we will be continuing the practice we began last year of providing the coaches with only the numbers of the 13U players, not name, level, or community until the tryout process is fully complete.

    In addition, the Fall Tryout Program is intended for the competitive baseball player that intends to play for us and then go on to play baseball in HS (and in numerous cases, college).   There are no quotas for individual communities or individual positions—we will take the best players from the community, period.  Given the number of players that do participate in the program from our multiple feeder communities, that has led to some disappointment in the past.  So 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 the above description.  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. 

    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.    Registration for all players will open on Monday, July 1, 2024, at 10:00 A.M..  Thereafter, registration will remain open for all players until we hit capacity.

    Finally, we have received a few questions about conflicts with in-season sports.    This program was originally built with multi-sport athletes in mind, and as has always been the case, we will work hard to accommodate any conflicts and schedule individual players from scrimmages in a way that, to the extent humanly feasible, does not conflict with that player's in-season sports games.    In addition, you can rest assured that no player will be punished in any way for missing one of our scrimmages to attend an in-season sports game during the Fall Tryout Program.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.  We look forward to seeing everyone this Fall.

     

    CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR ALUMNI!!!!

    Congrats to the SIXTY EIGHT (!!!!) New Trier Feeder alumni who were selected for their high school baseball teams this season.    We are so thrilled for and proud of each and every one of you, and we look forward to watching you continue to do great things!!!!

    Owen Adrianopoli
    Trevor Bacik
    Nicholas Bailey
    Charles Baldridge
    James Berman
    Nathaniel Blazo
    William Blomeier
    Kincaid Buck
    Mason Bloom
    Gregory Campitelli
    Caiden Carpenter
    Chase Catanese
    Peter Cusick
    Edwin Donaldson
    Charles Donlan
    Christopher Donnelly
    Joe Drehkoff
    Quinn Drehkoff
    Rockwell Eisen
    Grant Ettelson
    Alec Flood
    John Flood
    Quinn Goldman
    Camden Hon
    Rowan Hester
    Mason Jurewicz
    Ryan King
    Peter LaFontaine
    Austin LeBoyer
    Emmett Levoy
    Miles Lehmer
    Ryan Lorge
    Liam Madden
    Richard Miller
    David Meyers
    Charlie Minahan
    Tommy Mitchell
    Charles Murphy
    Mikas Nicklan
    Samuel Nigro
    Aidan Nolan
    James O'Brien
    Evan Olesker
    Zachary Perchik
    Harry Resis
    Samuel Rivera
    Andrew Rover
    John Ryder
    Neil Sanderson
    Spencer Schmalz
    Noah Shapo
    Ethan Sheridan
    Isaac Solomon
    Mick Soucheray
    Daniel Spilotro
    Declan Spinner
    Harrison Stracks
    Benjamin Toft
    Sebastian Urbanowski
    Wesley Urbanowski
    Jack Vergamini
    Chase Vukovich
    John Walther
    Charles Wanzenberg
    Russell Wanzenberg
    Jack Wilson
    Jacob Wineman
    Justin Wood

    CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL CALENDAR

    ALL SPOTS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED, AND THE 2023-2024 NTF PROGRAM IS NOW FULL

    CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF OUR COACHES

    If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

    Drew Cardonick