It's playoff time, and all of our teams have qualified. Coach LaFontaine's 13A1 team finished 2nd in the 13A division, earning a bye to Wednesday night's quarterfinals against the winner of Lake Bluff and Glenview White, at Northfield, as they look for an NTF "three peat" at 13A. The Rosinskis' 13A2 team will play a first round game on Tuesday night at Libertyville; a win there and they will advance to play undefeated Mundelein in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Finally, Coach Kopp's 13B squad finished on a run to clinch a bye through to the quarterfinals; they'll take on Libertyville on the road on Wednesday.
At 14U, Coach Frahler's 14A1 squad finished with the best record in the MSBL at 15-3 record, and looks to bring NTF an MSBL championship in only our 2nd season in the league. They'll start Tuesday. Meanwhile, back in the LSFBL, Coach Meger's team will play in Mundelein on Wednesday for the chance to advance to the semifinals against top-seeded Evanston. Finally, Coach Pokrovac's squad, which won 4 of their last 5, opens NTF's 14B title defense by hosting Park Ridge on Tuesday night.
Finally, our 15 Blue team started the week off on a high note for NTF, going 5-0, including a three game sweep on a marathon Sunday, to win the Lakeside Challenge in Evanston. Congrats to the 15 Blue players, and we hope that's the first of many victories this week.
To The New Trier Feeder Baseball Community:
Three years ago WBA, KWBA, and GBA substantially redesigned our program with the specific purpose of creating a best in class, year-round training program and experience 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 a fraction of the cost of what “pay for play,” for profit organizations charge.
On the field, the program has been a rousing success. We won all four LSFBL championships at the Pony level two years ago, and the 14A, 14B, and 13A championships last year, for a total of 7 of 8 since we redesigned the program. The season, our top 14U team is the No. 1 seed heading into the MSBL playoffs, and our top 13U team is 11-3 in the LSFBL with a great chance of “threepeating”. Perhaps most importantly, of the 29 freshman that made NTHS teams last year, 26 are current and former New Trier Feeder players. Further, about 2/3 of our players that tried out were selected for NTHS teams this year; for all other programs combined, the selection rate was, we believe, a fraction of that. Finally, overall, almost 80% of all NTHS players of any age this past season were New Trier Feeder alumni. All of that is not because NTHS favors our players; like we are, NTHS is a meritocracy. Rather, it’s because our coaching staff, consisting largely of former New Trier players and coaches, knows exactly how to help our players prepare to be successful at New Trier.
With that background, we proudly announce the details of this year’s fall program for incoming 13U and rising 14U (i.e. current 13U) players. That program, called the Tryout Preparation Program, will be substantially similar to the program we conducted the last two years, to almost universal player and parent acclaim. It is designed to help our evaluators see more of players than they would see in two short tryouts, while still being flexible enough to allow multi-sport athletes to play their other, in season sports. While the Tryout Prep Program is optional, it is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED for players who intend to try out for the NTF Program. Indeed, every player selected for our teams in each of the last two seasons (and almost every WBA or NTTB 12U player) participated in the Tryout Prep Program. The Tryout Prep Program is intended for only those travel-level players intending to try out for our teams--while we welcome everyone, the level of competition is high and house league-level players have generally not enjoyed the program, as they have struggled mightily.
The Tryout Prep Program has two components. First, beginning on August 26, 2019, 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 Wilmette Jr. High School. To accommodate their own schedules, 14U players may pick either Monday or Tuesday as the day on which they normally attend skills, and 13U players may pick either Wednesday or Thursday as the day on which they normally attend skills. (Players may go on the other day for their age level should their schedule in a particular week not permit them to go on their normal day; the only caveat is that we skip Labor Day, so all 14U players should go on Tuesday that week). In addition to creating valuable hitting, pitching, and fielding practice time for our players, at each of the skills sessions our players work on specific skills, which vary from week to week. Examples include baserunning, how to hold on runners, and team bunt defense. All skills sessions are run by combination of our tryout evaluators and our senior, professional coaches.
Then, on Saturdays, beginning on August 24, 2019, there are intersquad games for each of the levels in Northfield, 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.; the 9/7 games will take place at Wilmette Jr. High School as a result of a field conflict) All games will last 2 hours. In order to maintain the hallmark flexibility of the Tryout Prep program, 13U players will each be given the ability to choose which game session they would generally like to attend (his or her "primary game session"). Players may switch from their primary game session from week to week, as long as they notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday of that week (to give us enough time to make sure that we can have fulsome games at both sessions). All pickup games sessions are run by a combination of our tryout evaluators and our senior, professional coaches.
The Tryout Prep Program concludes with the Tryouts/Team Selection Process in late September. The cost of the Tryout Prep Program is $295, and it includes the fee for Tryouts. Registration will open on the website shortly after this LSFBL season is concluded.
The Tryout Prep program will continue through late September, and conclude with final evaluations will begin immediately thereafter. We will announce final date and time slots shortly, but be assured they will not conflict with the Jewish holidays. Team selections will be announced within 24 hours of the conclusion of tryouts. As was the case in each of the past two years, players will have a short window after that announcement to accept their team placements and provide a deposit to secure their spots.
Two final points about the program. First, no parents, whether members of the New Trier Feeder Boards 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—that is one of its hallmarks. Second, while for our rising 14U players, there is a heavy emphasis on their 13U performance, it is made abundantly clear to all of the players on the first day of the program that the entire five week Tryout Prep program is a tryout—that is, players are being evaluated throughout the five weeks, not simply at the final tryouts. We believe that, in particular at 13U, that reduces the risk that a player just has a bad day or two, resulting in a lower-than-hoped for placement, and enables our coaches to make informed judgments based on a large body of work in front of them, instead of making quick questions over the course of a couple of sessions. As we tell the players, the more chances they have to impress our evaluators, the better their chances of getting the placement they want.
We aim to be a highly transparent organization and more details on the entire process can be found under the "2019 Tryout Prep" tab. That said, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Drew Cardonick, on behalf of
New Trier Feeder Baseball
CONGRATULATIONS to the following FIFTY FIVE current and former New Trier Feeder players who were selected to New Trier High School baseball teams for the 2019 season. That number constitutes about 80% of the total players selected by NTHS for its four teams, and includes an astounding 26 of the 29 freshman selected for NTHS teams:
At about 3:00 P.M. Sunday, Jake Fiegen threw the first pitch in the LSFBL's 13A championship game. Almost 5 hours later, 14A1 exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the 6th inning against Mundelein. And just a few minutes later, Nate Muhn recorded the final out in the 14B championship game. With that out, New Trier Feeder Baseball clinched the third of its three 2018 LSFBL championships. With last year’s sweep, that means that NTF has won 7 of the last 8 LSFBL Pony championships.
We as an organization could not be more proud of the kids, and there were so many tremendous performances this past week that we can't begin to do them justice. 14A1 fell behind a good Mundelein team, 4-0, then came roaring back to score 3 in the bottom of the 5th and 6 more in the bottom of the 6th to come from behind to win, 9-6, and finish an undefeated LSFBL season, the first in recent memory for NTF. 14B (White) had the hardest road--they had to survive a tough Lake Forest team, then go to Mundelein to upset the #2 seed, then finally beat an undefeated and #1 seeded Mt. Prospect team in the finals--but they pulled it off in stunning fashion, hammering Mt. Prospect in the finals. Finally, 13A1 blitzed its quarterfinal opponent, came from behind to beat Evanston in a hotly contested matchup, and then blew open a 1-1 game against Park Ridge Blue in the final by scoring 9 in the 5th inning.
While we celebrate our champions today, we would be remiss at not pointing out the success of our other teams. 13A2 battled hard all season and was simply undone by some bad luck in losing a number of close games. 13B raced off to a 10-2 start and made it all the way to its Divisional Championship Game, an outstanding showing. 14A2 was one of only two teams to play 14A1 close in the LSFBL, taking it to 7 innings all four times they played. And 14B (Gray) was the hottest team in the program throughout the month of July, winning 8 of 9 games at one point before succumbing to Mt. Prospect—a loss that 14B (White) avenged yesterday.
The most indelible memory of the week for those of us that run the program, however, was an off the field one. The sheer number of kids who turned up for their friends' games was astonishing to us. In particular, the number of kids that showed up to root on a grieving friend Sunday was heartwarming, and we thank each and every one of them. When we said at the start of the year that this was a community, one in which all 100 of our players was equally important to us, we meant it--and all of us who run this program are so happy to see the kids, over and over again, support each other, both on and off the field.
Thanks for the honor of entrusting the development of your kids to us this season. We hope you are as proud of them as we are.
Drew Cardonick, President
New Trier Feeder Baseball
The New Trier Feeder Baseball Program (“Feeder”) is a nonprofit, “best in class”, year-round training program and experience devoted solely to developing and preparing players to play baseball at the highest levels for New Trier High School and Loyola High School. We believe that our program exceeds the quality of those programs offered by the best “pay for play” organizations in the area, while still permitting our athletes to play with their friends in their communities and engage in other sports. In addition, because the vast majority of our coaches have either played at or coached at New Trier or Loyola, we are able to, and do, specifically train our players on the systems and skills that will be needed to be successful at either of those schools.
The 13U/14U NTF Program consists of five parts: (1) our Fall Tryout Preparation Program; (2) our Tryouts/Team Selection Process in late September/early October; (3) our Offseason Training from January through March; (4) our Spring House League Program in April and May; and (5) our Spring/Summer Travel Seasons from April through July. Full details on those programs can be found at "Our Travel Program."
For the 2019 season, NTF has created a brand new, comprehensive 15U Program. Details can be found on the 15U Program page.
President, New Trier Feeder Baseball
Phone: (847) 242-9421
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