With three El Paso Rhinos alumni recently completing their senior season with the team, St. Mary’s University had to restock the cupboard and of course, head coach Bill Moore looked to the Thorne Cup and United Hockey Union National Champions to do so.
Following teammates Drew DePalma, Austin Hoff and Chris Wilhite, Rhinos forward Chad Cesarz has committed to play for the Cardinals in the fall, making it an even four that are headed to Winona, Minnesota.
The Jackson, Michigan, native came to El Paso prior to the 2012-2013 season and quickly became one of Cory Herman’s go-to goal scorers, thanks to his tenacious play, a great set of hands and an electric wrist shot. In 44 regular season games played, Cesarz notched 48 points (20 goals and 28 assists) and continued his hot play into the post-season, where he tallied nine points in seven games.
After beginning the 2013-2014 campaign in the Tier II North American Hockey League, where he appeared in three games with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, Cesarz returned to El Paso and helped put its offense over the top. The 6’1” 205-pounder suited up for all but one of the Rhino’s 46 regular season games and amassed 66 points (36 goals and 30 assists) before adding five points in nine Thorne Cup Playoff games, which ended with the Rhinos winning the title in front of the home crowd.
The fun continued two weeks later during the 2014 United Hockey Union National Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Cesarz scored a key goal, while playing in all five games, with the Rhinos again reigning supreme.
Bill Moore was able to get a long look at all four of the Rhinos commits during both the UHU Championships and the Western States Shootout, where he is always a presence and looking to strengthen his team through the WSHL.
Cory Herman had this to say about the working relationship he and Moore have built, “Bill likes taking our guys and we’re happy to send them. It’s been a great fit over the years and our players really enjoy their time there. “ Herman continued on to talk about Cesarz, “Chad is a great kid that works very hard despite having a huge skill set. He is strong on his skates, can make defenders miss and has a huge shot, he’ll do very well in the college game with his ability to create in small spaces.”
The WSHL joins Herman and the Rhinos in wishing Chad the best of luck at St. Mary’s!