EAST MARLBOROUGH—Upland Country Day School announced a new ice hockey program, UCDS Varsity Prep. The Varsity Prep program is designed for student-athletes seeking an exceptional educational experience along with elite-level training and competition built into their school day.

Upland’s high-caliber coaches, its on-campus rink, and rich hockey history, coupled with its highly regarded educational approach, offers players an unparalleled opportunity to excel both on the ice and in the classroom.

UCDS Varsity Prep will feature both elite boys’ and girls’ teams. Barring any pandemic-related complications, the game schedules will run from September through March with competition against New England prep schools, high-level Bantam opponents, and international teams. Student-athletes accepted into the program will be provided with multiple hours of daily ice time for skill development.

The program, modeled after highly-successful prep school and NCAA hockey training programs, is designed to prepare talented, committed, and ambitious student-hockey players in grades seven through nine, to compete athletically and academically at the New England prep school or Tier I level, and ultimately NCAA hockey, upon graduation from Upland.

Players will be counseled on secondary school and hockey placement, the road to college hockey, time-management, and mindfulness, in a manner consistent with the benefits afforded to prep school and NCAA hockey players.

The teams will be coached and counseled by school faculty and staff including a former NHL recruit, an Upland coaching legend, and two former high-level collegiate athletes.

Upland’s Athletic Director, Brady Kramer, will be the Head Coach of the boys’ team. Coach Kramer was drafted out of high school in 1991 by the Montreal Canadiens in the 7th round and signed with the club in 1995. Kramer is eager to take the already robust hockey program to the next level.

“We will certainly be attracting boys and girls who already have Tier I youth hockey experience. But we are also looking to attract those diamonds in the rough who may have been overlooked by Tier I programs but who have the talent and the drive to develop into high-level players,” explained Kramer.

“During a single school day, our skaters may have an hour on the ice purely for skill development, a film session or off-ice instruction, then a full high-level team practice. But it’s more than that. We want to teach hockey skills as well as academic and life skills. The ultimate goal is to develop not only good players, but good students and good people,” said Kramer.

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