What years were you with the Rhinos?
I was with the Rhinos the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons.
How did you become a Rhino?
I became a Rhino after having a chat with Trevor Converse at the Santa Fe Roadrunners tryout in Minnesota. He saw me fight a few guys and said the Rhinos needed someone willing to fight 20 times a season. I said I was their guy, the rest was history.
Go back to when you were here. Describe the season or seasons in which you were here, how you felt, and what you experienced.
To be honest that\’s a tough question because the day I moved there it was about 106 degrees, and being a big Pollack I don\’t do heat well I was a little worried I made the wrong choice. However, once the team got together and practicing, I knew it was a perfect fit for me. We learned so much, not only from the coaching staff, but from teammates and fans alike. It is really a dream situation for any young player. Amazing coaches. Amazing facilities (much better than the circus tent we used to get dressed in). Amazing fans. Amazing city. In my playing days, I had never been on such a successful team.
What is your most memorable moment as a Rhino?
Hands down, winning the Thorne Cup in Phoenix with a ton of fans that traveled the 6 or so hours to come cheer us on. Without their support, who knows the outcome of that series!
What is one funny story about your time as a Rhino?
By far, the funniest moment I can remember is when we were in San Antonio playing the Diablos I got into a fight with one of their players. It wasn\’t much more than a hugging match because the player put his head down and in close so I couldn\’t really throw any punches. After the fight in the locker room Coach Herman walked up to me and said, “Sherm, fighting is a lot like gopher hunting. You scare them into their holes and then wait. They will always pop their heads up,” and then walked away. It was a funny way to put it, but at the end of the day it was also great advice.
Looking back, what do you miss the most?
Everything. Yet most of all I miss the camaraderie on and off the ice. Everyone treated the players as one of their own. It’s just one large hockey family.
Did you continue to play after your time with the Rhinos? And if so, where? Did you receive any awards?
After my days in El Paso, I went on to play at Adrian College (ACHA) with Jason Knutson, another former Rhino. I also played at Central Michigan University (ACHA).
Is there anyone you that still keep in touch with in El Paso?
I try keep in touch with as many guys as possible, mostly via Facebook or text, but it’s nice to be able to see what everyone is up to. I see Darius Mack from time to time because he’s also in Chicago. I am just throwing it out there but I\’d love to see an alumni game happen in the future. I know a lot of guys would like to come strap ‘em up one more time.
Where are you and what do you do now?
I currently live in Chicago, IL. I graduated from culinary school three years ago and am currently working on opening a restaurant/catering company!
What is one last thing would like to go back and do one last time as a Rhino?
One last thing I could do as a Rhino would be stand up in front of everyone fans, players, staff and say thank you. The organization would be nowhere without them. Basically, thanks to Coach Herman for believing that El Paso could support a junior team. Without him this wouldn\’t have been possible.