The Whyte Stuff: A tribute to all of our hockey volunteers everywhere
I was recently shown a video called “So God Made A Hockey Mom” and it really moved me.
All I could think about was the countless hours that my mom was there for me in all my hockey highs and lows, how she cheered louder than almost any other parent, and was always positive towards both teams.
I can vividly remember my mom, along with all of the other moms on our team, in the stands singing hockey songs they wrote about our team, and rooting us on like it was the Stanley Cup Finals, how all of their lives were so engrossed in their children, and they poured their heart and soul into supporting them the best they could.
This then brought me to think about all of the parents I’ve been involved with over the past 17 years as a hockey director, and how in this aspect, very little has changed. It’s staggering to see the amount of dedication and time hockey parents donate to this sport.
The people that volunteer their time and effort here in Arizona is nothing less than awesome. I sit on the State Board, and witness first hand on a monthly basis so many people doing their part in making hockey the best sport around. Most are representing their own association, which is commendable. However, there are a number of them that show up on a regular basis and have no other tie to the sport other than their love and passion. These few truly deserve some heartfelt thanks from everyone that is involved in this state.
This also brings me to my own program. Here at DYHA, we have some of the most amazing people on our Board of Directors, and as team managers. They rarely are given any credit for so much that they do, but that isn’t the reason why they are there. They believe in the program and the culture, and they want to be a part of building a fun and safe environment for their children as well as all others.
When I first came to DYHA, I did so because of a very good friend and former teammate of mine, John Kosobud. His brother-in-law, Sean Kramer, was on the board during a time where the future of this association was truly in peril’s way. Mr. Kramer was a catalyst in turning things around, and worked countless hours to get DYHA back on track. And not once did he ever ask for anything in return.
As he stepped away, we had another leader fill in that continued rebuilding and rebranding to get where we are today. Sherri Koshiol is another one of those people that does not look for credit, but instead looks to just get the task done. She has done this here for years and because of people like her, we are extremely grateful.
There are quite a few people, past and present, that have served on the DYHA Board that merit a great deal of gratitude, not only from past families, but from those today because if not for them, who knows where we would be now?
Lastly, I want to mention our team managers. Besides everything else that they have going on in their lives, they perform amazingly when it comes to organizing, scheduling, budgeting, fundraising, communicating, coordinating, mending, consoling and cheering. They are the liaisons between the families and the coaching staff, and they are the glue that keeps the hockey team a family.
Please do your part in keeping youth hockey on a positive path. The next time you see one of your board members, and definitely your team manager, give them a huge “thank you.” They deserve that more than most even realize.
And watch the video about hockey moms. If you don’t shed a tear, you don’t have a pulse!
Sean Whyte is the director of hockey operations and coach-in-chief at DYHA.