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President's Letter - 2017

By CB, 06/13/17, 1:30PM EDT


Greetings STHA Hockey Families,

At our Annual Meeting on May 31st, the Board of Directors voted to place me in the Southern Tier Hockey Association’s President's seat for the upcoming year, an opportunity I am both humbled and honored to take on behalf of our parents and the kids who make up our great association.

First off, I would like to sincerely thank the outgoing Board members for their service and commitment to the STHA over the years. 

Roy Wagner wore many different hats as an STHA Board Member and Coach over the years, and his efforts have been vital to the success of the STHA.  His experience will be missed.  Thank you, Roy.

Kirk Avery had served as President of the STHA over the past seven years, and has been involved as a Board Member and Coach for even longer.  Kirk’s dedication, commitment, and effort over the years cannot be overstated.  As President, his organization, attention to detail, and drive to ensure that our policies, procedures, and rules are followed consistently and fairly were been vital in the growth of the STHA over those years.  His efforts have helped to make the STHA a model association in the eyes of NYSAHA and USA Hockey, and I’m extremely happy that Kirk has agreed to continue to serve the Board this year in the role of Past-President (an advisory, non-voting role), to help ensure a seamless transition.  I look forward to working with him this year to gain as much knowledge from him as possible.

I would also like to welcome Vinnie Polacek, JR Reynolds, and Dan Smith to the Board of Directors.  All three have been involved with the STHA and other youth sports for many years, and their experience and fresh voices will be a welcome addition. 

As we move towards the 2017-2018 season, planning is already well underway.  Budgets will be presented and voted on by the Board at our upcoming meeting on June 19th, and registration for the season should be open by the end of June.  I would encourage everyone to register as early as possible, as it will help as we plan our House seasons and get our Travel rosters finalized and approved by USA Hockey.

The STHA Board of Directors are here for you and your kids.  With almost 600 members, we are under no misconception that everyone will agree with every decision we make.  Please know however, that we strive to never make a decision that isn’t well-thought out or thoroughly discussed, and to make the best decision in terms of the overall organization.  We are hockey parents just like you, and the men and women who volunteer for the Board give up a lot of their own time to ensure we can keep this great organization rolling along. 

I encourage all parents to get involved as much as you can.  Check out the Board of Directors page on the website, and see who is doing what for the STHA.  If you can help with Fundraising, or finding a House sponsor, or have ideas on how to make the Hockey Swap better, etc., please come to a meeting, reach out to the Board, or volunteer for a committee.  The more members we have involved, the stronger the STHA will be.  We know we have some challenges to overcome, and your comments and thoughts are encouraged and welcome as we work through them.

I will be starting my 9th season in the STHA this year.  From watching our players take their first unsteady steps on the ice to watching them take (or dish out) that first body check and keep on trucking, the time absolutely flies by.  And it does not stop.  Take some time this season and just enjoy every minute of watching your children play a game they love, whether this will be their first year, their final year, or somewhere in between. 

Summer will officially be here next week.  Enjoy the warmth, the sunshine (hopefully), and your families.  We can’t wait to see everyone around the rink this fall!

Chris Behonick


Southern Tier Hockey Association