AMARILLO, TX – It has certainly already been a special year for the Amarillo Bulls in the North American Hockey League. On Saturday night following the team’s 4-1 triumph over the Wichita Falls Wildcats, the team took time to honor their outstanding players and thank their volunteers and off-ice staff during the annual awards presentation.
The highlight of the night was saved at the very end where the Coaches Award took a different twist. Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams said after much deliberation it was decided that the Coaches Award would be handed out to the entire 2012-2013 team.
“We had so many guys that were worthy of it,” said Williams. “There is no doubt in my mind that it was the right choice. It is often times an individual award, but this year we have such a great group of young men that have persevered through it. They have been here from the start and gone through the ups and downs. With the amount of kids who couldn’t handle the intensity and the expectations, these guys stuck through it.”
Goaltender Paul Berrafato was chosen as the Most Outstanding Player this season. He has posted a 30-3-5 record in 41 games with a 1.68 Goals Against Average and a sparkling save percentage of .927. Prior to the game, the Buffalo, NY native was chosen as the Reid’s Appliance Service Bulls Player of the Year Award as voted by the fans.
Forward Brady Ferguson was selected as Most Improved Player. The Dallas, Texas native, who has secured his NCAA Division I commitment to Robert Morris University in 2014-15, has been terrific in his rookie season. He has posted 10 goals, 19 assists for 29 points in 50 games. He is plus 20 and has one power play goal and another game winner.
The Best Forward Award was co-presented to TJ Sarcona and Clint Carlisle. Sarcona is tied for the team lead in points with 54 (18 goals, 36 assists), and is plus 30. The Long Island NY native who has his NCAA Division I Commitment to Niagara University has six power play goals and five game winners.
Carlisle, who hails from Trophy Club, Texas has 13 goals and 8 assists for 21 points in limited action due to an injury that sidelined him early on in the season. Carlisle who has his NCAA Commitment to Army, has four power play goals
Sarcona along with Mike Davis were the co-recipients of the Best Defensive Forward. It was Sarcona’s third straight year taking home the award. Both players have been key for the Bulls defensively and on the penalty kill. Davis who completed an amazing weekend with six goals, has now tied Sarcona for points with 54 and also has picked up two shorthanded goals.
Geoff Fortman was chosen as the Best Defensive Defenseman. The Crystal Lake, Illinois native who will attend Canisius College has been a tremendous part of why the Bulls rank first in goals against and in shots against this season. Fortman is plus 38 in 52 games this season.
Captain John Rey was chosen as the Best Offensive Defenseman. The New Jersey, native who will head to Robert Morris University this fall has had another outstanding year for the Bulls. In 50 games, Rey has netted eight goals and collected 29 assists for 37 points. He is among the leaders in plus minus at plus 44 and has 144 shots on goal.
Rey was also selected as ‘Butt Kicker Of The Year’ Presented by Elite MMA and Fitness with Jimmy Boyd. Rey has 99 penalty minutes and has continued to be a physical force for his team.
The Humanitarian of the Year Award was given to Ryan Cole for his excellent work in the community. Cole has spearheaded several campaigns to raise money for Habitat For Humanity projects in Amarillo. Among his events was the ‘Bulls Tip A Waiter’ that raised more than $2,000.
The Bulls’ Award was given to Jimmy Boyd of Elite MMA And Fitness for going above and beyond to help the Bulls’ players stay fit. Boyd’s work with the players off the ice has been part of the team’s success since his facility joined forces with the Amarillo Bulls.
The Corporate Partner Of The Year Award went to Sonic Restaurants of Amarillo. Sonic has been the sponsor of ‘Sonic Sunday’, a day that gives people an opportunity to seen an Amarillo Bulls’ game for free.
Off the ice, D’edra Jefferson was selected as Volunteer Of The Year Award. Jefferson has been assisting Director of Game Operations Jeremy Morrison at all Amarillo Bulls home games this season.
Here are the results of the 2012-2013 Amarillo Bulls Awards Presentation that took place immediately after the game on Saturday night.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER – Forward Brady Ferguson
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR – D’edra Jefferson
BEST PHYSICAL PLAYER – John Rey
BULLS AWARD – Jimmy Boyd
BEST FORWARD — TJ Sarcona and Clint Carlisle
BEST DEFENSIVE FORWARD – TJ Sarcona (third year in a row) and Mike Davis
CORPORATE PARTNER OF THE YEAR – Sonic
HUMANITARIAN – Ryan Cole
BEST DEFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN – Geoff Fortman
BEST OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN – John Rey
COACHES AWARD – The entire 2012-2013 Amarillo Bulls team
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER – Paul Berrafato