I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for allowing me and my family to be a part of the Newton Youth Hockey family for the past seven years. NYH is a strong, vibrant organization with a core group of people who genuinely care about all of the kids in the program.
Youth hockey requires more sacrifice and dedication from families than any other youth sport. In my opinion, it is the best sport to teach kids about teamwork, sacrifice and putting the good of the team ahead of individual accomplishments. All great lessons for life. Hockey is actually more of a lifestyle than a kids sport and everyone deserves a pat on the back for the sacrifice made to participate in the best of all sports.
I encourage all of you to take on a greater role in the development of the organization by becoming a board member, team parent, assistant coach or just offering rides to some other kids on your team. It is amazing how much your own life is enriched by becoming more involved.
While our family is leaving Massachusetts, Newton, and NYH will always be a special part of our lives. We leave with some incredible memories and lifelong friends. There are a lot of people who I want to say thank you to, forgive me if I left your name off the list, I could not possibly list everyone individually.
Rob Hallion, without whom NYH would not exist. I have had the honor to work with Rob as both an administrator and a coach for many years. I consider him to be a great friend both to me and NYH.
Alex Cooper. Alex does more for the organization than anyone can possibly imagine. He is the glue that keeps the organization together and has been a great friend for many years.
Nick Tuozzolo. Nick has the unenviable position of being in charge of the travel program. It is a tough job and he never complains. Thanks Nick.
Thanks to Frank Perri, Pat Tarmey and Ann-Marie Carr for making my last season of coaching in Newton such a joy. Thanks to Molly, Neil, Phil and Joe for building the best girls program around.
Thanks to David Broughel for taking over the finances and for always being willing to pitch in whenever I asked.
Thank you to Bob Daley and his family for bringing me into NYH so many years ago. Thanks to Felix, Maria and Joe for their help and guidance in the early years.
Thanks to all of the parents of the teams I have been involved with. It has been a privilege.
A special thanks to all of the kids I have had the pleasure to coach throughout the years. I can assure all of you that I had as much fun as you did. Maybe even more. I hope you all learned a little bit about hockey and teamwork. Remember to always Work Hard, Play Smart and BACK CHECK !
So long, I will miss, but never forget all of you.
The town of Watertown just this Spring opened a beautiful outdoor Roller-Hockey rink in Casey Park (on Watertown St just before the intersection with California St).
As a long time avid Roller-Hockey player, I was inspired to contact various town officials here in Newton to see if we could build something similar. All of the people in city government with whom I have spoken so far have been very enthusiastic about the idea.
While the Parks and Recreation Department looks into cost and possible sites for a rink,they suggested that the best thing I could do as a private citizen would be to gather as much support as possible for this project.
So, if you or any other Newton residents you know, of any age think that having our own Roller-Hockey Rink would be great, please contact me with your name(s) and email.
And, please spread the word.
Surely, the more people we get on board, the more likely we can build this rink.
As you are all most likely aware, rosters for the 2014/15 season are now available. If you didn't get the Welcome to Your Team email, you can log into your NYH account and check the team assignment for your child(ren).
To get to the "final product," it took a great deal of effort from coaches, on ice assistants, evaluators, and people helping with check-in desks. The number of human hours to support this process was very substantial and all of this effort was volunteered time. The success of our program relies on this type of volunteerism and parental participation - THANK YOU to all of those that helped!
While there is no perfect nor flawless system in rostering teams, I want to explain to you the measures we applied for evaluating players and forming teams. I hope it will demystify the process and answer any questions you might have.
The rostering of teams was a balance of both qualitative and quantitative data. Just after the half-point of the season, we asked head coaches to rank the players on their team and to evaluate each player on a number of skills ranging from skating & stick handling to overall game effectiveness and so on. We also solicited general feedback on attendance, attitude, etc.
For the tryouts, we had anywhere from 4-6 NYH coaches serve in running drills or in evaluating. We also enlisted the help of Pro Ambitions to join our process and to offer a more objective, third party perspective in evaluating skills. Each player was evaluated on similar skills that we asked coaches to assess earlier in the season. Evaluators scored the skills of each player and also issued an overall score for each player.
For the overwhelming majority, the rankings offered by head coaches and the rankings from tryouts were congruent. For those instances where there rankings conflicted, I shared the findings with the current coach to glean further insights. Additionally, I shared with all head coaches how each of their players performed relative one another and to see if they had any additional feedback that could be helpful before finally rostering teams. Given the number of skaters we had to evaluate and roster, I hope you feel like many measures were taken to ensure that there was a fair process in place.
Ice hockey (in my very biased perspective) is the best sport out there. Just as we should not over-stress wins and losses with our children, keeping a positive attitude when it comes to rostering is also important. Regardless of where you child was rostered, I hope you will continue to encourage him or her to see the wonder in what some skates, a stick and a puck can offer us all.
My best wishes to you for an enjoyable summer. Hockey season starts in about 4 months!!!