polo flip flops for women Weaver leaves icing on local hockey legacy
Dave Weaver arrived in Altoona 16 years ago to become the news director at WRTA Radio.
really thought when I moved here I be here two three years in the radio business and then try to move up to a bigger (radio) market, he was saying the other day before Tuesday night sendoff party at Galactic Ice.
When a director of hockey position in Bozeman, Montana became available earlier this year, Weaver felt the time was right for him personally he and his wife, Jill, have a 9 year old daughter, Natalie, along with two stepsons, Sam and Charlie and professionally to take it.
But not before all of his heart strings were yanked and hard.
been an incredibly difficult decision, he said. loved my time here. I loved the job and the area. I could not have asked for more out of this period of my life. But with Sam and Charlie graduating and moving on to their own thing, we had a window of opportunity. was born in Minnesota and lived there until he was 6 before moving to Kennett Square, near Philadelphia.
outdoorsy, and when a place like Bozeman called, it was hard not to take it, he said. felt the time was right, and the opportunity was too good to pass up. I incredibly sad to leave this area, but I also very excited for this new opportunity. 40, leaves behind massive shoes to fill.
He was the centerpiece of a fledgling program that mushroomed from a local rink that began some youth and adult leagues and public skates to one of the best small town hockey operations in Pennsylvania.
Through the help of a generous and organized hockey community, Galactic Ice became home to nearly 20 travel teams (Mid State Mustangs and Altoona Trackers) three of which have won national championships while also hosting Penn State Altoona, several high school teams as well as the youth and adult programs.
Weaver has touched the lives of hundreds of aspiring hockey players and their families.
really was the founder and cornerstone of the hockey program in Altoona, said Philip Devorris, whose father, Don, is the major shareholder and chairman of Galactic Ice, and whose son, Max, parlayed the experience into a spot on the roster at New York University this fall.
coordinated and brought in so many players and coaches to the area and taught a lot of kids character and how to work together as a team and the fact that he did it in a little town in Altoona, out of nowhere, is mind boggling. It impossible to replace someone like Dave. addition to Devorris, Weaver worked alongside the likes of Ken Koronowski, one of the original driving forces behind local hockey, and longtime local physician and coach John Reinhardt.
Reinhardt walks into the rink regularly, looks at the championship banners, and must pinch himself.
(Weaver) came into a community that never had an ice rink before, and within a decade, we were competing for and winning national championships, Reinhardt said. unbelievable what he accomplished an unbelievable legacy for one sheet of ice. You not only have to be competent but a magnet for the kids and a secretary to the parents, and he been able to juggle all those factors to make Altoona the hottest rink, for our size, in the state. It (departure) is going to be a huge loss. he does half as well where he going as he did here, he be a success, Koronowski said.
Koronowski founded the Altoona Area Youth Hockey Association and the Altoona Trackers, but Weaver raised the profile with the Mid State Mustangs, which won the USA Hockey Tier II national title in 2011 (under 16 team), 2014 and (both under 18).
legacy he leaves is one of work ethic and one of kids he does everything for the kids, Koronowski, whose sons Bryan and Kevin were outstanding local players, said. got so many contacts. People actually call him now. They want their kids to play for him. Usually it the other way around. kids used Galactic Ice as a springboard to high school and collegiate experience, none more so than Weaver stepson Sam Lafferty, who was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth round of the 2014 draft and now enters his sophomore year in Brown University program.
Weaver called Lafferty success highlight, but deflects credit.
been really fortunate that we haven had a big turnover with coaches quality people and hockey people who have stayed in it long after their kids have been involved, he said, pointing to the likes of Reinhardt and the Barbosa brothers, Glen and Garrett, who coached the under 16 national championship team.
very difficult for me to walk away from a program that, with the help of a lot of people, we started and had so much success, he said.
In addition to the coaches, Weaver will miss Galactic ownership group of Devorris, Ralph Albarano and Larry Robbins along with colleagues Hal Badorrek and Sue Koronowski, Galactic fixtures.
worked for some of the best people I ever met, he said. turned the rink over to me. I had zero rink experience. I had coached, but I had never managed people or a facility. They trusted me to do the best job I could, and without hovering over me, they gave me great support. I appreciate so much that they allowed me to learn and grow and make mistakes and still support me. A decade and a half later, he move to the next chapter of his life very grateful for his time in Altoona and presiding over a new arena in Montana that will seat 2,000.
entire adult life has been in this area, he said. been a wonderful place to live and raise kids and a great job on top of that. he pulls away and heads west, Dave Weaver can look in his rear view mirror and take satisfaction in his extraordinary contribution toward Altoona making its mark in hockey.