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Washington Little Capitals Peewee Major Team 2016-17

16-17 Welcome

Congratulations to all the players that have been selected to the 16-17  team.  More Details will follow.

Recent WLC 2004 News

Little Caps Varga and Liebold drafted by USHL

By WLC Staff 05/05/2017, 6:00pm EDT

The Washington Little Capitals are proud to announce that two current and one former Little Cap were selected in the United States Hockey League (USHL) draft this week.

The USHL is the only Tier 1 junior hockey league in the United States.

U15 forward Adam Varga was drafted by the Cedar Rapids Roughriders in the 8th round, 113th overall, in the Phase 1 “Futures Draft” made up of 2001 birth year players only.  The following day, Varga’s linemate, Reid Leibold, was selected by the Waterloo Black Hawks in the 15th round, 242nd overall, in the Phase 2 draft which is open to players of all ages eligible to play junior hockey. 

“The top junior hockey league in the United States has identified Adam and Reid as elite players; we’re very proud of them,” said Little Caps executive director Doug Plocki, who coached both players on the U15 National team last season.  “They’ve worked hard to get to this point.  There is more hard work to come, but both players are up to the challenge, and they have teammates who can push them to excel.” 

The selections capped off an amazing season for the U15 Little Caps.  The team won the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) Dixon Cup and the USA Hockey Southeastern District Championship, and earned a ticket to the USA Hockey Tier 1 National Championships in Scottsdale, Arizona where they were seeded 12th.

Varga had 41 points (18 goals and 23 assists) in 28 games in the AYHL, and 32 points (23 goals and 9 assists) in 16 games in the NAPHL.  His USHL draft selection comes on the heels of his recent selection by the Mississauga Steelheads in the 2017 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection draft. The OHL is one of the three Major Junior ice hockey leagues which constitute the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), the highest level of junior hockey in Canada. 

 “Getting drafted into the USHL is a huge honor and another dream come true,” Varga said. “Without the help from my family, coaches and teammates none of this would be possible.”

Leibold also had a remarkable season, with 38 points (17 goals and 21 assists) in 28 games in the AYHL and 27 points (6 goals and 21 assists) in 16 games in the NAPHL.  “Being drafted means a lot especially because it shows that my hard work and dedication are starting to pay off,” Leibold said. 

His selection came on the same day that his older brother, former Little Cap Ryan Leibold, was selected in the same USHL draft by the Sioux City Musketeers, in the 14th round, 227th overall.  Ryan’s stellar performance with the U18 Little Caps during the 2015-16 season won him a tender offer from the Springfield Jr. Blues of the North American Hockey League (NAHL).  Ryan played 60 games for the Jr. Blues last season, racking up 32 points (13 goals and 19 assists) while securing a Division 1 college commitment from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and his USHL selection this week.

“It’s a big day for the Leibold family with two USHL draft picks,” Plocki said.  “It’s a great testament that hard work pays off.”

“We’re extremely excited for these players,” said Little Caps hockey director Dan Jablonic. “It’s great to see their names being selected in such a prestigious league.  In addition to being terrific hockey players, they are three fantastic kids too.” 

Varga and Leibold are returning to the Little Caps next season to continue their development with the U16 National team.  “We’re are also very proud of what their selection says about our program,” Jablonic said.  “Our goal is to be the best developmental hockey program, so that we can give local players a local option that can put them on a national stage.  This shows that players can stay here in DC, develop within the program, and get recognized.  It shows that what we are doing here is working.” 

“These players made a choice to stick with our program, and had faith in our coaches and our philosophy.  So as we celebrate their accomplishment, we also celebrate the fantastic coaches and players who helped them get there,” Jablonic said.


WLC Statement on Player Development

By WLC Staff 04/25/2017, 10:00am EDT

The Little Caps organization is proud of its development philosophy and commitment to improving players the right way.  We follow the USA Hockey American Development Model because it produces results – our players simply get better.

In recent years, several unsavory concepts have seen increasing usage by some hockey clubs.  The “weekend model” and the “super team” are being used to lure players away from home.  The weekend model is a matter of convenience aimed at short-term success at the expense of long-term player development.  Under this model, groups of players gather on weekends for intense practice periods, and then travel to play games before dispersing.  During the week, players are left to hire private coaches to practice on their own, or simply get no development at all.  This model makes sense in some parts of the country.  It does not make sense in the Greater Washington area.

This tryout season, as in the past, we have fielded several questions regarding whether the Little Caps will change its development model to adopt these concepts.  We will not.  Neither is consistent with proper player development, team chemistry, or in the spirit of what youth hockey is supposed to be.

The Little Caps model uses time-tested methods based on proper skills progressions, and a focus on optimal windows of trainability for our players.  As with any other education process, daily repetition and steady progress are the keys to success.  This method allows students time to manage small chunks of information, and through repetition master that information.  And they do it in a team setting, building strong bonds while challenging their teammates to get better, which in turn makes all team members better.  Successful schools don’t teach math cramming 6-hours of algebra into a student’s head on a Saturday, and then ignore the student for a week or force him or her to hire a private tutor to improve during the week.  

The weekend model simply does not work- consistent team practices and steady player development does.  We will not sacrifice proper player development for convenience or short-term “success.”

Glenn Hefferan, USA Hockey Atlantic District President, points out that such concepts have nothing to do with building a team, and run contrary to Long Term Athlete Development concepts at the core of the American Development Model.  Glenn has also challenged recruiting efforts used by some clubs, often in connection with the super team concept and the weekend model.  We know that several clubs contact our Little Cap families directly in an effort to lure our players out of the area or away from our Club, often targeting very young players.  They use the weekend model or the super-team concept to tempt players as young as 12 to abandon their development path.

Worse still, some clubs continue the deplorable practice of pressuring players and families into signing contracts immediately at the risk of losing the roster spot being “offered.”  Development begins at the tryout stage because it is often the first interaction between the player and the club.  As an organization, we believe in the product we offer and the development model we've committed to providing for our players.  We do not believe in pressuring children and their families to sign contracts on the first night of tryouts or risk losing their potential roster spot.   We also do not believe it is appropriate to tell a child that if he tries out for another club, he will not have the opportunity to play for the Washington Little Capitals.  Clubs that employ such tactics speak volumes about how they value their players, and their belief in the strength of their own program.

If you, or your child, is contacted by another club trying to attract you using the weekend model or the super club concepts, we urge you to hit the pause button, and consider whether the “tempting” offer of the moment is really in the long-term interest of your son or daughter (or your family as a whole).  Not all motion is progress.

If you or your child have been pressured by a club to sign a contract, we urge you to consider whether that club has the proper values to assist your son or daughter’s development.  Our Little Cap coaches and our Hockey Director are happy to talk to you if you confront this situation. 

Anything worth doing is worth doing well.  Success requires hard work- there simply is no shortcut.  A club offering you a shortcut to success isn’t offering you anything.

PeeWee Minor Coach (2006) Alec Schappert

By WLC staff 04/17/2017, 8:30pm EDT

PeeWee Minor Coach (2006) Alec Schappert

The Washington Little Capitals are excited to announce Alec Schappert will join the organization as new head coach of the 2006 Peewee Minor Team.

Growing up in Buffalo, New York, Alec played youth AAA hockey for the West Seneca Wings hockey organization. In his high school years, Alec played for the Nichols School prep team and played for the Buffalo Regals 18U AAA team.

After high school, Alec went on to study psychology at Loyola University Maryland. He graduated with a degree finance and economics.  Alec was a member of their club hockey team playing in the ACHA Division 1.  Alec’s enthusiasm to coach started during his playing days as Alec was a contributor to the summer hockey camps at Nichols School. Alec’s passion to transfer his knowledge into coaching lead to Coach Schappert serving one season as an Assistant Coach for the Nichols School team.  From the beginning of Alec’s coaching experience, Alec has clearly shown an ability and willingness to teach the game to every team member. Coach Schappert takes pride in his player’s progression. He is ready to develop the 2006 players into a highly skilled, puck moving, competitive AAA hockey team.

Coach Alec is an Operations specialist in brokerage operations for FBR & CO.  Coach Alec is now residing in Dc

Welcome Coach Schappert to the Little Capitals and welcome to DC!