'round the Horn with Coach Herman
I wanted to create this weekly column as an insider on all the goings on and behind the scenes in the Rhino organization as we prepare for the 2011-2012 season.
If someone was to tell me at the beginning of October that we would be in the finals in the National tournament, I would honestly say it was a pretty long shot.
Sometimes when winning comes easy you don't appreciate it as much, I can honestly tell you that this season wasn't easy.
However, I firmly believe if we would have not gone through what we did this year we wouldn't have gone as far as we did in Minnesota.
I talked to a lot of people throughout the year and talked about how we had a good mix of players, mainly role players.
Every team needs good role players, players that will step up in the play-offs or tight games, and I can tell you playing for this team is no picnic or country club.
Being a Rhino isn't easy
We have a very simple identity every year - Hard Work.
We practice harder and more than most teams, and we train harder than any team off the ice.
Players come here because of the success that we fortunately have had, but they don't realize the hard work and discipline that our players must exhibit and maintain throughout the season.
Committment to Progress
Every year we look at our organization and look to improve it.
Last season we added the Training Center
, half way through the season we added the Rhinos team bus
This season we have a new addition to our staff.
As many of you know Trevor Converse has been with the Rhinos since day 1 as the chief recruiter and team architect, and I can honestly say if it wasn't for him we would not be where we are today, he has put together every Rhinos team.
He recruits top players, but top people as well.
Mike Earhart who worked with Trevor when he was the coach of the NAHL Lone Star Calvary will be joining the Rhinos this season.
I believe Trevor is one of the best recruiters in the country, and Trevor thinks Mike is one of the best.
Having two of the best recruiters in the country can't do anything but help us achieve all of the goals we have set as an organization.
"I want to continue to surround myself with the top coaches and organizations in the country.
El Paso is a first class organization, they not only take care of their staff but also, the kids are treated first class.
These kids are able to utilize a state of the art training facility, including a hockey skating treadmill.
The kids travel in style on the beautiful sleeper bus.
They have the best fans in the country that pack the house on nightly basis, it is truly an awesome junior hockey experience.
I have been involved with junior hockey now for twelve years and I can honestly say this is the best tier three organization in the country.
I am very happy to be part of their staff and look to the many great seasons ahead."
Director of Player Personnel
Bismarck Bobcats NAHL
2009-2010 National Robertson Cup Champion
As I look back at the past five years and see what we as an organziation have accomplshed on and off the ice I can't help but be proud.
To make it to the national tournament finals in the first five years, draw the crowds that we do, receive the corporate sponsorships we do, and the community involvement (civic and military), it's pretty humbling.
On the ice losing is something I will never accept, but I do believe everything happens for a reason.
There are no excuses, the boys played their hearts out to the bitter end and we were beat by a better team.
However, the season we went through (the most loses in Rhinos history), clinching first place the last regular season home game, winning the Midwest Conference, the fourth trip to nationals, making it to the final four, then to the national tournament championship game.
Coming that close to winning it all and then seeing it given to someone else it makes you want it even more.
If your a player, a coach, a recuiter, or anyone associated with the Rhino organization it creates a fire in you to work even harder because you have unfinished business
So the 2011-12 season starts, and the goal of being the top junior organization in the country starts all over again.
Thank you to the many many people behind the scenes, the Rhino fans, sponsors and supporters you are what makes the Rhinos one of the best.