Who We Are

I read with interest a letter to the editor from Mr. Clough of Aurora published in the Jan. 12 edition of the newspaper.

I am sorry Mr. Clough took such strong offense to the mistake of one of the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey coaches and that he felt motivated to write a lengthy letter. I know our volunteer coach would love to make this complex tiebreaker decision over again, just as many highly paid professional coaches, with perfect hindsight, would like to change many of their decisions.

We had hundreds of guests in town that weekend for the Ski Town Hockey Festival. From the calls and comments we have received, it is clear they had an excellent experience, and by their own accounts, are looking forward to returning next year.

Your readers deserve better than the incendiary comments of a disgruntled Denver hockey dad. As Mr. Clough took the time to denigrate not just our hockey program but our student-athletes and town as well, I felt it appropriate that I take this opportunity to tell you exactly who the members of Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey are.

We are 277 student-athletes pursuing a love of sport and our passion for hockey. Some of us get up at 5 a.m. for practice and others of us are on the ice until 10:30 p.m., but still, more than 50 percent of us in sixth grade or above made the honor roll last semester. We may not win all of our games but we are learning lessons of leadership, sacrifice, teamwork and self-control that can only be found in athletics.

We are 43 volunteer coaches who sacrifice our mornings, evenings and weekends to share our love of hockey and to teach some life lessons. Some of us don't even have children in the program and still we individually volunteer as many as 300 hours a season to Steamboat children. Are we professional coaches? No, but we take our responsibilities with all the seriousness of a Granato or a Shanahan.

We are hundreds of volunteers and sponsors, giving thousands of hours and dollars to make hockey in Steamboat affordable. The Ski Town Hockey Festival alone raised enough money to lower registration fees by more than $100 per player.

We are more than 500 parents driving on winter roads from one end of the state to the other. We are up before dawn to deliver our players to Howelsen Ice Arena. We shiver in frigid temperatures beside outdoor rinks in Kremmling and Oak Creek in support of our young Gretzkys and Forsbergs. We are policemen and construction workers, business owners and waitresses, schoolteachers and ski instructors. As you can see, we are Steamboat.

We are not perfect. We make mistakes. But we never turn our backs on the opportunity to make our hockey association better. Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey is a team made up of hundreds of your neighbors, striving to create a better community for all of our children. We openly welcome helpful and positive criticism.

In the future, if anyone sees the need to criticize our hockey family, we politely ask that it be done through established channels rather than the editorial pages.

Aaron R. Finch

President, Steamboat Springs

Youth Hockey Association

How Do We Get In?

Can anyone explain exactly what the rules of entry are to Steamboat's new music tent? Promotions have abounded for past and future concerts, yet the only show I know of that locals are allowed to buy their way into is Big Head Todd. What are the details for the Papa Roach concert set for Jan. 25? Tickets are not available to the general public, as was the case for all of the College Week bands. Why not?

There have been numerous radio advertisements for the Papa Roach show, but nothing but rumors as to how to get in. I have heard about contests and ski corporation employee giveaways, among other things. How fair is it to locals and/or visitors who want(ed)to see any of these shows?

Can anyone explain?

Amy Brignall

Steamboat Springs


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