Former Pistons Owner Sonnenberg Says Thank-You

25-MEL SONNENBERG FMX1Mel and Marianne Sonnenberg presenting Trent Genyk with year end award

Former Steinbach Pistons owner Mel Sonnenberg says a big thank you to all the fans and volunteers who helped support the team during his five years in the league.

The Steinbach Pistons franchise originally started in Steinbach back when the team was first introduced as the Steinbach Hawks; an expansion team in 1985. The Hawks played only three seasons, winning a total of 39 games.

The franchise ceased operations after the 1987-1988 season. After spending only three years in Steinbach the team was reborn in Winnipeg, winning only 93 games during their eight seasons out of the Notre Dame Arena.

Again, the franchise wasn't viable and it folded. This time they were picked up by the Sagkeeng First Nation and called the Southeast Blades. After only making the playoffs once during their ten year regime the team was put up for sale.

This is when Sonnenberg stepped in and bought the franchise, moving it to Beausejour, where the team only won nine games in two seasons.

Interview with Mel SonnenbergTwenty-one years after the Southeast Hawks left town, Sonnenberg decided to bring the team back to Steinbach.

"It was a huge learning adventure, no one was overly anxious to help out at the start," says Sonnenberg about being the owner. "There were lots of headaches and lots of running around."

Despite not always getting the help that he would have hoped for Sonnenberg pushed on and says one of his main goals as owner was to invest in the players.

"I already miss that. These boys are so vulnerable, because they are living away from home for the first time. They're all big tough men and big boys don't always ask for the right advice."

Sonnenberg says the new ownership group is a big win win for the community, and reminds fans to be patient because a winner isn't made overnight.

He also stated that he was very appreciative to everyone in Beausjour and Steinbach who helped him along the way.

"We want to thank all the fans from my wife Marianne and I. You can't have an organization without the volunteers and the fans to support the kids. That part of the game will take awhile to get over."

Although Sonnenberg isn't as involved this season he says he will still be watching and rooting for the Steinbach Pistons.

Share This:

  • 2014 09 rookie1

    Pistons Conclude Rookie Camp

    Monday September 01, 2014

    The future of the Steinbach Pistons organization was on display Saturday and Sunday at the TG Smith Centre. The Pistons held a two day ro

  • 2014 08 smittys

    Nationals A Fantastic Experience

    Sunday August 31, 2014

    Steinbach's Kori Gryba, Jayde Gryba and Callie Unger competed in Nationals for the first time in their softball careers in August. The gi

  • bombers aug30 001

    The Labour Day Classic - Bombers vs Riders

    Sunday August 31, 2014

    It's been a pretty long drought. Way too long. The last time the Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders on the Labour D

  • pistons aug29

    Back on the Ice - Pistons Begin Camp This Weekend

    Friday August 29, 2014

    When the the month of August arrives so does the anticipation. It's the countdown to a new hockey season and for head coach & general

  • 17-sabres

    Sabres Football Ready For Another Season

    Thursday August 28, 2014

    The offseason for the SRSS Sabres football team is finally about to end. The Sabres are taking on St Paul's Thursday evening in a preseas

  • 2014 08 blatz

    Blatz Completes Athletic Therapy 'Hat-Trick'

    Tuesday August 26, 2014

    There was only one thing missing from Dave Blatz's checklist to make the athletic therapy 'hat-trick' - the Commonwealth Games. Blatz

  • 2014 08 guenthers

    Steinbach Men's Golf League Champs

    Tuesday August 26, 2014

    Brothers Adam (right) and Kyle (left) Guenther won the Ledingham GM Steinbach Men's Golf League Monday. They defeated John Janzen and John

  • 2014 08 tournament

    Summer Slow Pitch Wraps Up

    Sunday August 24, 2014

    Silver Eye Sports sixth annual Summer Slow Pitch Play-off Tournament took place Saturday and Sunday at AD Penner Park in Steinbach. Organ

  • 2014 08 slowpitch

    Team Green Wins In All-Star Game

    Saturday August 23, 2014

    AD Penner Park in Steinbach held the 3rd annual Silver Eye Sports home run derby and all-star game Friday night. Organizer Scott Toews sa

  • 17-Justin Baudry

    A Force To Be Reckoned With

    Friday August 22, 2014

    After playing the last two seasons for the Steinbach Pistons of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, seventeen year old Justin Baudry of La

  • 2014 08 allan cup

    Steinbach May Get 2016 Allan Cup

    Wednesday August 20, 2014

    Action during the 2009 Allan Cup in Steinbach The Allan Cup national senior hockey championship could be coming back to Steinbach in 2016.

  • 2014 08 smittys

    Steinbach Girls Excited For Nationals Experience

    Wednesday August 13, 2014

    When the U16 Smitty's Terminators compete in Nationals this weekend, three girls from Steinbach will be experiencing Canada's highest leve

  • 2014 08 klassen

    Klassen Earns Silver At Nationals

    Monday August 11, 2014

    Niverville's Danielle Klassen earned her highest ever finish at Nationals in Winnipeg this past weekend, as her team finished second. Kla

  • 2014 08 futsol

    Growth Coming For Steinbach Futsal League

    Sunday August 10, 2014

    After a very successful first season, registration for year two is ongoing for the Steinbach Futsal League. Futsal is a modified version

  • 2014 08 richert

    Richert Invited To Test GP2 Car

    Thursday August 07, 2014

    After making significant progress throughout the first part of the race season, Inter Europol Competition recently invited Canadian race c

Search Sports News Archives