Throughout it's history, New Hampton teams have attracted top student-athletes from all over the United States and Canada, winning two Division 2 Prep Championships in 1995 and 1996. Now the Huskies will chase a title in Division 1 while preparing student-athletes for successful college careers on the ice and in the classroom.
What We've Achieved
- 10 New England Championships
- Recent College Acceptances: Boston College, Boston University, Colby, Cornell, Harvard, Syracuse
In the late 70s and early 80s, the New Hampton men’s program dominated New England. The A team, confined to a schedule of college JV teams and a small handful of elite prep teams, averaged twenty-win seasons and win percentages above .850. New Hampton routinely graduated players and colleges to top Division I NCAA schools. Some thirty-five years later, Coach Casey Kesselring has recast New Hampton as a playoff contender in the ultra-competitive New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC). Arriving in 2013, he quickly set to shoring up the roster with talented student-athletes scouted during his reign as director of the New Hampshire Knights and Avalanche. On the strength of relationships forged during his time coaching and scouting at top national tournaments, Kesselring is already attracting elite players from California and Florida. Recently he has expanded New Hampton’s recruiting net to Finland and Sweden.
In two short seasons, the New Hampton men’s team has set about reestablishing itself as a championship contender, earning its first playoff appearance in four years. With an increasingly difficult schedule that includes the best teams in New England—in 2014-15 they lost to #3 Cushing after leading at the first intermission, tied #2 Dexter, and beat Phillips Academy at Andover—all while raising the scouting exposure for the players. Compounding the good news, the squad attracts quality, full-pay student-athletes who contribute to multiple athletic and co-curricular programs. Kesselring has also increased the visibility of New Hampton School at national recruiting tournaments, with immediate results in the Admission Office.
Since beginning her time at New Hampton as a freshman, Cayla Barnes has twice represented the United States on the Women’s National Under-18 Team. As a fifteen-year-old. Most recently she helped the US win a gold medal at the U18 World Championships, playing in all five games as the squad beat Russia, the Czech Republic, and Canada (twice). Her coach Craig Churchill rates her as likely the best fifteen-year-old on the planet.
With such a resume, obvious physical skill, and sense of the game beyond her years, it is unsurprising that Cayla has been pursued by the best Division I programs. Sifting through offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Harvard—all top-four finishers in the 2014-15 season rankings—she finally verbally committed to Boston College. Now with the distractions of the college process behind her, Cayla can fully concentrate on the national team and her final two seasons at NHS. Her immediate goal: “I want to make New England’s.” The team is closing in on that goal, improving its record while playing a tougher schedule.
Within the word-of-mouth community of hockey, Cayla is a magnet. After she selected New Hampton over every elite program in the country, other players started calling the Admission Office. In one recruiting season, Churchill landed student-athletes who, after only one season at NHS, are verbally committing to elite Division I teams. Bolstered by strong work ethics, excellent grades, and athletic success in other seasons, these young women have earned the freedom to pick which program and university best fits their style and needs. In March, two of Cayla’s teammates declined bids from multiple Ivy League schools and the best programs in the upper mid-west to accept offers to play at Boston College and Harvard.
NHS benefits from these bright young women beyond the obvious competence on the ice. Cayla is a star forward on the soccer team and growing contributor on the lacrosse team. Many of her teammates join her on both teams; others contribute in field hockey and softball, while another has established herself as a surprise Lakes Region champion in cross-country. They also play leading roles in class government, and in co-curricular programs. While Cayla cannot take credit for the program’s long history of success, she has certainly accelerated its growth.