The billeting concept is something of a hockey tradition, and is especially important at the junior level of hockey. It involves host families opening their homes to out-of-state players, and provides an opportunity for these young men to pursue the next step in their developing hockey careers. The billet program also allows individuals to complete high school educations, take college classes, and/or pursue part-time employment in the local community.
The Florida Eels feel that one of the components of success is to provide a comfortable living environment for each of our billet players. One of the most difficult things for the high-level hockey player is moving away from home. As a result, we strive to find homes that provide a positive family environment. To help alleviate such inherent anxieties, our players, in turn, are strongly encouraged to embrace the challenges of moving into a new household and become actively involved with the family that has so generously welcomed them into their home.
We value the importance of the billet families who open their homes to our players and appreciate the efforts made by the entire family in making our players' transition easier. Being a billet family can be a very rewarding experience. Strong bonds are often made between the player, his parents and the billet family, which frequently carry on well after the player has moved on to the next level.
The Florida Eels Junior Hockey Organization typically provides housing for its junior players through billet/host families. The host families provide housing and three meals a day while the boys are in town. We would like to thank these seasons’ host families for their support and dedication. Without quality host families, players can become subject to homesickness and other negatives that come with being away from home and not having a support system.
Speaking with this past season’s host families, we learned that not only did each family enjoy being apart of the organization; they loved getting to know the players and their families. Here are some quotes from actual host families and billets.
"We decided to become a Billet family to support the Eels Hockey program and our community. We looked forward to our children seeing the dedication and hard work these boys put in so they can achieve their goals. What we have found is these young men have become an irreplaceable part of our family. Our children adore them and we are lucky to have such upstanding role models for them to look up to. I am very proud of ''my boys'' and I know that we have formed lifelong relationships."- Laura Wright, Billet Mom to Vasili Malliaras, Colin Whitt, Michael Kohler and Victor Sharanov, 2nd Year Billet Mom
“Billeting with the Hotalings has been the best experience I could’ve had. I was blessed to be able to live with them the past 3 seasons. They took me in like I was one of their own. The Hotalings made being away from home much easier to deal with. They made me feel like I was apart of their family.” Kade Brannon- Eels Elite Player, 3rd Year
“The DeMeyere’s were a perfect fit. They were so accommodating and really made me feel like part of the family. I’ve never experienced anything like it playing on other junior teams before this year. I feel like I’ll have that bond for life.” 2nd Year Billet Bill Boberg- Eels Empire Captain, 2nd Year
If you are interested in becoming a billet family, please contact CLARE SCARPACI at 941-400-0712