Another Support for Mr. Kolich

1/26/1999 from Playcoach1@aol.com

Editor:

I have heard so much of this dispute regarding your son and Mr. Kolich. I am
sick of it! So are the majority of the parents in the stands at soccer games.
This is not a discrimination issue. At most this is a coaching decision (good
or bad I don't even care to discuss) followed by a sour grapes Dad who is
abusing his power as the editor of this web-site to make what could have been
a simple solution a public spectacle. Stop this dispute now before the
damages to the program and your son are irreparable. I know Ken Kolich and he
is a dedicated and talented coach. These qualities are time tested and
accepted. I know your son and he is a very talented soccer player. I do not
know of his dedication to his team (mates) other than what has been posted.
Am I missing something here? I will review the postings to refresh my (and
maybe even those involved) memory. This is a soccer, recreation issue. The
program was originated many years ago for the benefit and growth (physical,
emotional and mental) of our children. Ken Kolich (regardless of how he got
the position) took on the task of organizing and (re)building a program and
the results are unprecedented. Of the thousands of lives that the soccer
program has influenced, 95 % of them are better athletes and more importantly
better people for it. The program builds fairness, competition, integrity and
respect (self and towards others) for those involved and those who have
graduated. The bottom line is it is successful.

Player-Coach dispute:
"In mid December 1998 Hooman was invited to play on the team by the new
Coach Mr. DePinto. Hooman accepted the offer"
--OK...if there was a lack of communication between coordinator and coach, an
apology should have been made to the family of Hooman and the reasons
articulated as to why he was ineligible. If there was no lack of
communication than Mr. DePinto overstepped his boundaries and whether or not
he agreed with Mr. Kolich, he should have abided by his decision at the time.

"Mr. DePinto questioned Mr. Kolich about this decision, but in response
he also was threatened to be replaced or forced to quit."
--Hard to believe but none-the-less, if the coordinator had justification,
then again Mr. Kolich's decision should have been respected and if his reasons
were invalid, the coaches and/or board should have convened to settle it at
this point.

"Mr. Kolich says because Hooman quitted my team two times in the past, he
let the team down, and we need players who are committed to the team."
--Sound coaching...accepting him just because he is talented is showing a
complete lack of fairness and thereby challenging the integrity of the league
in it's entirety.

"Hooman says he doesn't like me, he yells at me, I don't know why?"
--We as coaches tend to expect more from those who have been in the system for
a while. The same way that we expect more from our teenagers than toddlers.
If Hooman was "yelled at" it was probably more of a case of him being asked to
raise the proverbial bar of life and live up to the expectations of a leader
for the team etc. Most kids on a competitive traveling team are yelled to
(not at). It lies in their individual abilities to realize that it is part of
the growth and not a personal attack. I have seen (and heard) enough about
Coach Ken to know that his source of motivation stems from putting the entire
plan together with the knowledge that after the yelling, hard work and the
discipline, comes the reward of a battle hard fought and frequently it is
combined with victories for the children. At last, the light at the end of
the tunnel...the faces of the kids reflect the accomplishment when they beat a
team that was better than them the year before. This is where coaching comes
into play. Gino DePinto is an excellent coach with credentials to match. He
treats his high schoolers differently then his travelers and his travelers
differently than his rec. teams. It is all age and maturity relative. He too
yells at our boys. Remember that coaching styles differ. If there is a
conflict between the way Mr. Kolich coaches and the way that Hooman likes to
be coached...it should have been addressed long ago and a request could have
been sent into the rec. department to keep them apart and if possible it
should have honored. This is the right you have as a parent. If that option
is not available you also have the right to keep your child out of the
program. Problem coaches always come to the surface and they simply do not
last.

Hamzeh's position...:
"Rec. dept. has no right to discriminate..."
--I would think that the league and coaches have a liability to protect the
other kids playing too. If there is swearing and outlandish behavior by one
child, the others should be protected from that as well. If a coach could not
control the behavior of a player and my child was within earshot or sight of
same I should think that the coach would be liable for that...along with the
offending child and his parent(s). We trust these coaches with our kids and
would certainly think less of them if they did not address a disruption in a
timely and strict manner. Freedom to act or speak does not need to be at the
expense of other children.

Cahill and Giordano Letter:
"He (Mr. Kolich)not only teaches the children the skills necessary to produce
competitive teams year after year, he also stresses the importance of
sportsmanship and team playing"
--As every coach should.

"He has a dedicated coaching staff made up of volunteers and holds soccer
meetings several times a year to discuss the happenings, questions and
concerns of all involved. "
--I know Mr. Finelli, Mr. DePinto, Mr. Maak, Mr. Ventura, Mr. Kolich, Mr.
Drywa, Mr. Tulp and Mr. Cirilla. They are great people and here for the
betterment of our children's growth. They may not even agree with each
other's coaching styles but the common denominator is the benefits to all of
the kids. I applaud their commitment and their results. Problems should be
brought up at meetings...and kept (and resolved) out of the public eye. It is
just not necessary.

"in the event of a forfeit due to lack of players, Rutherford is required to
pay a penalty fee to the traveling program"
--That makes sense...there are officials and a variety of costs involved. Not
to mention the disappointment of the others who have worked so hard in
practice who want to compete. I'd rather lose a well played game than accept
a win by forfeit.

"Mr. Hamzeh's son cursed not only at Mr. Kolich but also to another adult on
two occasions"
--This should never be tolerated...nor should a coach ever curse at a player.
Accountability.

"What are his parents teaching him by dragging a volunteer through unnecessary
torment?
--Not the issue...the behavior is uncalled for.

"He (Mr. DePinto) was aware of the circumstances this child was not put on the
team and chose to ignore them"
--If this is true...it should never have happened. This is not Hooman's fault
but a league problem.

"why wasn't he (Hooman) at the tryout like all the other children?"
--This is another issue. If he did not try out then he should not play.

"why wasn't Mr. Hamzeh at any of the traveling games or practices supporting
his son and the team?"
--Not the issue.

" If Mr. Hamzeh feels Mr. Kolich has been doing such a lousy job, why isn't he
volunteering to coach his son or other children? "
--He might not have the time (although it seems like he has a lot) or the
coaching skills...kudos to him for recognizing his limitations.

McAuley letter:
" At the beginning of each season, there are well-
publicized evaluations for the privilege of playing on a traveling team.
Where was this young man during these evaluations? "
--Hooman was not at the tryouts? Neither was my child and we had a very
difficult time deciding what to do. My son had an invitation to be somewhere
else and we spoke of the consequence of him not attending the tryout. After
much thought, he went on his trip and as result understood that he was unable
to play. Not a popular decision as far as I am concerned but none-the-less,
the rules were clear and he made a choice. But, if we are adding people at
this point...

Hooman's Letter:
"During this conversation, I asked Mr. DePinto a couple of my own
questions, which included the following key question; don't I have to go
to a tryout of some sort to be on this traveling team? Mr. DePinto
replied this; there has been a tryout, but I needed some extra people..."
--Your son was right...that was a key question...maybe there is still time to
add players for this season. Or maybe a key question is why did they call
your son and not mine? Discrimination? Poor coaches judgment? Lack of
communication? NO, a rule is a rule...no tryouts...no playing...I told my
son. Not every rule has to be written and signed off...some are expected and
common. After all, my best coaches in school were the toughest...I hated them
for pushing me...until I saw whole picture. I have one more for you; I did
not even like my parents that much during my adolescent years...until I
matured and realized how much I loved them. Sometimes the people who are
hardest on us want what is best for us. When we realize that it was all for
"us" and not for "them" we have grown. Coachability is perhaps a child's best
asset. Those who hate being told what to do never seem to realize their
fullest potential.

"Even if I was aware of it," (that the rec. dept. could pay a monetary penalty
if he did not show up) "I have a right to choose what I wish to do with my
time."
--No need to comment here...the attitude speaks for itself.

"I never signed any contract that included information of me having to go to
every single game and practice..."
--This is recreational...not a professional sport that you need to feel that
unless a contract is signed you are unaccountable. Again it is common and it
is courteous.

"When I first joined the traveling team, I was not happy on the way
things were going because of the coaches and a few fellow players. I
quit the team not because I am a quitter, but because I decided to get
out of this before I really committed my self"
--This is worth reading again.

"When I first joined the traveling team, I was not happy on the way
things were going because of the coaches and a few fellow players. I
quit the team not because I am a quitter, but because I decided to get
out of this before I really committed my self"
--No comment needed.

"A couple of days after I quit the team, Mr. Kolich came to my house and had a
talk with my mother and me. He eventually persuaded me to play"
--He believed in you!

" Another reason why I went to my recreational hockey game over my
traveling soccer game is because truthfully, our team was awful. I don't
mean to brag or anything, but I thought myself as the best player on the
team and I scored all our goals in the, first 5 games of the season and
I'm not even exaggerating on that."
--They depended on you!

" I wasn't treated with much respect from Mr. Kolich in my opinion. Even
though he yelled at everyone, "
--Again, everyone has different coaching styles. I am happy to see though
that you do not look at this as discrimination but equality in your "everyone"
comment. Good for him, If he did not like you, he would have been happy that
you quit. He is not discriminatory...he went the extra step to get you back
and help you develop.

 

"I told him that one of the reasons that I did not wish to play on his
team was because my hockey games would interfere with my soccer games.
As you can see, I have my reasons for picking my recreational hockey
game over my traveling soccer game."
--Yes, you made them perfectly clear--your team was awful. If you had told
him that you did not like his coaching style and that you were not having any
fun, I am confident that there could have been an early resolution.

Let Hooman Play:
"Not every coach can get along with every player. Sometimes there are
conflicts. If there was such a conflict between Hooman and coach Kolich
then that is where the difference should end. If there is another coach
willing to take a chance on this player then he should be allowed to play.
After
all, is the recreation department"
--Bravo...unless the requirements are that you must attend the tryouts. The
other issue of his cursing could have been met with a letter of reprimand from
the League and should have been forward to Hooman's parent(s). It is the
Leagues responsibility to protect the others from this. No rules need to be
signed and read for this to be understood by the prudent parent...it is common
knowledge. But if he agrees to discontinue that behavior...he should play.

I'm for Hooman:
"Hooman should not be denied his right to play soccer because he quit
during the fall season."
--I agree whole-heartedly. However if he did not bother to tryout (for the
next...indoor soccer season) that is another issue. Next year he should try
out or we will have a bigger problem trying to explain why he can play without
a tryout and others can not.

New meeting planned for 1/19/99
"During this conversation Mr. Klunk added that some rules have been
prepared for in-door soccer. He also commented that "this Internet thing
is getting out of hand, it even isn't a borough thing".
--I do not agree that adding rules and regulations in the middle of a season
is the answer to this dispute!

We like to hear from you
1/14/99
"We would like to hear from all coaches specially Mr. DePinto, Mr.
Finelli and Mr. Kolich and all players and from Rutherford Recreation
Department. What is your position? Rutherford News is the free voice of
Rutherford People. We will publish any concern or question by Rutherford
residents."
--Are you encouraging what they just asked you to discourage? But since you
asked...you have my response. But like a coach, as an editor, you have
responsibilities, which govern what goes on the net and what does not. With
responsibility comes accountability. If there was a coaching mistake, fine,
address it and rectify it and bring it to an expeditious closure. If it was a
mistake that Hooman did not go to tryouts, fine...work it out.

I am on Mr. Kolich's side
I am a seventh grade student at Pierrepont School.I know Hooman very
well as well as Mr.Kolich.I truly have to say that I am on Mr.Kolich's
side.Mr.Kolich
discovered my talent in soccer..." "Mr.Kolich yells when he has
to.He doesn't do it for punishment, but for a good cause.HE does it so we can
learn and take our mistakes seriously so we can improve them and hopefully
develop confidence in our weak areas.Mr.Kolich treats every player on his team
equally."
--As every coach should...treat everyone equally.

Details of soccer dispute, 1/19/99
"Mohammad: Do you want me to publish it on the net?
Mike: No, I think it is better if we distribute it."
--Yet...you published them. Please do not lose sight of the ball Mr. Hamzeh.

"Bernadette: I wanted to add that these types of problems do not have to
go on the Internet? Internet makes others involved and many of the
people read only one side of story and may reach to wrong conclusions.
We can discuss and resolve problems without taking it out to public.
Mohammad: When this problem started, first I talked to Mr. Kolich alone,
Then I talked to Mr. Klunk, and then we had a meeting all three of us,
but I got no result? And In my opinion if we are getting somewhere
today, it is because of Internet."
--Bernadette is right...you are getting mostly opinions...even mine. This is
not good for your cause. Looking at the whole picture, it is just not worth
winning a battle and losing the war. It is not in the best interest of Hooman
or the Rec. program. Resolve this simple issue and stop the bitterness.

What happened after the meeting?
"I took a quick look at the regulation sheet and I was thinking! Who made
these?"
--Does it matter who made them? If you do not like the rules...you may either
exercise your right to keep your child from playing or re-write the rules or
forward them to the appropriate authority and request that they are modified.

"Did they consult all coaches and players about these rules?"
--What if the answer was yes...again, refer to above.

"It says that coaches are appointed by president of the league, but it
doesn's say that where does president of the League come from."
--I have never investigated where the president of a league came from. If
there is a problem, get involved and become a member of the board. If there
is no board then maybe they should create one. I would love to be included.

"I am hereby suggesting to distribute it only as an initial draft of future
regulations and let others give us some input to these regulations too."
--Great proposal...and please do not impose them mid-season. What a nightmare
if we lost kids and the rec. dept. had to refund all of those fees.

Regulations for Traveling teams???
"Editors remark: Following is a copy of Traveling Teams Regulation
Prepared and approved by Borough attorney Mr. Mike Donovan, Councilwoman
Ms. Bernadette P. McPherson, Joe Klunk and Ken Kolich. The word traveling is
spelled wrong by the above four who prepared and approved this regulations and
is not the editor's mistake!"
--Ouch. Sir, please do not grade my grammar or spelling. (Nor will I yours)
But I do want to point out that travelling...or traveling...are both accepted
in the dictionary. Sometimes we waste so much time pointing out others
mistakes that we lose focus of the issue.

The soccer rules and regulations are a disgrace
"The soccer rules and regulations are a disgrace made up to benefit only the
"President" of the league..."
--I also do not agree with all of the rules. However, I recognize that if
there was a board and yearly elections, your vote (and mine) would count and
once the president is elected...and the rules are approved...they stand.

Letter of Borough Attorney to Hooman
"you have been extended an offer to join the program"
--Their choice.

"It appears that there were misunderstandings on both sides and inter-personal
communication could have been better between the involved parties so as to
avoid the resulting hurt feelings"
--Smartest thing written to date.

"Editor's Comment: This was the first page of the letter and as you see the
sentence is not completed..."
--Again with the spelling/Grammar check...they are trying to work with you.
Let it (your mistake pointing) go.

It is not over yet! Kolich wants Hooman for his team
"I told him Hooman does not want to play in your team, I don't like your
behavior and he has already been selected for the other team and he wants to
play in other team.
Kolich answered we can only give Hooman chance to play in my team."
--Based on what you have posted...I do not think he should play at all.
However if they decided to give him another chance...and now Coach Kolich
knows that Hooman does not want to play for him because of personal
reasons...then he should be allowed to play for Mr. DePinto and Mr. Finelli.
Because in my opinion, no matter what happens from this point on, if he plays
for Mr. Kolich...you will never be happy and we'll be reading about this
forever.

"Why is he (Coach Kolich) causing this much trouble?"
--Maybe he is wrong with his decision...but it does sound like the pot calling
the kettle black.
"Can we find something in his past or Mr. Klunks past to explain this
behavior?"
--This is the silliest thing I have read so far. Do we need to check into
your credentials? Check your parenting skills...degrees in psychology?
Definitely not! This is not Washington nor are you Mr. Larry Flint. Let us
PLEASE move on.

Kolich will take retribution against our children
" Mr. Kolich will take retribution against our children. The letter written by
Cahill and Giordano was a bunch of garbage. Sure your child is treated fairly
if your name is Cahill or Giordano, but there are plenty of kids out there..."
--My name is neither and my children have always been treated fairly. The
Cahill/Giordano letter was filled with opinions...as are yours and mine. It
does not make them right/wrong...simply food for thought.

"It is well known how the connection to the recreation department stems from
Donna Kolich's father. "
--Not that well known...I did not know. But I asked. (and did not receive
the information from anyone affiliated with the Kolich's) From what I was told
Donna's Dad was instrumental in developing the Rec. Dept. as we know it today.
Thank you Donna and God bless your Dad. Now you have a husband who also
committed himself to the youth of this community? How lucky and blessed you
are to have had two great men in your life. I feel that way about all of
these coaches. Thank you.

"Soccer is becoming more and more popular every year. It would be a shame if
Rutherford can't keep up with our neighboring towns with our soccer program
because of people being afraid of Mr. Kolich. Rutherford needs to keep moving
forward with our soccer programs and continue to progress. By allowing Mr.
Kolich to continue to dictate and making himself clear that you are either
with him or you don't play, will only push the soccer program back a decade."
--I am confused...are you acknowledging how far he has taken it? (keep moving
forward...continue to progress) I agree, let's keep moving forward. I have
been in the program long enough to remember when we lost the majority of the
games...now we are feared. Thank you again coaches.

"As for Mr. Klunk...After all, isn't he in a civil service job? Could we even
fire him if we wanted to?"
--Umm, no.

"Regarding the Rules: Look at
#3 Playing in another town sport or in another in town recreation
program during a scheduled travel team game is not an exceptable excuse... "
#5 (Any unexcused absence from a practice or game will result in a suspension
of one or more games. More than one unexcused absence will result in removal
from the travelling team.) Who determines what is an excused absence?
#7 All children are subject to approval by the league president, ..."
--I too do not agree with all of the rules...specifically these three. They
should be modified.

"There should also be a board appointed and not hand picked by Mr.
Kolich."
--I agree. I feel that he has done the job to the best of his ability. Maybe
he has made mistakes but he is human. I hope that he is voted in as president
again.

There you have it. My opinion...the one thing I said I did not want to be a
part of. This was kind of fun...it helped me put this whole mess into
perspective. Did I miss anyone? Oh yeah...

From:Pete and Laurie Schiro
"At the original tryouts, there were not enough boys to form two such teams.
EACH coach contacted individual players to see if they were interested in
playing during this season."
--If EACH team decided to call additional players because they changed their
format and needed more players...and players were put on that did not try
out...then Hooman should be allowed to play. The stipulation should be that
his behavior is a reflection of this program and community and he should be
held accountable if it is improper. He should play on Mr. DePinto's and Mr.
Finelli's team to avoid additional conflict.

" Let us remain optimistic and Pray that all can be resolved in a fair and
peaceful manner. Both (ALL) coaches derserve praise for the time and effort
that they give our boys. Let's be thankful for both of them and just move
on."
--Here, here.

Clearly, this is not a discriminatory issue. At most it is improper behavior,
lack of communication, venting of hurt and anger and a typical case of the
wrong fight being fought. Let the kids be kids. Let the coaches be coaches.
We as parents have the right to protect our children from abuse and/or
prejudice...this is neither. We also have the obligation to not micro-manage
others. You can find fault in anyone. The Rutherford soccer program is
better today than it was years ago because of the dedicated men (and
women...sorry...add Marie Lawlor to the list of people who pour their hearts
and commitment out to our kids and into this program) who volunteer their
time.

I hope that we all move forward and learn from this. I hope that the
unnecessary damage that was done diminishes quickly. Our kids do not need it.
There are plenty of other stresses in life to worry about. Save your
energy...wait until they're 16!!

another concerned parent.