AMARILLO, TX – When Amarillo Bulls Head Coach Rocky Russo traded for Austin O’Rourke in early January he knew he was acquiring a special player. O’Rourke quickly became respected and liked by not only his teammates, but the staff and fellow players and coaches in the league. That admiration was acknowledged yesterday when the North American Hockey League announced that Austin O’Rourke was named as the South Division Leadership Award Winner.
The award is presented to a player on a team judged to be an outstanding leader through on-ice performance, motivation of teammates and dedication to community activities.
“Austin instantly changed the culture of our team the moment he stepped into our locker room,” Russo said. “His leadership, ability to connect with our young players and assistance in creating an environment of accountability will be felt long after he leaves our program. It was an honor to coach Austin and we thank him for everything he did for the Amarillo Bulls and our community.”
O’Rourke a native of Canton, Georgia, was acquired in early January along with Jared Domin from the Lone Star Brahmas in exchange for Steven Ipri and Jon Russell. In 29 games for the Bulls, O’Rourke had eight goals and seven assists for 15 points and 78 penalty minutes. Six of his eight goals were tallied via the power play.
The remainder of the South Division Awards are as follows:
All-South Division Team
Forward: Ricky Carballo, Odessa Jackalopes
Forward: Jon Russell, Lone Star Brahmas
Forward: Larry Jungwirth, Corpus Christi IceRays
Defense: Dominick Procopio, Shreveport Mudbugs
Defense: Zac Herrmann, Odessa Jackalopes
Goalie: Mitchell Gibson, Lone Star Brahmas
South Division Most Valuable Player & Goaltender of the Year: Mitchell Gibson, Lone Star Brahmas
South Division Forward of the Year: Jon Russell, Lone Star Brahmas
South Division Defenseman of the Year: Dominick Procopio, Shreveport Mudbugs
South Division Coach of the Year: Karlis Zirnis, Shreveport Mudbugs
South Division General Manager of the Year: Scott Muscutt, Shreveport Mudbugs
South Division Organization of the Year: Shreveport Mudbugs
South Division Academic Achievement Award: Owen Farris, Lone Star Brahmas
South Division Leadership Award: Austin O’Rourke, Amarillo Bulls
South Division Community Service Award: Dominick Procopio, Shreveport Mudbugs
The remainder of the NAHL 2017-18 season awards including the All-NAHL Teams, Most Valuable Player, Forward of the Year, Defenseman of the Year, Vaughn Goaltender of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, General Manager of the Year, Executive of the Year and Organization of the Year, along with the Academic Achievement Award, Leadership Award and Community Service Award, will be all be announced on Wednesday, May 2nd.
Hockey is back for a 23rd consecutive season this fall in the Texas Panhandle when the Amarillo Bulls hit the ice for their 9th year in the North American Hockey League. Full and half season tickets as well as Corporate Marketing Partnerships are available now. For further information on price points, please visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building or call 806-242-1122.