AMARILLO, TX – Derek Hills, Joe Kozlak, Matt Johnson, John Rey, Mike Davis…
Those were the first four years of Captains for the Amarillo Bulls. Now, as the 5th anniversary season is officially underway forward Mitchell McPherson will officially join those ranks.
The Amarillo Bulls announced their Captain and Assistants for the 2014-15 season, naming McPherson as the Captain with forward Cody Gylling and defensemen Ben Jentsch and Adem Arifi being named Assistants. McPherson is the fourth Bulls player to wear the ‘C’ by himself, and sixth total Captain including Matt Johnson and Joe Kozlak who shared that honor in 2011-12.
McPherson is a veteran of the North American Hockey League beginning his four season and second with the bulls. The Peoria, Illinois native was acquired just prior to last season from the Lone Star Brahmas. Gylling has travelled a similar route, beginning his third season in the league and second with the Bulls after being acquired from the Johnstown Tomahawks. In six games with the Bulls Gylling has three goals and two assists for five points. Like McPherson and Gylling, both Jentsch and Arifi begin their second season with the team.
Head Coach Jon Rogger said the four will provide excellent leadership for the Bulls this season.
“What we have always done is let the players vote on the captaincy and then we have our input as well,” said Rogger. “Mitch is an excellent choice to be a leader in our locker room, and we are looking forward to working with him this season.”
Rogger said Cody Gylling is no stranger to the league and not afraid to speak his mind when things are not going right on and off the ice.
“Adem Arifi is a great guy in the dressing room and is always talking in practice,” he said. “I think the guys respect Ben Jentsch more than anyone out there because of the way he plays the game. Normally teams pick three players, but we feel there are four guys that can do the job.”
In the past four years the Bulls Captains and Assistants have been a unique blend of talent as well as that extra quality and trait that all players respect and in some cases admire. Rogger said the key is to specifically find the players that are leading the group.
“We want to find out how the guys jell together and watch who takes charge out there,” he said. “When things are not going right on the bench or during practice and off-ice workouts, you find the guys who are leading the rest of the group.”
The Amarillo Bulls return to action this weekend with a trip to Topeka to face the RoadRunners at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. The face-off for both games on Friday and Saturday is 7 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com or watch on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. The puck drop follows.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center next Friday, Oct. 10 when the Bulls host the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7 pm. It’s Family Fun Night with the return of the Family Four Pack and the Bring a Buddy Pack. The Family Four Pack consists of Four Hotdogs, Four Sodas and Four Tickets for $44, while the Bring A Bud Pack consists of Two Tickets, Two Sodas and Two Hotdogs for $22. To purchase tickets call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building. Additional tickets can also be purchased at the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets.