New Jersey Renegades 2018 Q & A
New Jersey Renegades Head Coach Pete Rossi and Owner/GM Cliff Graziano sit down to give an inside look at the teams successful 2017-18 campaign, playing as a Guest Team in the ECEL, their Junior Development Program as well as the Teams Free Open House.
Tier 3: Hi guys, you really had a nice season this past year, can you elaborate on that a little bit for our readers?
Cliff: Thanks Robin. Yes this past season was really something great, not only for our returning players, but for the new additions that joined our program. This past season we took the #1 team the Jr Flyers into the 2nd round of the playoffs, we were 4 minutes away from triple OT in a back-and-forth game before a screen shot found it’s way through. It was a tough ending for us, but what we accomplished internally was really amazing! The Flyers ended up going to the finals before dropping that game to the eventual champions the Boston Jr Rangers 3-2. We felt we were right there with those teams by the end of the season and we have some unfinished business for the upcoming season. So if you’re a potential player on this team you will really be excited about where this team is heading!
Pete: We took a team this past season further than we thought. Our players really adapted to the amount of things we threw at them. I don’t think they understood how much we do as far as the video sessions, chalk-talks; the rigorous off-ice training, etc… but they loved it and so did the parents, especially when they saw the benefits of it all. We prepare kids for multiple things such as upper levels of Jr hockey, college, prep, and even in some cases professionals hockey.
Tier 3: You're offering a program for these kids that's pretty exciting, can you tell us a little more about it?
Cliff: Everybody always wants to move up a level, but in this case we’re staying at the Premier level with a few goals in mind. First, the boys want redemption at winning the league. We are also adding a few events such as playing in the East Coast Elite League (ECEL) as a “Guest Team” in a showcase or two with them as well as playing a few prep schools. This will get the players maximum exposure while staying with the club that they love and they feel gives them the best chance at excelling for their individual and team growth.
Pete: We offer so much more in our program than most clubs in the area, whether it be clubs I played or coached for in the past. With all these new additions to the program to go along with what we’ve already established, we need people to realize that our small club focuses in 25-40 kids and you will not get lost in the herd. We talk to the kids privately about school, their attention to detail, work ethic; and we sit down with parents to help the process as well, as other programs don’t really do this. We’ve created an environment and culture that we fell will change these kids’s lives on and off the ice.
Tier 3: So you’re hosting a FREE Open House. Tell me about that.
Cliff: Let’s be honest here, everyone knows tryouts are a money maker for a lot of clubs. We “spend" money to make it great for the kids and keep our tryout fees extremely low. If you come to the Open House and Tryouts you will get up to 8 hours of ice and food and drink for only $99. Not bad considering it comes out to be only about $12 per hour and you get food and drink! We buy ice which we all know isn’t cheap, we spend money on food and drink, countless hours putting this together, etc… it’s a way for people to come down, see what we do on and off the ice, show everyone the facility (rink, locker room, training and video area, etc…), hear from our current players and parents as well as our alumni and their parents who still come down 10 years later to support the program.
Tier 3: Can you tell me about your Jr Development Program Team (JDP)?
Cliff: It’s a chance for players born in 2003 who are not eligible age wise for Jr hockey yet and for 2002 birth years that may not be ready for Jr hockey. It’ a team built to get them in the system and train with the Jr team the same way the Jr team trains. We have gotten a lot of inquiries about this. It’s a full season team, they will compete in the Eastern Jr Prospects Elite League (EJEPL). In NJ most kids play high school hockey come mid November, but for those that don’t have high school hockey or “want more” by staying on a full season team vs a short season team and prepare for our Jr team in the future, this is such a positive thing for them as well as our club ti build something internally for their future as well as the club’s.
Tier 3: Well guys, thank you for your time, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Pete: Thank you Robin, all we really want is good kids and families that want to break through the wall, try something that will benefit them in the short as well as the long run and be a part of the Renegades family. I am so proud to be a part of this organization, it really is like no other out there!
Cliff: I think Pete hit the nail on the head, if you’re tired of the same old thing and want a set of coaches to really care and direct the player to the best possible situation then come check us out at our Free Open House, player and parents will be pleasantly surprised with what we have to offer.
Open House Registration: https://njrenegades.sportngin.com/register/form/426972697
Tryout Registration: https://njrenegades.sportngin.com/register/form/371263339