At 12:36 P.M. yesterday afternoon, NTF's Will Blomeier threw the first pitch in the LSFBL's 13B championship game. Almost seven hours later, 14B’s Nunzio Castellano squeezed a fly ball in center field to end the LSFBL’s 14B championship, putting the finishing touches on an absolute incredible championship week for our NTF players. With that final out, NTF clinched its second LSFBL league championship of the day, its fourth league or tournament championship of the day, its sixth league or tournament championship in just the last 8 days of the season, and its twelfth LSFBL championship in the last 5 years.
13B (Gray) started the day off by absolutely hammering Lincolnshire in the LSFBL’s 13B final. Coach Gallo’s squad scored 10 runs in the first inning, and led by three RBI from Carter Vree and Christopher Kirkpatrick, went out to win 14-1 in a 4 inning slaughter. In doing so, they completed a fantastic season, going 24-12-1 overall, and 18-2 to win the LSFBL’s regular season championship. Coach Falk’s 14B squad jumped all over Mundelein early. 14B scored 3 in the 1st, 9 in the 2nd, and 6 in the third to jump way ahead early on its way to the a dominating 19-8 triumph. It was truly a team effort—Chase Cook led the way with 4 RBI, 5 other players knocked in 2 each, and 8 different players scored at least 2 runs each to hand 14B the title.
The day was capped off by tournament victories for both 13A1 and 14A1 for the second straight Sunday. In winning Sunday, 13A1 finished a good season in which it made it to LSFBL’s new AA division finals and won two different weekend tournaments. 14A1 finished with a 35-9 record, tied for the regular season LSFBL AA title, and won three different tournaments. With that, our 14A1 players completed their two full time years in NTF at 61-12, winning the LSFBL’s A division at 13U, its regular season AA division at 14U, and four different tournament championships—truly, one of the best two year performances by any team in the history of the program.
While we celebrate our champions today, to us success is about development much more than wins and losses, and so we would be remiss at not pointing out the successes of our other teams. While competing in the LSFBL this season against every organization’s top team, 13A2 went 25-14-2 this season and played #2 seeded Mundelein to a 3-3 tie until the bottom of the 6th before falling in Sunday’s final, in the process becoming the first NTF team in memory to win the KWBA Bulldog Classic. And 14A2 completed one of the greatest turnarounds in program history, going from a team that won only 5 games in the LSFBL last year all the way to the championship game before falling to #1 seeded Mundelein’s top team this year. When we talk about development, what 14A2 did this year is exactly what we have in mind. Finally, Coach Kopp’s 13B (White) team had a spectacular season, going 15-5 in the league before losing a close battle in the divisional semifinals—a loss Coach Gallo’s team was happy to avenge two days later.
As is always the case, the most indelible memories of the week for those of us who run the program, however, are off the field. The number of kids who turned up to support their friends on other teams on this week was astounding. When we said at the start of the year that this was a community, one in which every single one 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. To us, that's what community baseball is all about. We hope that we were able provide at some joy and distraction in what has been a long, hard year in the world.
Once again, 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
As many of you know, five 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 “New Trier Feeder” 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 (often against those same "pay for play" teams), 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 have won ten MSBL and LSFBL league championships over the past four seasons, in one season winning all four LSFBL Pony leagues. This season, two of our teams were invited to play in the newly formed, invitation-only AA divisions of the LSFBL at both 14U and 13U--the only community program invited to play in what is far and away the best league in the area. And, while our focus is always on development first, our players are having a fantastic amount of success this year by traditional measures as well this season--indeed, as we write this, every single one of our teams this season has a winning record, is poised to make the playoffs, and has a great chance to add to our growing list of titles.
But most importantly, 55 (FIFTY-FIVE!!!!) of the players that made NTHS teams last year are current and former New Trier Feeder Players. Indeed, 9 of our freshman alumni were selected to play at the sophomore level in their first season, and several of our alumni are poised to try to make the jump to varsity teams as sophomores. 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.
We write to share you 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 conducted the last four 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 four seasons (and almost every WBA or New Trier Youth 12U travel player) participated in the Fall Tryout Program.
The Fall Tryout Program has two components. First, beginning on Monday, August 23, 2021 and on each Monday (other than Labor Day), Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday thereafter through September 30, 2021, there will be weekly skills sessions at each of the 13U and 14U levels, held from 4:30 P.M. - 6:00 P.M., again at Northfield. The 14U sessions will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the 13U sessions will be held on Wednesdays and Thursdays. 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. As the with scrimmages, all skills sessions are run by a combination of our tryout evaluators and our senior, professional coaches. Since we know that we have many multiple sport athletes in the program, each 14U and 13U player will have his or her choice, each week, of which of the two age-specific sessions to go to. There is no need to notify anyone--the player should just show up at whichever session works best for him or her.
Second, beginning on Saturday, August 28, 2021 and continuing each Saturday thereafter through September 25, 2021, there will be intersquad scrimmages 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. All scrimmages will last 2 hours, as set forth on the calendar. All game sessions are run by a combination of our tryout evaluators and our senior, professional coaches. Scrimmage assignments will change each week, and will be posted no later than Wednesday of the relevant week.
Final evaluations will take place at the conclusion of the program, from Friday, October 1, 2021 through Sunday, October 3, 2021. Team selection and placements will be announced on Monday, October 4, 2021 at 7:00 P.M., and players will have 48 hours to claim their spots.
The cost of the Fall Tryout Program is $375, and it includes the fee for the final evaluations. The entire calendar is already posted on the website, and registration will open on the website shortly. The program has been heavily oversubscribed in each of the last two years, and as a result we have had to turn players away. Thus, we strongly suggest that you register not later than August 9, 2021. After that time, we may have to cut off registrations and not allow any additional registrations. Please keep in mind that, while registration is open to anyone, the Fall Tryout Program is 5+ weeks of an extremely competitive and time-consuming process, and is not right for everyone.
Two final points about the program. First, 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—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 Fall Tryout Program is a tryout—that is, players are being evaluated throughout the five weeks, not simply on the final weekend. 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 decisions 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.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, 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.
President, New Trier Feeder Baseball
Phone: (847) 242-9421
No news currently found.