Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League, have announced their leaders for the upcoming 2017-18 campaign. Rune Kirby earns the highest honor as captain, while Zac Herrmann, Noah Poindexter, and Nick Wilson all earn the honor of alternate captains.
“It’s always an honor to be named captain of any team, but this team in particular is quite exciting,” explains Kirby. “We have a locker room filled with natural leaders in their own way, and I know that they will hold me accountable just as much as I will them.”
Voted on by the players via a secret ballot, it was a nearly unanimous vote for the four peer leaders for Odessa.
“Something that neither Cody [Campbell] nor myself have seen since Chad Guderian was on the team,” begins head coach Greg Gatto, “was a unanimous vote for captain. Kirby has earned the respect of both the staff and his teammates by earning every vote. He does all the little things correct. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Kirby, 20, joined the Jackalopes in November of last season after short stints in both New Jersey and Aston. The native of Ludington, MI played is more known for his never-give-up defensive attitude, recording only one goal and two assists in 25 games for the Jacks last season.
The 5-foot-9, 195-pound defenseman went to school at Culver Military Academy Prep, where it helped shape him into a leader. Rune only played in about half his possible games last season in Odessa due to injury, but he was always someone that the other players wanted to play for, and would provide a spark with his gruesome hits.
“Our alternates are just as big in the leadership role as the captain. Herrmann has really stepped up and come a long way this year to become a leader both on and off the ice,” Gatto says. “As for Poindexter and Wilson, what you see is what you get. They’re both some of the hardest working guys I’ve had play for me, and that’s what you want in your leaders. Those guys all exemplify the traits that captains are supposed to.”
A native of Lancaster, NY, Herrmann is an offensive-defenseman who can lead a rush and run a successful power play. Like Kirby, Herrmann joined the Jackalopes during the season after beginning the year with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. In 26 games last season, Herrmann netted three goals and assisted on 11 more.
Poindexter, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound centerman, never takes a shift off. A lead-by-example mentality explains why he was named an alternate by his peers. Poindexter is one of the hardest working forwards in the league, whether it’s racing into a corner for the puck, or standing in front of the net to screen a goalie.
The final alternate, Wilson, is one of the most feared players on the ice. Having not lost a fight (and even being in some with a dislocated shoulder), Nick is someone who always has his teammates back. A big defender who has speed, stick-handling, and hockey smarts, Wilson is fearless in every aspect of the game, while being soft-spoken, but respected.
The 2017-2018 Odessa Jackalopes single game tickets are on sale now! To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.
Also, be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter and Facebook (@LetsGoJacks), Instagram (odessajackalopes), and add us on Snapchat (odessajacks) all year long.
— ODESSA JACKALOPES —