Kids are the important issue! : LUSENET : Hershey Junior Bears Hockey : One Thread

To the Hershey Junior Bears,

First of all I would like to say that this letter is being written by myself as a PARENT of a Panther, not as a repesentative of the Panther organization.

My son has played at Hershey with three different teams, one of them being the Quebec Team. He has enjoyed his playing time with the Bears. While we were at Hershey there was talk back then about going "AA" but to no avail.

Two years ago after a successful Junior B campain Dave Bauer and Ray Ferry Decided to start the Panther "AA" teams to try to help the area kids instead of sending them to Philadelphia or Washington. Dave and Ray care about the kids. The Panthers also have very little politics to deal with. The bottom line is that Hershey had it's chance and passed it up. The Panther's took the ball and went with it.

PARENTS - The truth is that if you want the best for your player and is talented and has the desire, "AA" is where they belong. Not TIER II. That is why my son left Hershey. He may not go past club hockey, but I will give him every chance to go as far as his talents allow. For those parents that have never seen a "AA" level game it is truly awsome. The speed and viciousness are unparralleled. You don't know for sure until you see your kid playing in their first game. Then you will know if they have what it takes to play at that level. If all the best kids in the area played "AA", the teams would be truly awsome.

As far as parents knowing their options, alot of parents don't. They don't know the truth about "AA" or the Atlantic District Festival Team or Midget or Junior options.

The Panther teams are just a few players away from being very competitive. It's not the winning that counts in player development, it is who they play against and the coaching they receive. The teams in the A.Y.H.L. are the best teams around. Why wouldn't parents want the best for their kids?

FACTS: There is a "AA" franchise within 35 miles of Hershey. For most families it is within 45 minutes of their home. The competition is better. Central Penn has the area franchise. Not much POLITICS to deal with.

Parents, give your kids a chance to play a higher level of hockey. Your kids can play on the Quebec team and still play "AA". Corey did. Doug will take the best kids for Quebec, no matter where they come from.


Dave Holroyd

-- Anonymous, February 14, 1999


Dave (and anyone else that replies here) - for future responses to this topic, please respond to the original post from Glenn or another in that topic, that will keep the topic all within a single message thread, and make it easier to read. You do this by clicking on "contribute an answer".

Also, let's be sure to keep this on an dignified level, and not use this message board to trash any persons or organization. If that happens, I have to start deleting messages, and then I'll be accused of trying to cover things up or not allowing people to have a voice!

There were some obvious shots at Hershey in that message, as far as being polital, but it wasn't too bad. I think I've heard that about every hockey organization, and all of them probably are political to some extent. This is a "human" flaw and humans are running every organization. I've heard that same complaint from many people who have come back here from area AA teams! People whose kids don't make whatever team generally use the "political" thing as the reason, it happens everywhere and it's human nature. When their kid makes a team, there are "no politics" in that organization. I've been involved in evaluations here at Hershey for three years and have seen the selection process at Mites through Peewee. There was absolutely no backroom huddling to insert the political factors. I have seen where two players had very close numeric scores or votes, where the kid who has been in Hershey already was chosen over someone coming from an outside organization, all other factors being equal. Central Penn is basically taking all comers since they started, so they aren't "political", but you can bet if they grow and have to start making cuts, there will be a lot of people running around calling them "political"!

I think Dave and Ray care about the kids, and their intentions were honorable when they started the program. As I said, we expected the best kids to go there and leave us with the rest, with competitive Tier II teams. But for whatever reason, kids have not gone there, or worse for them, gone there and left for Hershey or Jr. Flyers or other organizations. Again, it's not my business so I don't know why.

I know one thing, it's not an easy drive down 283, particulaly during the week. You're talking at least 45 mins each way, plus being at the rink 1/2 hour before and after practice, so that's almost 4 hours tied up on a school night or half a day shot on the weekend for a home game. I think close to an hour away is far enough to establish another AA organization in youth hockey, for just that reason. There is no "area franchise" for youth teams, that only applies to the junior franchises. We're going to give the folks who choose to play here a better level of competition, AA or independent Select, since it is clear they prefer to stay in our organization. If we have the total package for AA - stability, coaching, managers, and teams full of players, why shouldn't we go for it? I don't know that CP is "a few players away" given their team records. I'm not saying that to disrespect them, but to highlight our point - families are choosing to stay here so we have to do something. We certainly can't, or won't, throw them out! Most of them have seen AA teams, we play them several times every year, and we see their games when we're places like IceLine. There are a lot of factors in the parents' choices. Coaching, the kids' experience, etc. They don't want their kid on a team that wins every game, or on a team that loses every game either. Both are harmful, but given the choice we know what most people will choose. They know at the end of the season, at Districts, Regionals, and now even Nationals, the kids will have plenty of excitement, challenges, memories, and some exposure.

So in closing, this is not a Hershey vs Central Penn thing, we both have problems that we're trying to solve. We're going to talk, from what I understand, and we'll each do what is best for us (meaning the whole organization, players, parents, coaches) like anyone else would. Doug is a good guy, and he's working on it from a number of angles. There are others that want in also, such as Snapple Express in NY and Reston, and are good enough to compete at AA. So perhaps there's the option of splitting the AYHL into a Philly/NJ division or league and another from Hershey to DC, with CP and us. Who knows, just throwing ideas out there!

Bill Hines

-- Anonymous, February 14, 1999

February 16, 1999 To: Bill Hines, Hershey Youth Hockey (Junior Bears) From: Barry Fell I will replace this content later. I am out of time on my lunch hour and can't read it all or reply right now. I took it off-line temporarily because I saw some legal stuff and I don't want to get in the middle of that. Please bear with me until tonight until I can replace this and respond. I wanted a meaningful discussion about how we can make AA work, but it seems we're getting into a lot of accusations about things in the past. I would hate to take this message board down, but if there are going to be legal accusations (false ones at that!) it will have to happen. Bill Hines

-- Anonymous, February 16, 1999

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