An Open Letter to the Players, Parents, Coaches and Fans of Section 1 Hockey
This is probably the hardest thing I have written in my entire life, but this will be the last bit of content ever published on this site. The governing body of our section* has decided that after 44 years of service to this league, they will be letting go of John Orlando as the league president. They have also decided that after 35 years of service, they will be letting go of Jim Tozzo as the league scheduler. After 38 years of service, they will be letting go of Stephan & George Valis as the assignors of minor officials in Westchester/Putnam/Dutchess. And After 26 years of service, they will be letting go of me as the assignor of minor officials in Rockland County. And with me goes this website.
*When I say governing body, I am really referring to one single, solitary person who unilaterally makes decisions to fit her own agenda, but when called to the carpet points to committees and says "it was them" even though they were not involved in the decision at all.
I would love to give each and every one of you a good explanation for why they are doing this. Every indication we have gotten from the coaches and ADs is that this league runs extremely smoothly – more so than any other sport in the section – and it is all due to the hard work and effort put forth by the five of us. We have also been told that the way hockey is run should be used as a model for the way all sports in section 1 should be run. Unfortunately though, it is easier to remove all the structure and organization from hockey to make it look like the other sports than it is to fix the others so they look like hockey, so that is what they have done. All this, regardless of how many people have expressed their displeasure with the decision.

I don't know what is going to become of the league. I don't have the utmost confidence in the governing body to do a top-flight job with it, but I hope to heck I am wrong. I would hate to see the league I have loved and been a part of for so long crash and burn. I don't know where you guys are going to get your schedules, standings, rosters, etc. for years to come, but I just can't bring myself to continue to do this when they have gone out of their way to destroy what we spent so much time building. Especially after they have told me they no longer want me around.

This league has been a part of my life longer than anything. From the time I started going to the Suffern games when my brother made the team in 1986, to when I started as a minor official in 1988 to when I took over as the assignor in 1999 to when I created this website in 2008. I am going to miss every part of it. Meeting all of you fans at the games, keeping everyone up-to-date on everything going on, providing information (and fuel) for countless hours of debate on the blog, and yes, even the 12-15 hours per week spent updating the site and the calls from coaches throughout February asking "What needs to happen for me to move up one seed in the standings?"

It has been a great ride, and I hope the governing body can provide you with the information you need to continue enjoying this sport and this league as you have for all these years. Thank you for the years of reading my ramblings both here and on the blog. I will miss you all.

Sincerely,

Mike Schoenbach
FORMER Assignor of Minor Officials
FORMER webmaster of section1hockey.com