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Son being recruited to play hockey near DC - help.


Idaho fan

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Am hoping to get some input from a few of you who live in Maryland and have heard of Odenton.  

Background - my son who is now 16 has played hockey since he was 4.  Eventually (2 years ago) he had to move out of our area in Boise so he could play higher level hockey Tier 1 AAA.  He played in Salt Lake City the past two years.  It sounds crazy for parents who don't have kids in hockey but we ship our kids off for 7-9 months so they can play AAA hockey.  They live with host families (billets) during this time.  Its expensive and we hate not having our son at home but its a dream of his and he is pretty damn good too.  

 

So... was undecided what to do this year and was thinking maybe playing Jr. Hockey locally but its a huge step up if he could even make the team.  Was contacted by a scout in DC who has scouted my son for the last two years.  They are offering him a spot on their team but they are way out in Maryland.  He will live with a host family in Odenton Md. within walking distance to the practice rink.  My wife is not keen on the idea of sending our son to the other side of the US.  I think its a great opportunity for me to finally get to a home Skins game.... well ok, Im a little uneasy too.  Hockey opportunities are better over there however and its a good opportunity.

 

Does anyone know about Odenton Md.?  Is it a fairly safe town? 

 

Anyone reading this know anything about the USPHL?  Or the Skipjacks?

 

Thanks...

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Odenton is right outside Ft Meade in Maryland. There is a fairly nice rink there, and the Caps used to practice there back in the day. The city is an ok place. Like normal small cities, there are none neighborhoods that are a little questionable, but nothing crazy.

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As far as the hockey aspect...

It looks like the Skipjacks are in PA. How far away is it? I haven't heard of USPHL and I thought that most of the top name NHLers came out of Ontario or Quebec. It looks like the USPHL is relatively new though.

Are his plans to play collegiate hockey at any level?

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Thanks for the comments.. Tough sending off your kid to a place you have never been before to live with people you have never met.  But then we are somewhat used to the idea after that last two years.

 

Seems like Odenton is similar to many smallish towns then?  I did read that the rink is fairly nice and is where the Caps used to practice.  So sounds like its reasonably safe and a decent place to spend 7 months?  He goes to school online as they are traveling and on the ice all the time so no school worries.  

 

Skipjacks are a based in Odenton MD.  They describe the place as being very friendly and "considered one of the best cities in the US" but then thats part of the team's promo material where everything is rainbows and wonderful.  The USPHL is supposed to be a decent league which will get him in front of more junior and college scouts.  So yes - plans/hopes are that he plays another year of AAA hockey before playing Juniors during his senior year of HS.  Then landing a college scholarship.  He has been approached by two D1 schools so far as a sophomore so its not an unrealistic goal hopefully.

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Having done some work in Odenton, I'd have few reservations about sending my kid to live there - it's a middle class suburb with less crime than Boise (hope that link works). Also, he'll get to see the occasional non-white person.  ;)

 

It's kind of spread out, though, and he'll be wanting to get into DC for Caps games, so he'll be needing his old man to furnish a nice ride - a used Mercedes would be very safe, and help him impress the ladies.

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I played hockey at Piney Orchard Ice Rink in Odenton for years.  The neighborhood within walking distance of the rink is fine.  As far as the rink being nice, it's now a dump.  Once the Caps left the money dried up.  There is an old Zamboni, some public skating, adult hockey, and some youth hockey.  There used to be a pro shop but it's essentially closed.

 

As far as skating is concerned, it's a sheet of ice.  Those of us who play hockey don't need much more than that.

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I live in Severn, Md which is right next to Odenton.

 

 There are some nice places and not so nice places. Tho I think you will find that anywhere you go in the DC/Bmore area. I have lived in the Laurel/Odenton/Severn area 26 out my 30 years.  

 

I am guessing the rink would be Piney Orchard, that is a nice area. I would say  middle/upper class. Lots of renters in the area with Ft. Meade Army base there.

 

I am kinda surprised it would be Piney Orchard, with the Garden Ice house in Laurel, That is a much better ice rink.

 

I 2nd Chip on the rink. When the Caps practiced there in the 90s it was great. Piney Orchard was a planned community. When the Caps were there, there was tons of money for the rink, not so much anymore.

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Gbear lives in Odenton or thereabouts and has for a while. I'll see if I can get him to hop into this thread. I've been int he area a couple of times and it has seemed pretty cool, but you get a different perspective from those who live there.

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Hey Idaho Fan,

I lived in Odenton (Piney Orchard) for about 8 years - I even drove the Zamboni at Piney Orchard Ice Arena for about 5 years, but that is a different story.

 

First, I would just suggest you do serious research into the USPHL.  My son graduated High School in 2011 and played for the Jr Bruins - at time I don't believe that league even existed.  We didn't have a good experience as the Junior coaches directly lied about their program and my son's place in it (they never mentioned he'd be on the third team, with no place to move up).  Also, he was put in an apartment with 2 other players from his team in a place where "Many of our players live".  Wrong.  They were the only hockey players in their complex.  Lots of other stuff.  Just make sure and be careful.

 

As for the area, I can tell you lots about it (I currently live about 10 minutes away).  I hesitate to do so here as I don't want to possibly offend someone who may not like my opinion.

 

Feel free to PM me and I can give you the good, bad, and mostly middle of the road info, especially if you son is going to school out here when he plays.

 

Good Luck.

Tom (BTFOOM)

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