Where Should I Play Rhode Island High School Baseball – A Public vs Private School Dialogue

Good morning and Happy July, 2022 everyone. I hope everyone in the Rhode Island Baseball Community has a happy, safe, and enjoyable 4th of July weekend. There is a ton of baseball on the schedule for this upcoming weekend, including the Firecracker Sports Tournament, RI Little League District All-Stars, Ocean State Waves and Gulls games, just to name a few. Good luck to all the players, coaches, and families participating in weekend baseball.

Speaking of families, one of the hot button topics I hear about covering Rhode Island High School baseball is the public school vs private school debate. Off the record and for the past 4 years or so being in the RIHS baseball scene, parents on both sides of the topic have called, texted, emailed, and discussed their opinions on the subject. Some feel that players “jump ship” by going to a private school to play baseball, having played youth and middle school with one group of kids since age 5 or 6. Others feel that education plays a major role in their decision to enroll their child in a private school, and that athletics is just one of the factors and not the main one. Some question the legitimacy of championships won, others simply state that they had to win just as many games as others to get to the title game.

For me personally, I went to my local public elementary school, middle school, high school as have my 3 sons. I don’t recall discussing attending a private school with my parents for academic or athletic reasons, it just didn’t come up in conversations. Some of my best friends at Wickford Middle School back in the 1980s went on to Bishop Hendricken High School and LaSalle Academy and Bay View Academy and Moses Brown to not only play baseball and hockey and football and swim, but also receive a great education, graduate, go to college, and became doctors and sales reps and businesswomen. I could say the say for some of my best friends from WMS who went to North Kingstown High School with me – they went on to play sports at NKHS and then to college, and are doing well in life, in business and so on.

This dialogue is meant to engage both sides of the subject and to shed some light on the thought process that went into a family’s decision to go to a private or public school. I am asking for your thoughts on this private school vs public school debate. Here are some sample questions you can answer for me and I will go over the details of how I plan on posting the results in a moment:

  1. What was the main factor in your decision to attend a public or private school?
  2. Where athletics a factor and what about the athletics interested you in this school?
  3. Was your child recruited by this school?
  4. What was the recruitment process like? Emails, school visits, functions, Zoom calls?
  5. When you were making the decision, how much weight did your child or you yourself have in the decision? In other words, did you want your child to attend X school and your child wanted to attend Y school?
  6. When you see a player on the opposing team that plays for a public or private school that you grew up with, that was on your youth baseball teams, does it impact you – positively or negatively?
  7. Apart from baseball, what is your child receiving educationally at your school that makes you feel like you made the right decision?
  8. Would you recommend the school your child is playing baseball at now to other families and why?

Every single person who answers and sends me his/her opinions on this debate will remain anonymous. I will not post your name, your email, your child’s name, there will be nothing tying you to your opinions or comments. If you mention your school or your school’s coach, I will make sure that is the only thing mentioned in the dialogue. I repeat, nothing will trace back to you, you have my word on this, and those who have told me stories off the record know that I do not post “off the record” stories. Also, I do not want any school bashing or derogatory comments about another player or another school. This dialogue is about you, why you made the decision, why your child is attending X school or Y school, not about another parent’s decision or another player’s situation. Those comments will not make the article, I can assure you of that.

I will post the results in a few weeks once I get a good amount of feedback from you, the Rhode Island Baseball Community. I am the only person who has access to this website, so you can feel secure sending me your thoughts and feedback on the issue through this contact form below. Or you can email me at ribaseballexperience@gmail.com. Or you can text me at 401.533.0913 with your thoughts. Or you can message me through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. I look forward to hearing from you and look forward to posting the answers, concerns, and feedback on this often debated Rhode Island Baseball subject – Private School vs Public School baseball.

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