Just Chirp’n #25 (2009-2010)
February 17, 2010
by Michael Hissam
As the El Paso Rhinos wrap up the regular season at home this weekend with the first-year New Mexico Renegades, two words from Coach Cory Herman described the practices this week: “Very competitive.”
So what is the vernacular translation of a coach saying, “Very competitive?”
There are several translations from players, some of which are not found in dictionaries. For example: “Gawd, he put us through that!” “Man it was (assorted expletives deleted).” “The coach didn’t seem too happy.” “Yeah, we were hitting (words trailing off into exhaustion).”
Better yet, try, “It wasn’t fun.”
First lesson in hockey is the coach is never really happy until the league championship cup is in his hands. Second lesson is, to quote Herman, again: “We need to be at the next level. We need to play to peak this weekend.”
Herman always looks for that next level. His veterans knew that going into the season; his rookies found out fast once they got into town, even more so when they figured out the system.
He reported a considerable increase in the competitive level of this charges this week. “There was a more visible intensity. We are now into the most exciting part of the year – getting ready for the second season.”
Not taking last-place New Mexico likely, he disdained any suggestion of “resting” players for the first round opponent San Antonio on February 26. “We need to go into and out of this weekend on a high note!”
This weekend marks the second “Guns and Hoses” event to honor all who serve in law enforcement and public safety. This edition goes much further, with a special patriotic approach. On Friday and Saturday, the Rhinos will partner with The Honor Network to display the United States Honor Flag, an American flag that flew over Ground Zero during the post-9/11 recovery efforts and has continued to fly honoring all men and women in uniform who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Herman and the team will be at the El Paso International Airport Friday afternoon as the flag arrives into the Sun City. Special recognition will open the first two games of the weekend.
Other activities planned call for the Rhinos to honor seven law enforcement and safety agencies from the region, including New Mexico and federal agencies. Several of those agencies plan to field hockey teams for a special weekend hockey tournament.