Thanks for what you and your staff have done for both of our kids over the years. You guys have done a great job with the programs. I am sorry I couldn't give you guys a date for the clinic, my schedule became very hectic, maybe another time. Once again, THANKS.
- Michael Jordan
We have been a part of the Deerfield Young Warriors family for over six years. If you are looking for a positive, competitive and family oriented program this is for you. Both of our boys have loved playing for the Deerfield Young Warriors. They loved playing basketball in this environment because of the level of competition combined with the feeling of confidence and support that is put into this specific program. We really cannot say enough wonderful things and are sad to be too old to be a part of it any longer.
- Kelly Kustuch
As someone who was a 3-year starter on the varsity team, I can say that the Deerfield Young Warriors program really helped develop me as a player and as a teammate at a young age. It’s a great first taste of what being on a high school team is like, as you get to play with kids from all of the Deerfield schools together. Also, the traveling aspect when you go to tournaments, especially the annual overnight in Wisconsin is a great experience. The experienced coaching staff does an excellent job of developing the fundamental skills necessary for playing at a higher level. I’m extremely thankful for the experience that the Deerfield feeder program gave me and I hope it can continue to do the same for others.
- Brandon Lieb
I think feeder basketball provides a unique opportunity in that players from different middle schools who will ultimately go to the same high school have an opportunity to play together and begin creating chemistry on the court and developing personal bonds off the court. I've never heard of a successful team that doesn't credit part of the success to chemistry.
- Bryan Halpern (ex-GBN coach)
Couldn't imagine a better experience anywhere. Coach Lyons brought unity, chemistry, and a sense of community to a group of young men that i highly doubt could be repeated.
- Donald Sheck
I played with Deerfield Feeder from 6th grade-8th grade (2006-2009). I then played at Deerfield High School and then started my college career at Loyola Chicago for one year then transferred to Lake Forest College where I started for 3 years. I finished there with the second most career 3 pointer field goals made, most 3 point fields made in one game, most 3 point field goals made in a season and a few others. I start by saying that because I had a great experience in high school and college. And my career in basketball really started when I started with the Young Warriors That's where I fell in love with the game. I have a ton of memories from feeder from playing intense games in the inner city to staying up late with my friends in hotels to winning the Madison tournament. Me and my dad still talk about one of the games I had in the Madison tournament in 8th grade because it was one of the best games of my career. Playing with this program is really when I had the first thought that I wanted to really take basketball seriously and play it in college. It also helped my high school career and our Varsity team to win conference because of the chemistry our team had for 3 years in feeder. We became so close and by the time we were in high school, we all knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Nothing had to change in high school. And that would not have happened if we didn't all play in the Deerfield Feeder Program. We all developed as players and continued to get better. And that's a big part of having a successful program. Me and my friends all had great experiences with this program and still talk about the memories to this day.
- Eric Porter
The Domash family was in the Deerfield Young Warriors program with 3 boys for 9 years. The program turned out to be a tremendous learning experience for all 3 of our boys. The mentoring and lifelong lessons that our boys and their teammates learned will stay with the boys forever. The program was always run with a first class approach. My boys each had three different coaches throughout their time in the program, which helped them to learn different nuances of the game and obtain different and unique perspectives of the game from each coach. The basketball skills that were taught were tremendous and tailored to both the team and each individual player. The program was well organized and the top priority of the program was each player's well-being and the development of the team. The program taught the kids that there is no "I" in "team." John Lyons, the founder and President of the Deerfield Young Warriors, is passionate about the program and always treats the kids as if they were his own. He sincerely cares about each kid in the program and makes sure that every player in the program develops both on and off the court. It is truly a first class organization and I would recommend the program to any family who has a passion about the game of basketball and is interested in developing their son's basketball and personal skills.
- Aaron & Marlene Domash
The Maki family was fortunate enough to have two sons, James and Michael, compete in the Deerfield Young Warrior program. The win records were superior. The level of Chicagoland and out-of-state tournament play arranged by Coach John Lyons was outstanding - no easy task to arrange by any means! Teams from MN, IA, WI, IN and MO attended tournaments. Every venue attended, John Lyons was greeted with open arms and great respect as were the coaches working for Coach Lyons. My sons learned the game, experienced what defense and teamwork meant as well as success. They also learned great sportsmanship and were humbled by the few loses they experienced. The Deerfield Young Warrior program, 20 years running, is without question, Deerfield's feeder program. Any effort to dilute Deerfield's talent is misdirected even if one thinks their son is the best. Michael and Juanita Jordon chose Young Warriors for Marcus as well as for Jeffrey . If diluting talent is done, the competitive level of the different teams will drop significantly. Finally, looking back the past few years where DHS went to the playoffs, a number of these players went through the Young Warrior program. Go to any DHS game where John Lyons is always in attendance and you will find him surrounded by Young Warriors, both young and old! Deb and I have the utmost respect for John Lyons, his coaching staff and their efforts to assure a positive experience for the players. GO DEERFIELD YOUNG WARRIORS!
- Jim & Deb Maki
I thought that the Young Warrior program helped me become a better player by getting me experience with my fellow classmates. I thought that it created good chemistry within our team that allowed us to be as successful as we have been in high school.
- James Lindquist
In my opinion, I saw that the boys were fond of and learned a lot from their coaches, as well as bonding and working together with their teammates, over the years. Some of our best basketball memories were with Young Warriors and their families, locally and at away games.
- Leslie Lindquist
I am writing this in total support of the Young Warrior Program under John Lyons. I wish Scott had started in the program sooner than his 8th grade year. The program was not only fun and instructive for Scott, but instrumental in helping to develop Scott into a Varsity basketball player. I also commend Coach Lyon personally as a person of trust and integrity who selflessly devotes endless hours to the program and the good of the kids. I hope that John continues to evolve this outstanding program over the coming years.
- George Fenton
Our older and younger sons have both played for Young Warriors. They each felt it was a great experience, as did we. The program is always top notch with excellent coaches. They were great with the kids and the kids learned a lot from them. In addition, we love the philosophy of the Young Warriors program -- emphasis on learning and development, setting up clear expectations about the kids' responsibilities as players, playing in communities that they otherwise would not have a chance to see. The overnight tournament is also always a great team bonding experience that creates lasting memories.
- Gayle & Paul Byck
I had 2 sons that went through the Young Warriors experience. It was a complete fantastic experience both on and off the court. The coaching was Outstanding across the board. Young Warriors has great leadership, lead by Coach John Lyons who has been heading this up for over 20 years. Recently, with other programs trying to claim they are a real " feeder team", which they are not, I'd highly recommend any Deerfield family to not fall for the sales pitch, and to ask around, do homework, and read these reviews on this page. Young Warriors, with Coach Lyons is the only true feeder team, not just by opinion, but in fact. It's the only place to go and trust your kids with. With all my travel experiences my family has been involved in, and with 3 sons who played 3 travel sports apiece, Young Warrior basketball was about the best run program you could wish for. It truly was an A++ experience, with A++ integrity, and A++ coaching. I can't feel any stronger about the positive experience my 2 oldest sons had. If you need anything from me Coach Lyons, my offer to volunteer is without an expiration date. Thank you for some great years with YW!
- Dan Shaltiel
I played in the Deerfield Feeder program for 3 years and all three were great experiences. Not only did our teams have a lot of success on the court, but the program really prepared us well for high school basketball. I thought the coaching was great along with the organization of the program. We played really good competition all three years and traveled to play a wide variety of teams. I have nothing but positive feedback for this program as I personally had a great experience and can safely vouch for my teammates in saying that they had a great experience as well. I want to thank the Deerfield Feeder program for the experience they gave me and for the opportunities for success that they presented.
- Michael Glink
I can speak for my whole family that John Lyons is an outstanding phenomenal guy and he runs a terrific program. He and his program help develop David and his peers into the players and young men we all came to love. The young warriors program wouldn't be the young warriors program with a different leadership.
- Michael & Holly Panter
Elliot loved feeder. He learned a ton about basketball and playing with the guys who he will play with in h.s. The players getting to know each others’ games was key. Overall, a great experience!
- Bruce Brockstein
We (my kids, Charlie and Herbie, and my wife and I) could not be stronger supporters and advocates for the Deerfield Young Warrior program. It is my understanding that others are considering having a competing Feeder program. If this were to occur, I believe it would be detrimental to the kids and Deerfield basketball in general. We have a small community and splitting up the players (or forcing them to make a decision) among two competing programs would not be beneficial. One Feeder program promotes camaraderie among the players, instills the Deerfield coaching philosophy and has the support of the high school program. I think that program should remain with John Lyons as long as he wants to run it. My kids have benefited greatly from the Feeder program on several different levels. Charlie along with the majority of the players on the Deerfield varsity teams from the past several years were the products of the Young Warriorr program. My kids in total spent five seasons in the Feeder program. From my opinion and observations, the coaching, the quality of play and the type of kids in the program, were all outstanding. The coaching has been top notch and the competition was at the highest levels. And most of the teams our kids played on were very successful on the court. That undoubtedly made them well prepared for the high school level. I was also thrilled that a “B” team was added, which gave Herbie exposure, enhanced competition, and solidified his love of the game. The program has not only taught our kids about being the best basketball players. The coaches and especially John have taught and inspired them to be outstanding people. Over the years I’ve personally witnessed (on several occasions) the ultimate testament to the success of the program. When John walks into a room, his past Feeder players gladly swarm to him in the most warm and affectionate way. They are not only glad to see him because he is such a friendly and affable person, he reminds them of the wonderful experiences they had from their years participating in the program. Some of his past players have even gone on to help coach the younger Feeder teams. There is no substitute for John’s high values, integrity and consistent leadership throughout the years. You won’t get that with other programs. On a personal level, I have known John for several years and worked closely with him for the past two seasons as Herbie’s team manager. John is passionate about the program and cares about the kids and wants them all to have the best experience possible. He takes it very personal if they don’t or if there is a complaint of any kind. Furthermore, as the kids know, he is a good person with the highest of values. He cares deeply for the kids, the integrity of the program and its legacy. He is the face of Deerfield Feeder basketball and I am proud that my kids were part of it and hope future kids and families can benefit from the program as my kids have.
- John Mark
It has come to our attention that there is talk of starting another feeder program for the Deerfield High School basketball program. We feel very strongly that there should only be one program in our small community. As parents of three sons who all played Young Warriors Basketball we need to express our support for John Lyons and to the program that he started eighteen years ago. John has devoted his life to this program and fought hard to promote and develop a feeder program for Deerfield High School. He has spent countless hours setting up games, looking for gym space, booking referees, putting together programs, stats, meetings etc., for the benefit of our boys in this community. This has all been on a volunteer basis and not for his profit which needs to be recognized and admired. Besides teaching the kids how to play basketball his program has helped develop friendships for boys from all the different schools in the Deerfield area. The program was built on First Class; promoting outstanding moral character on and off the court and most of all good sportsmanship. The boys have traveled all over to play against different types of teams and in doing so were able to see how others live outside of their safe community. Our Madison, Wisconsin trips were the highlight of our season, my boys still talk fondly about those trips and games that they were able to experience. We truly appreciate all of John's efforts and accomplishments. He should be commended and truly supported for all that he has done for this community.
- Joe & Colleen Rothing
I want to take a moment to express my support for the Young Warriors Basketball program and for Coach Lyons. I have known John for many years before my sons, Matt ('10 DHS grad) & Kevin (going into 7th grade) had the opportunity to play for the Feeder program. John is a what Deerfield is all about and is dedicated to the Young Warriors Program. I hope that a strong connection can continue with the high school and the Young Warriors.
- Dan Healy
The Young Warrior program, under the direction of Coach John Lyons was a fantastic experience. Coach Lyons always provided exceptional coaching, teaching and competition. Our 7th grade team was the first Deerfield team to win the Madison(Wisconsin) Tournament. That tournament featured a very high level of competition from several different states. To my knowledge, all of the parents and all of the players thought that this was/is a great program. And John Lyons is a class act from top to bottom. I would encourage any parent or player to contact former parents and players directly to learn why this has been the top program in our village for over 20 years.
- Steve Glint
EVERY player on that storied 2009-2010 Deerfield 25-win team played in this program. Their skills were developed through this program, in conjunction to any personal training. What you should be considering is how to better support this great program within the Deerfield system and not watering it down by allowing another program.
- Jeff Burgess
My son and my family enjoyed our association with the program. It helped my son to grow his skills and character regard basketball and life. I think two programs would hurt the overall experience at developing our kids for HS basketball.
- Mark Sternberg
Young Warriors was a critical supplement to Kyle's public school basketball experience, particularly because of the diversity of competition that YW scheduled. This was exceptionally important in Kyle's high school and college basketball success.
- Barry L. Nelson
For those of you contemplating which team to join, there should be no doubt that the Young Warriors Program is the one to join. I can tell you why in three words: John Lyons. Commitment. Josh had a great time playing and developing his skills through this program. From the coaching to the extended dedication of everyone involved in the program, we can't say enough about it. The fact that John stays in touch with the boys and their families years after "graduating" from the program speaks volumes about him and his dedication to the program. This program is the perfect launching pad for any young athlete looking to enhance and develop his basketball skills, learn and appreciate the value of teamwork and sportsmanship, and understand the true meaning of community. The Young Warriors Feeder program taught Josh many life skills that helped him advance to the next level of playing basketball in high school. He also learned how to work with different personalities and the effects of hard work and practice. All while making and solidifying friendships which he still enjoys today.
- Pam Schur
Young Warriors under John Lyon's leadership was an exceptional growing experience for our son and provided a springboard into high school (DHS) basketball success. The quality of coaches and the program was top notch and exposed us to high level competition that served notice that hard work and full effort would be required for success. We appreciate John's leadership, organization and experience in making Young Warriors a premier experience.
- Michael & Ann Marie McGee
Thank you so very much for giving Jake the opportunity to play for the Young Warriors. It truly has been an amazing experience. He has learned so much about hard work and discipline in these few short months. Coach Swingle and Coach Georgevich have been incredibly supportive and are excellent role models for the boys. The coaching is excellent and it is clear that their goal is for the players to improve, both individually and as a team. We are so grateful to you for maintaining this amazing program. It is obvious that your main goal is to do right by the kids, the families, and the community. Thanks again for all you do.
- Beth Kraemer
Our son, Patrick, was in the Young Warrior program for 7th and 8th grade. His comments are that the Young Warrior's coaching was great. There is good attention to fundamentals and the play complexity a wide range. Patrick is playing at DHS and the skills and techniques learned in Young Warriors are still much a part of his game. He has nothing but great things to say about his experience. From our perspective, things were well organized and not one of those "Over the Top" programs. Teams we played were well diversified from Chicago, suburbs and out of state. There was a real range of basketball styles our teams got a chance to play against and did well. We played against some good talent. Getting to the games and tournaments was a lot easier that we feared. The Lyons family has been at this for a long time. When we first met John we talked with the other families. We learned that John is one of those guys you hear about being dedicated to a program and is in it for boys. John heads a great program.
- Michael & Kathleen Burns
John Lyons led an extraordinary experience for our son while participating in the Deerfield feeder program.
- Bruce Glass
My son received the best basketball coaching of his youth through the Young Warriors program. In addition to this, he had life-changing experiences which went way beyond basketball. I find it hard to believe that any other organization could have done a better job for my son, his teammates and their families.
- Randi Glass
The Deerfield program has been going for 19 years. This is a credit to John Lyons for his endless efforts to make this program successful. To my knowledge this has been the only feeder program for Deerfield. As of the last month I have heard there is another program trying to pass as the Deerfield feeder program. Another attempt by someone else would only compromise the feeder program concept. The idea is to ready players to play at the High School level. By no means would other feeder programs play and schedule with a program that claims to be feeder. We would only schedule with a Deerfield feeder program that is headed by John Lyons.
- Don Aloisio (Director, Maine West feeder)
The Deerfield Young Warriors program from the inception has been characterized as being professionally run, coached, and organized for more than 18 years. I have known John Lyons for approx. 12 yrs. and he has a proven track record of developing young players that are fundamentally sound. When I took over as Feeder Director for Maine South H.S. I had asked John for advice on how to run a program that would not only teach the fundamentals of basketball, but also how to mold the players into respectful young men and teach them some life lessons along the way too. John was more than willing to help me in my quest and had helped me to have a succesful program. John does an excellent job in developing his coaching staff as well--and his staff does a great job with the players and they put a competitive team on the floor every time they play. Looking forward to playing them this year.
- John Crowl (Director, Maine South feeder)
I’ve known John going on 13 years now and can vouch for his integrity, sincerity, dedication and honesty in his approach to what he provides the Deerfield community as it pertains to boys feeder basketball. John and his coaching staff’s have always prepared their teams to play the best competition in the area and have had great success doing so. While we have not always liked the outcome of those games, it has always been competitive for both the players and the coaches and have always finished with a handshake! It is not just basketball they teach, but the life skills and lessons that can come out of these competitions.We have had to deal with many of the situations that your program is going thru currently and it is my hope that your community realizes the benefits that John and his staff brings to the table and that the community throws their support behind this group. Splintering off into different factions has never proven to be of much benefit to the players, especially when they hit the high school level. Libertyville High School’s support of both our girls and boys feeder programs have allowed us to bring great value to our parents and players by holding down fees while giving us great facilities and access to high school coaches. While these private companies do a good job of training and developing players during the off-seasons, we promote the idea of one designated feeder program per high school where these kids are not split up and are playing together during the designated feeder season. The different conferences we belong to mandate that there is one feeder program per high school district and are to play the teams within these programs. I personally would like to see us playing the Deerfield Young Warriors again under John’s direction.
- Roy Gahart (Director, Libertyville Junior Wildcats)