To Jr. Blues Board Members, Staff, Volunteers, Billet Families, Players, Coaches, and Especially the Fans,
I moved to the State of Illinois from the East Coast in May 2000, and knew nothing of the Junior Hockey leagues and programs in the USA. My son a mere 7 years old at the time had already begun skating and wanted to learn how to play the great game of hockey. So began a life consumed by trips back and forth to the Nelson Center as well as many rinks in Upstate Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, and Michigan. Our love of the game grew, and so did he, now he is a proud member of the St. Louis University’s D2 Club team and has just completed his freshman season as a Billiken.
For me I dabbled a little at the rink with the microphone during the home youth hockey games, I found that parents, coaches, and players alike enjoyed understanding the calls, announcing them seemed a natural thing to do. I was asked to fill in to announce at a local track meet, and had more fun. Robert Morris College, now University, started a team in the area, and they requested my services, and thus my career as a hockey announcer was now going pretty steady. I remember running into the Jr. Blues announcer, Keith, and telling him that anytime he needed a sub to let me know, five years I called games for the Eagles.
It was the start of the sixth season for the Eagles when I was offered the honor of being the public address announcer for the Springfield Jr. Blues, something I relished beyond anyone’s imagination; Something that would prove to actually save my life that fateful evening of November 21, 2008. I reflect upon that night and think had I not been at the rink, I may not be writing this letter. I cannot thank enough, Tim Dunbar, Ken Sagins, Amanda Wilson, Beth Larson, Rik Stone, and Bob Gordon for coming to my aid that night.
Several changes have occurred over the years, and I am faced with the reality that it is time for me to hang up the microphone. Obligations at work have increased, obligations to my family have increased, and I can no longer make a commitment to the Jr. Blues organization that they required to maintain continuity each game day.
A recent development at work also which might make it impossible for me to be available during the 2012 playoff season. So it is with great sadness that I inform all of you that March 24, 2012 is going to be my last regular season game as the public address announcer for the Springfield Jr. Blues. Due to upcoming obligations at work it may also be my very last game as the PA announcer.
Thank You for all of the years of great hockey, great fun, and great family, I shall never forget the time I spent at the rink.