Jerad Tafoya Named RoadRunners Team Captain
With the roster solidifying and the second month of the season begun, the RoadRunners have taken the next important step towards becoming a complete team by naming Jerad Tafoya the team captain. Additionally, Tyler Poulsen, James Ring, and Tomas Nechala have been named assistant captains.
“Jerad represents everything a captain should be,” said Head Coach Scott Langer. “He carries himself like a professional everyday and exemplifies what being a RoadRunner is all about. Captaincy is one of the highest honors in hockey and Jerad has earned the honor of leading this family.”
The 20-year-old forward out of Highland Ranch, CO, was acquired by the Runners in a trade last season with the Minot Minotaurs. In 44 games a RoadRunner, Tafoya has 10 goals (including three game winners) and eight assists while largely staying out of the penalty box (only seven penalty minutes, all coming last season). Beyond his numbers, Jerad has distinguished himself among his peers and fans alike with his hard working, selfless play. This was most notably on display late last season when, while sacrificing his body defending the net, a puck ricocheted off an opponent and hit him square in the jaw. Despite losing a significant number of teeth, he was back on the ice after missing only two games.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Tafoya when asked how he felt upon becoming captain. “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to be the captain of an NAHL hockey team. All I’ve ever tried to do was to lead by example on the ice, in both practice and games, to show the other guys what we need to be at all times. Our goal right now is to become even more of a family, to be ready to battle with our brothers at our side, and to accept our roles, whatever they may be, by realizing there are no individuals on the ice.”
Tafoya is joined in the leadership role by assistant captains James Ring, Tyler Poulsen, and Tomas Nechala. Ring began his NAHL career in 2010-2011 and brings a strong veteran presence both on and off the ice. Poulsen is a dynamic offensive threat in his second season as a Runner following an impressive first. Nechala was imported from Slovakia last season and has become a leader in the defensive zone.
“We have a good group of leaders on this team,” added Langer. “Jerad will get plenty of support from Tyler Poulsen, James Ring, and Tomas Nechala. All four players bleed RoadRunner colors.”
Make sure to be at Landon Arena tomorrow and Saturday night at 7pm as Jerad Tafoya and the rest of the Runners “Pink the Rink” against breast cancer and the Lone Star Brahmas. The team will be wearing special pink jerseys on both nights in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. After Saturday’s game, they will auction the jerseys off their backs with half the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. There will also be a National Wild Turkey federation raffle and a Late Skate with the Runners on Saturday. And as always, if the Runners get 5,000 in attendance to any one of their games, one lucky fan will walk away $5,000 richer thanks to Sharp Honda. For more information on tickets, call 785-286-PUCK or visit www.topekaroadrunners.com.