Yesterday, I brought you a story about a couple who
have been attending hockey games in Johnstown for more than 50 years. They were
used to watching professional hockey, but they have made the transition to
junior hockey and have been impressed by the action and the Johnstown Tomahawks
Now, we will see how the Tomahawks presence in
Johnstown has affected a volunteer statistician, who jumped at the opportunity to
join the organization.
Ron Cecconi has been involved in sports his entire
He is heavily involved in baseball around Johnstown
and he was a statistician with the Johnstown Generals indoor football team
until their demise in 2011.
It was until he received a call asking him to be a
statistician for the upstart Johnstown Tomahawks.
Although he was new to being a hockey statistician,
Cecconi was not a stranger to the game.
Cecconi attended Johnstown Chiefs games often.
"I would actually go to about 10 games a year,"
Cecconi said. "In their closing season I had season tickets."
Despite being a Chiefs fan, Cecconi offered some criticism
of the way the Chiefs marketed themselves.
"They didn't seem to get out in the community
enough," Cecconi said. "There was not enough commercial time or advertising
When the Tomahawks announced they were bringing
hockey back to Johnstown, Cecconi said he was excited and thought the junior
hockey game could work in the Flood City.
"I didn't know much about junior hockey but I was
optimistic it would work," said Cecconi. "When they started talking about
prices and what everything would be like, it sold me. To get a call to come on
and become a statistician for them made me even more interested."
It has been a change in
culture for the city of Johnstown.
The city and Chiefs had a tumultuous relationship,
but the Tomahawks are rebuilt a connection with the city.
Cecconi had this to say on what the Tomahawks have
done to regain the cities love for the sport of ice hockey.
"They have been out in the community. The young men
visit hospitals and schools. The organization is class and they are advertising
themselves well. They are Facebook reaching out to people and they are doing a
There was plenty of fanfare from local businesses
when the Tomahawks arrived in town.
The Tomahawks are projected to generate money into
the economically depressed city and Cecconi think the Tomahawks are a great
thing for Johnstown.
"This is big," said Cecconi. "It gives you something
to do in the winter months. It is affordable. You can take your family and
watch good hockey. It helps local businesses and boosts the economy.
The on-ice performance has also been to Cecconi's
"The performance has been good," Cecconi said. "I
would like to see them bring in more local talent, but the performance has been
great and Jason Spence is the right guy for the job."
Cecconi also stated that the team embodies the blue-collar
spirit of Johnstown, which is what the fans look for in a hockey team.
Fans and volunteers have all been affected by the
Tomahawks presence in the community and the consensus from Cecconi is the
organization is doing this the right way.
Tomorrow I will post my conversation with the owners
of a local business that have welcomed the team and its players with open arms.