The Topeka RoadRunners have named their captains for the 2014-15 season. The team was informed of the selections after their Thursday afternoon practice in Amarillo. The captain is Mike Gornall. Four players will share the assistant captain slots, with Ryan Polin and Sly Sutter tabbed as every night assistants. Jasen Fernsler will wear an”A” on his sweater for home games and Sam Rennaker will don the “A” for games played on the road. Each player is a returning veteran from the 2013-14 South Division Playoff Championship squad.
The process of selecting captains is one that takes time, according to Head Coach / GM Scott Langer. “I believe true leaders are revealed, not named”, he explained. “You have to let things play out a little, and the players decide. True leaders will lead, and it becomes evident. And that’s what we have here. We have a group of captains that the team responds to, and wants to be led by. The team selected their captains through their actions, and we all feel confident in that process.”
Langer went on to talk about the importance of leadership in the growth of a team. “We have a solid history of leaders in our program. For new players coming in, it’s important for them to understand the culture we’ve built here, and the expectations we have. Having solid leadership in place allows for the continuity we want here, so we aren’t constantly starting from scratch.” He is pleased with the diversity of this year’s captains. “Different players respond to different things. In this group, we have leaders who lead by example in how they play, or in how they conduct themselves on and off the ice. Some are vocal, some are more likely to take a teammate aside for a private chat. It takes a blend of those things, and we have a great blend of those elements with this year’s captains.”
The letters designating the players roles as captains have been affixed to their jerseys and their first assignment is this weekend with a pair of games in Amarillo against the Bulls. The RoadRunners are in the midst of a 10-game road swing and will return home to Topeka on Nov. 21 and 22 to face the Springfield Jr. Blues. Catch this weekend’s games on Sports Radio 1490 KTOP with Arch Ecker on the play-by-play. Fans in Topeka are invited to join our official Watch Party, set for the Lazy Toad on Friday and Skinny’s Sports Bar and Grill on Saturday. Game time each night is 7:05 pm.
Follow the RoadRunners on Twitter (@topekahockey), on our Facebook page and our official team website at topekaroadrunners.com.