University of Pittsburgh Johnstown Junior – Accounting and Marketing
Tomahawks Account Executive
Section 17 Row M Seats 6 and 7 was where my dad and his dad could be found on any Friday and Saturday night when the Johnstown Jets occupied the War Memorial Arena. After the Johnstown Chiefs hit the hockey spotlight with their first full season in 1989-1990, my dad added an extra seat when my older brother Anthony was born. His plan to incorporate hockey into my brother’s lifestyles and mine worked. For as long as we can remember, we were always attending games from September through March. From watching the local hockey heroes on the weekends to watching our dad play in adult leagues, hockey has always been a staple in my family.
Going to hockey games with my family are some of my favorite memories growing up. We spent every New Year’s Eve attending games at the rink up until the Chiefs left. When the War Memorial got rid of the old wooden red seats, they offered them to be purchased by the public. So, of course, my dad had to buy his seats. Even after my grandfather passed away, seat 6 still had a season ticket purchased for it. When the Chiefs left, it affected Johnstown, and my dad. It was a long two years without cheering for a hometown team.
When word got out that there would be a new team in town, Johnstown’s overall atmosphere changed. “Hockey Is Back” was plastered all across town. The Front Office Staff made it clear that the team was here to stay. Some were eager and some were leery as to how things would play out for this new junior team. Opening Night was a huge success. It was great seeing the rink packed again, but it was even better to see my dad’s excitement and passion for the sport be rekindled.
I cannot think of one defining moment as to when I fell in love with the sport. I just know that I fell in love with the great game because of my grandfather and dad. It does not matter how well known the team is, how many the rink can hold, or even how great of a record the team has. It is all about enjoying the game and creating an experience and memories that you will never forget. Wins, losses, sellout crowds. It is all part of the experience. Being hired to work for the team this summer has been such a blessing. Not only have I been able to do what I love, but I have also been able to add to the experience and to create more memories. So, for me it is not a defining moment, but rather the overall experience I have had with the sport as to why I fell in love with it.