AMARILLO, TX – On and Off Ice leadership is the key to any great sports team, and it’s been a major part of the success of the Amarillo Bulls in the last nine seasons.
The Bulls announced today (Wednesday) they have named Louis Helsen Team Captain and Alex Peterson, Brett Abdelnour and Logan Jenuwine as Assistant Captains.
“We took a very unique approach to announcing Captains,” said Bulls Head Coach Rocky Russo. “We were having such a good streak that we didn’t want to rock the boat. We have been getting leadership from a number of different people, and we felt that it was the time of year to formalize the Captain situation. The guys that were voted upon were ones that I expected to get that honor. It was something special to see Louis Helsen be on 21 of 22 available ballots. The only ballot that he wasn’t on, was his own. He got 20 first-place votes. He was a unanimous selection that to me shows, a tremendous leadership quality. I don’t know if I have seen that in the past.”
Helsen, 20, a native of Dallas Texas is in his first season with the Bulls and has been a mainstay on defense. He said it’s an honor to be part of a long line of captains joining the likes of John Rey, Joe Kozlak, Mike Davis just to name a few.
“It’s certainly a privilege to get to lead the guys in the locker room,” Helsen said. “It’s a great group and it’s an honor. Growing up, I was able to earn a letter on most teams I was on. I think try to keep the room light and make sure everyone stays positive. I try to work hard and to lead by example.”
Helsen said the three Assistant Captains all bring different qualities to the table.
“(Logan) Jenuwine puts the puck in the net, while (Alex) Peterson is a 200-foot player,” he said. “(Brett) Abdelnour is probably the hardest worker on the team.”
Forward Logan Jenuwine, who leads the team in goals and in points, said it’s a privilege and an honor to be part of the leadership.
“We have had great leadership that shown up throughout the year, obviously with our stats and our wins to loses ratio,” he said. “We have a group of guys that are close, everyone loves each other and nobody is on the outskirts. It works out awesome and it’s easier for us to lead.”
Forward Alex Peterson said everyone on the team has done an excellent job in helping lead the team in a number of different ways.
“It’s a great honor for all four of us, and I think throughout the season we have all been leaders and to actually get announced with a letter is fantastic,” he said. “They (the three other guys) all do a great job coming to the rink every day, taking on the young guys, and being leaders on and off the ice.”
For forward Brett Abdelnour, it’s the first time he has ever had a letter put on his jersey.
I think our leadership corps, especially me, can bring some experience to the table and work ethic,” he said. “We are going to hold guys accountable, in practice, and in games and we are going to lead this group hopefully to a Robertson Cup.”
Rocky Russo said the players that are responsible for leadership on the team are an extension of the Coaching Staff.
“There is some pressure and responsibility that goes with that,” he said. “I think the guys that have that opportunity, have all earned that and have great relationships with their teammates, and coaching staff. They are very capable to make sure the culture is in place and following up with what the coaching staff is presenting on a day-to-day-basis. We feel it’s a natural transition for these guys.”
The Amarillo Bulls return to action this weekend visiting the Corpus Christi IceRays at American Bank Center on Friday, Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday afternoon at 3:05 pm at American Bank Center. Tune into the action live on 107.1 Nash Icon, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Hockey TV beginning with the Fit Omni Warm Up Show 20 minutes before the puck is dropped.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9 when the Amarillo Bulls host the Lone Star Brahamas at 7 pm. Friday is Retro Night Presented by CanTex Roofing and Saturday is First Responders Night. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or online at www.amarillobulls.com and www.panhandletickets.com.