St. Mary’s program is NorCal’s newest hockey destination
While much of California’s hockey atmosphere is centered on the programs in Southern California, the St. Mary’s High School program in Stockton is on the path to be Northern California’s newest one-stop shop for everything hockey.
St. Mary’s also offers a top-notch Catholic education curriculum that, coupled with the hockey program led by Derek Eisler, is attractive for those that want student-athlete development without missing 15-20 days of school per year.
Prep schools out East have these types of programs, but as Eisler states, “why leave California when everything you want to achieve your goals in hockey and education is right here?”
“Our mission at St. Mary’s is to provide direction and create opportunity for players, through quality practices, off ice training, competition and consulting,” said Eisler. “We take great pride in opening up the doors of opportunity for aspiring, dedicated hockey families. We will provide honest guidance, education and direction to players and their families through our product offered. The goal is to create an atmosphere of full development for the individual player and the family.
“At St. Mary’s, we will assess each player’s individual needs and will always work to find the best opportunities and fit for each unique athlete. We are available to you 24/7, 365 days per year to answer any questions that may need your attention.”
Eisler was born in Oakland and built his career in hockey from the bottom up. He has coached players of all ages at all levels all over the world and brings a unique understanding and passion for the game. His passion for the game and love of coaching continues to impact the Northern California hockey community with positive results.
His 30 years of coaching has taken him from youth hockey (NorCal Rep Club, IMG Academy, Jr. Sharks, Stockton Colts), to junior hockey (Rochester Mustangs, Billings Bulls) to professional hockey (China Sharks), to the NHL (San Jose Sharks) and international hockey (Swiss summer teams, Israel/Canada hockey school, head coach for the Israel Hockey Federation).
During his career, Eisler has seen many of Northern California’s most talented prospects leave the area in pursuit of the elite coaching and experience required to get to the next level in their careers. In response, he founded the St. Mary’s program with the goal of providing the area’s best athletes access to the premier coaching and training they had historically sought elsewhere.
St. Mary’s, who was recently accepted into the brand-new NAHL Prep League as a showcase partner, will have daily practice, off-ice training, qualified professional coaching, a 30-45 game schedule ranging from games in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League, NAHL Prep League and Western AAA teams, in addition to a possible tournament in Minnesota to play high school teams there. Minnesota is often considered to have the most competitive high school program in the country, so playing the best will help St. Mary’s players improve their overall skill sets.
With the academics of St. Mary’s, the student athletes will be able to interact and seek counseling and feedback from teachers, administrators and other faculty. St. Mary’s is rated in the top half of Catholic education in all of California.
St. Mary’s follows the school calendar – August-May (10-month hockey program) – and offers premier education with an unparalleled hockey experience, something Eisler believes Tier hockey cannot offer.
“We are looking for players that want to play junior hockey and then advance to play NCAA college hockey,” said Eisler. “We are connected and motivated to help aspiring young hockey players reach their goals and optimize their potential.”
Details for St. Mary’s Hockey Academy include: $9,200 tuition, in addition to the hockey program ($7,300) and housing ($5,000), for a total of $21,500 (without financial assistance).
— Matt Mackinder
(April 26, 2018)