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Is A Full Season of Prep School Hockey in Your Future?

If you are interested in playing for the Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy at Pope John XXIII High School Boys FULL Season Tier 1 AAA National Level Team please complete and submit the Prospective Student-Athlete Preliminary Questionnaire under Recruiting above. A member of the BSHA staff will review your responses and contact you to discuss your potential future.

The Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy at Pope John XXIII High School Boys Tier 1 AAA National Level Team is Boston’s premier, first and only FULL season prep school hockey program. It combines elite level hockey with a prestigious co-ed catholic prep school education.


Why Play For Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy?

The Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy at Pope John XXIII gives young student-athletes the opportunity to grow and develop both on and off the ice. Playing a full season of hockey at the Tier I Midget AAA level can be incredibly taxing on a young individual as well as their family. Players often miss multiple days of school and travel hours on end to practice and games. This type of commitment can be detrimental to the player’s academic progress. The Boston Shamrocks are bridging the gap between academics and full season hockey. No longer will student-athletes need to miss multiple days of school and fall behind in their classes to play hockey. No longer will they need to do their homework in the car while driving two hours to practice— and no longer will they have to stay up through all hours of the night trying to catch up on the work or tests they missed because of a tournament over the weekend.

Here at the Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy, we have developed a model that will allow our players to grow on the ice throughout a full season of hockey. They will not just be surviving in the classroom, but rather excelling. We will prepare our players to go on and attend the best academic and athletic colleges and universities in the country. Our philosophies are based around developing a road map for our student-athletes that will best prepare them for the recruiting and admissions processes ahead.

The Shamrocks will compete against some of the best teams in the country, playing in many of the most highly recruited North American showcases. Students will have access to tutors in all subjects as well as 24/7 care in the dormitory. Our rink is located just a half a mile away from campus, which allows our players to maximize their time both on and off the ice.

At this age, we believe it is crucial for these young student-athletes to focus on their goals, as well as understand the importance of hard work and diligence on the ice, in the classroom, and in the weight room. Athletes will be put on a strict workout regimen throughout the season, facilitated by team strength and conditioning coaches.

The Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy Offers:

  • 60-75 League, Tournament & Exhibition Games 
  • Education at Catholic Co-Ed College Prep school 
  • On Campus Housing Available (Room & Board) 
  • 4 Practices Per Week 
  • Major North American Tournaments 
  • 3 Off Ice Strength & Conditioning Sessions Per Week
  • Eligible for USA Hockey Tier I National Championship 
  • Full Time Professional Coaching Staff 
  • Professional Tutors Dedicated to Team 
  • PSAT, SAT and ACT Prep
  • Exposure to Top Colleges and Universities
  • All Meals Included While At School And On The road

  • All School Expenses Covered (Including books, school uniforms, laundry and tutors)

  • All Team Travel Expenses Covered

So why attend Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy?  If you are looking for the most competitive full season of hockey at the Tier I Midget AAA level, and a prestigious boarding school education, this is the place for you.

All prospective student-athletes, or for more information about the Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy at Pope John XXIII High School, please contact Head Coach Jon Sokolski at or call 617-962-5500.


The Boston Shamrocks Organization

The Boston Shamrocks Ice Hockey Organization includes several different programs of varying skill levels and playing abilities. The Boston Shamrocks hockey family currently consists of:




Boston Shamrocks Offer Full-Season 18U Boys Hockey in Educational Setting

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Adam McNabney was a sophomore defenseman for the 2016-17 Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy team. Along with scoring 28 points in 60 games, he posted a 4.3 GPA in the classroom.
By Joshua Boyd
USA Junior Hockey Magazine

Putting down the hockey stick and picking up the textbooks. It's the life of a college hockey player – but you can say the same for the Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy players.

Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy offers boys 18-and-under AAA full-season hockey in conjunction with a private Catholic high school education in Massachusetts. The Shamrocks, starting in 2016, partnered with Pope John XXIII High School in Everett, Mass., to create this complete education/hockey experience.

“About two years ago, [Shamrocks owner] Bob Rotondo and I began putting this together,” said Jon Sokolski, head coach of the Boston Shamrocks Hockey Academy team. “We spent the better part of eight months or so really preparing for everything.”

Although it's not a varsity high school team, the 18U Shamrocks Hockey Academy team is considered by Pope John XXIII to be its “official” hockey team. The student body shows up at games for support, and teachers work with the students in the very rare times when school days have to be missed for hockey.

“The teachers understand we're not going on vacation, we're working towards something. We're using hockey and school together to get these student-athletes to college,” added Sokolski. “There's a sense of camaraderie. You're playing for your school, while also playing full-season AAA hockey.”

Sokolski was brought in because he brings a mix of local prep and college experience. He grew up in Burlington, Mass., and attended St. John's Prep (down Route 128 in Danvers). After a year of post-grad hockey at the Canterbury School in Connecticut, Sokolski joined and played for Tufts University in Medford, Mass. “Having grown up in New England, I know the landscape of prep, high school and Midget hockey very well,” said Sokolski.

Players begin the school year at Pope John XXIII on Aug. 24, and they remain with the team straight through the end of March. Shamrocks Academy is a USA Hockey-certified Midget program and is able to qualify for state and national championship tournaments.  “If we're playing a Midget team, we'll play their 18U squad. If we play prep schools, we'll play their varsity team,” said Sokolski.

This past year, the Shamrocks Academy team had players who were essentially split between 2000 and 2001 birthdates. It can certainly be a challenge for these players going up against prep schools. Some prep teams might have players of birth years from 1998 to 2002, but certainly top-heavy towards the older players. So, Shamrocks Academy players do get to cut their teeth against older competition as part of their schedule.

Sokolski is not looking specifically for players of 2000 and 2001 birthdates. He is looking for young players who are as serious – or more so – about their education as they are about the game of hockey. “We really do all the recruiting. We don't have an open tryout. Myself and the rest of our staff meet a lot of kids across the country who are playing AAA hockey,” said Sokolski. “Perhaps their school doesn't have a relationship with their team, and their coaches might look around and say ‘OK, who faked a doctor's appointment to get out of school?' Where we are combined with a school, you have the education right here. Last year, we only missed four total days of school between August and March.”

The 2016-17 Shamrocks Academy AAA team finished under .500. However, Sokolski was very pleased of the team's performance as a first-year program. “I knew we'd be up against it. We were going up against teams that have been around 20 and 30 years,” said Sokolski. “Honestly, it went as well as I could have hoped. I judge us by how the kids were playing and how they developed. I got compliments from teams we saw a second time later in the season. Our team in September was far different than in March. We finished on a seven-game winning streak, and coaches [of teams we saw twice] were telling me ‘that's a different team.' From a development standpoint, we're looking to carry a lot of momentum into this season. We'll still have growing pains this year. We're still growing. But I want to play our best hockey at the end.”

The Shamrocks Academy schedule is showcase-heavy, including multi-team shindigs such as the East Coast Labor Day Cup and the Bishop's School Tournament in Montreal.
There is also league play in the East Coast Elite League, and that league itself has four showcases. The players on the 2017-18 Shamrocks Academy team will be ready for whatever is thrown their way. After all, every player is set to return for the new season from last year. “We didn't have anyone graduating last year. We'll have five seniors this year, and we are mainly seniors and juniors,” said Sokolski.

There are five seniors who will move on with their academic and athletic careers, and Sokolski will be working hard this year to make sure they're going somewhere that is a step up. “My goals for these kids is that I want them to play in the best athletic and academic situation possible,” he added. “We definitely have kids who are capable of playing college hockey. There are a few who want to continue on and play a year or two of juniors. We'll make sure they understand the process, and know what they're getting into. I just don't want them going somewhere, playing three more years and aging out and not reaching their goals.”

The Shamrocks Academy and Pope John XXIII faculty have the same vision in mind. The first priority is to create well-educated, well-rounded individuals. “We push the academics first, and hockey second here. We had a team grade point average of 3.5. Ten of our players made the Headmaster's List, the highest honor at the school,” said Sokolski. “These kids will be the ones who are given spots on college rosters, and we want them to use school and hockey to get there.”


Shamrocks Academy Serves Up Opportunity

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
From left, Jon Sokolski, Boston Shamrocks U16 boys coach; GM Bob Rotondo; and Thomas Mahoney, principal of Pope John XIII High.
By Craig Forde

Balancing Academics and athletics, the Boston Shamrocks have laid the groundwork of success for their student-athletes to forge a solid path toward the next level. Despite a full season of top-tiered travel hockey, the Shamrocks Academy is a unique program that positions players to succeed on and off the ice and elevate their college prospects.

From the vision of Bob Rotondo emerged the women's U19 team, which competes in the Junior Women's Hockey League against some of the best competition in North America. Eight years of continued growth and recognition of that program have opened the doors to a boys program at the U16 Tier 1 AAA national level over the past year, making the Shamrocks family more comprehensive.

“We started in 2008. We saw the opportunity to get into the Junior Women's Hockey League and we had a very short period of time to pull it all together,” said Rotondo, the Shamrocks' general manager. “It laid the foundation for us to put it all together (for the boys), to figure the education piece.”

“It's making sure that these players are getting better from the first time they step on the ice with me, to the last time,” said U19 head coach Danielle Doherty. “The goal is to be a successful program, and win … but I see it as winning if a player of mine gets better from that first day to the last, and they go off to a school that they really want to go to.”

With a focus on treating their players as individuals, the Boston Shamrocks are capable of carving out a plan dedicated to each player. The women's U19 program provides residence options for out-of-town players, along with the ability to take courses online, at the rink, with a full-time dedicated academic advisor on hand during classroom hours.

The U16 boys team has partnered with Pope John XXIII High School in Everett, Mass., to provide prep school education and housing options as well. Locally based players are free to continue their educational path in their own communities, with the ability to still take advantage of the educational staffing that the Shamrocks have in place.

“The girls that I work most closely with are online students,” said Hannah Irving, the women's academic coordinator. “I'm at the rink with them every day while they're doing their schoolwork. … If they're going to remain students at their local high schools, we ask them to go and have a conversation with the principal and guidance counselor. I offer to be a part of this conversation. What we want the school to know ahead of time is that these players are involved on a hockey team with a really high level of play, which requires a lot of travel.”

“We have that unique piece where we can house kids in an environment where mom and dad are going to be comfortable. Our living situation is a huge advantage for our kids,” said Jon Sokolski, head coach of the U16 boys academy team. “They all live in the same dorm; it's 24-7 supervised. These are professional that do this for a living.”

Shamrocks players get ample opportunity to up their game on the ice as well, playing in anywhere from 65-80 games throughout the season, including top-level league play and world-class showcase tournaments that can net a player a look from numerous schools.

“What makes our program so special and unique is there's no separation between team and school,” said Sokolski. “For a lot of these kids, where they're from, they don't have these opportunities. To be able to give that kid the chance here, that's the most rewarding thing for me.”

“We've been there before and we just want to give back to these girls,” said Doherty. “We want to see them get better and be the best that they can be. It's an awesome thing.”

The Shamrocks — who also offer sled hockey and boys and girls youth teams — provide opportunities for players to showcase who they are as players and as people. It's also a chance for players from places like Florida and California to gain more exposure in a true hockey environment while putting parents at ease that their children will be in good hands, even thousands of miles away.

For the players, they are at the first real crossroads of their young lives, trying to figure out how to be able to play the game that they love while also succeeding in the classroom. “I really love helping these girls who are so passionate about a sport, and their families figure out how they can be successful in the classroom so they can achieve these goals on the ice,” said Irving.

“It's a family-oriented hockey team. We consider ourselves a family and we try to maintain that with the kids,” said Rotondo. “People are starting to recognize the brand. It's a quality brand.”

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For more information on the Shamrocks Academy girls program, contact Bob Rotondo at or call 781-838-0352.  For more information on the Shamrocks Academy boys program, contact Jon Sokolski at or call 617-962-5500.