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AMARILLO, TX – It that time of the year that hockey fans in the Texas Panhandle have been waiting for where they now vision the start of the season in the future.
The Amarillo Bulls fifth Main Camp begins Wednesday with registration in Brighton, Michigan before the players hit the ice for three days of hard practice. Approximately 115 players have been invited to camp that includes Draft Picks, Free Agents, Tenders and Veteran returning players. It will be the first Main Camp for new Head Coach Jon Rogger and new Assistant Mike Watt who take over for Dennis Williams, Harry Mahood and Rocky Russo who had been with the program the past four years.
“We are extremely excited knowing the hours we put in on the phone talking to players and getting them to come to camp,” said Rogger. “It’s finally going to come to an end here with Main Camp. We get to see the talent we have selected come and compete against one another. The good news is that everyone else is had their camp and now it’s our turn and I can’t wait to get onto the ice.”
The Bulls are coming off their third straight 40-plus win season and South Division Regular Season Title. Amarillo also had the distinction of being defending Robertson Cup National Champions.
Rogger said he has been in contact with the six players that are eligible to return to the team and expects them to come in excellent physical condition.
“The fans will definitely see some familiar faces on the roster,” he said. “The players still have to compete in Main Camp and then again when we have Training Camp in Amarillo at the end of August. I know those players are excited to get rolling.”
In the past four years the Bulls have always been known to have plenty of depth on their roster and it has been one of the big keys to their success on the ice. Rogger said that this year will be no exception.
“Our biggest strength right now is on defense and it’s going to be difficult making some cuts,” he said. “We have about 11 players that we feel can not only play for our team but can also play Division I hockey.”
Another staple and back bone for the Bulls has been in goal with players such as Paul Berrafato, Collin Delia, Nikifor Szczerba, Gregg Gruehl and Mike Taffe. Rogger said the team is happy to have tender Jacob Weatherly coming to camp fresh off a tryout in the United States Hockey League.
“Jacob made the Madison roster in the USHL but the team felt he needed some game experience with us in Amarillo,” he said. “He will be one of 18 goals with us at Main Camp, but we also have a couple of other guys that we are also talking to.”
Reputation and on ice success are the hallmark of any sports teams success. Hockey is not any different and for the Amarillo Bulls, their success has been put in stone the past four years winning the 2013 Robertson Cup National Championship, three South Division Regular Season and Playoff Titles, back-to-back NAHL Overall Regular Season Titles. In total the Bulls have had 168 regular season wins not including playoffs but more importantly they have moved on 50 players to the NCAA.
“After taking this job early in the summer and then talking to players, Amarillo is a hot spot in the North American Hockey League and players want to come here,” Rogger said. “It makes it that much easier because you don’t have to sell the program because it sells itself with Coach (Dennis) Williams and the work he has done the past four years. However, at the end of the day it is still all about recruiting and making the phone calls, watching players and talking to them on the phone.”
Now is the time if fans haven’t done so yet to purchase or renew Full or Partial Season Tickets for even 10 Game Flex Packs. Season Tickets allow you to have the same seat for all of the hard hitting action of your Amarillo Bulls in the fifth anniversary season. Flex Packs give fans the flexibility to attend games based on their schedule. Businesses to can also get involved with the Amarillo Bulls by purchasing Season Tickets and donating them to various non-profit organizations who can’t afford to always attend games. If your business needs great exposure the Bulls offer Corporate Marketing Partnerships from signage, to PA announcements, giveaways and much more. To inquire about what the Amarillo Bulls have to offer, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.