We are excited to announce some of the details for our 2029 Program.
The fall of 2017-2018 was the first year we introduced a 3rd grade program (in the previous years we started Eclipse programing in 4th grade). We learned a lot throughout 2017-2018 and believe the changes we made this year 2018-2019 worked very well. Every year we look at all our programs and try our best to make improvements.
One of the main differences we have made from 2017-2018 was training our 3rd grade as a group (the previous year we selected two teams and although the players did some drills together, they also were separated at times). This past year, we selected ~50 players to be in our intro program. Of those 50 players, we selected 12 players to be on our summer travel team. The remaining players were evaluated in the fall and winter and 11 more players were selected after the winter clincs. All 50 players were invited to optional fall (6) and winter clinics (10). All of our Directors and many of our Eclipse Coaches worked with the 2028 group this past year. At the end of the winter we decided to select the remaining players to field one team, which enabled more players the opportunity to be on the travel team this summer and gave us a great opportunity to get to know the players better before final selections were decided.
During this summer we continued to train as a group for the first three weeks, however, the players selected to the travel team had a few additional practices in June and July and attend three travel tournaments.
ALL PLAYERS PARTICIPATED IN OUR ECLIPSE 3RD GRADE TRAINING CLINICS AND HOUSE LEAGUE GAMES.
The reason we only had one travel team in the 2028 grade in the summer is because of two reasons: 1) the competition at the 3rd grade level has a VERY large spectrum of ability (the difference between the best teams in the country vs the teams that have “true” beginners is staggering. This made scheduling good competitive summer tournament games for our 2027 teams two summers ago (especially our 2nd team) very challenging and to be very honest was disappointing (our 2nd team got blown out a bunch last summer, while our first team won almost every game). The last thing we want to do is create a poor experience for the boys and incur additional costs for families. No one wants to play games that are lopsided anytime, but especially during the summer. 2) Club Tournaments require all teams to play 10 vs 10. Playing 10 v 10 is very difficult to do for some 3rd graders. By the end of the 4th grade school year (going into 5th), our experience shows that all the boys can handle 10 v 10 games. We proved this to be true this summer, when our TWO 2027 Teams did extremely well in all tournaments. We have two of the strongest 2027 teams in the country. Moreover, our ONE 2028 did extremely well and the feedback we received from our 2028 families has been amazing. The kids really enjoyed our practices and game nights this summer.
Therefore, we will be following a similar development program for the 2029s this year. The number of players we select to our travel team post tryouts may change (may be larger or smaller), however, we would like to have another “development group of ~50”, then pick a final team at the end of the winter. This will enable more players who want to play in our Eclipse program the opportunity.
2029 Summer Program
Our max amount for the 2029 program is 56 players. We decided on 56 players because our plan is to create 4 house teams next summer to compete in 7 v 7 house game events (14 players per team). We currently have over 56 players registered for our tryouts, therefore we will be making some selections at our tryouts.
Summer Development Format
- 6 Clinics – These clinics will be run by at least two Eclipse Directors, the 2029 Coaches (TBA), and a number of current/former college players we hire every summer (many are Eclipse Alumni)
- 3 House League Game Events – These games will be 7 v 7
- All clinics / games events will be 1.5 hours long
- Exact Dates: TBA (this past year it was the last three weeks of June). However, we do know we will have 2 clinics and 1 game event per week for three weeks.
- This program will start AFTER all youth town programs have concluded.
- All Clinics / Games will be played from 6:00-7:30pm, so parents can attend.
- We will be having contests every day for prizes
- After the last House League Game Event, we will have a 2029 program tailgate party.
- One base cost for the 2029 Program (6 clinics & 3 House Events) = $400
Travel Team Format
- The team will travel to 2 or 3 Tournaments
- All Tournament Schedules are announced in September once all the tournament Directors set the dates and tournament fees for the following summer.
- Additional practices will be held before the July tournaments – TBA
- An additional cost will be set for the players attending travel tournaments – to cover tournament fees, additional practices (field rental), and other costs. Cost TBD.
All players will be required to purchase team shorts, pinnie, and shooting shorts. This way all players look the same during practices and all feel a part of the program.
Questions / Financial Assistance
Any family in need of financial assistance, please contact Jamie Hanford, Will Koshansky, or Chip Buzzeo. Payment plans are available.
Thank you for taking the time to read these program details. Please note, we may add additional opportunities or have new ideas to help develop the 2029 class. We just wanted to make sure we had as much information available before tryouts started this week.
If anyone has any questions, we will be available after our tryouts tomorrow. As for who to contact - ALL QUESTIONS should be directed at three Directors: Jamie Hanford, Will Koshansky, Chip Buzzeo, and Mike Regan.
Mike Regan will be the main Eclipse Director working with the 2029 group next year. Other Eclipse Directors will assist Mike throughout the year.