The Rhinos: El Paso Proud Representatives of Texas

Jun 12, 2015

The Rhinos: El Paso Proud Representatives of Texas

Written by: Amelie Delobel

Translated by: Google Translate

Original article: Click here

The El Paso Rhinos have evolved during the last season in Junior A-thirds III and play in front of nearly 2,000 fans per home game. A Quebecer, Pierre-Luc Racette, is behind the success of this organization, who holds the dual role of director of scouting and director of player personnel. Since his arrival with the Rhinos in 2013, the native of Magog does not regret his decision to have accepted this position. Description of this Texan training which will celebrate its 10th anniversary of existence in the next campaign .

The city of El Paso, with over 675,000 inhabitants, has hosted in the past a team of the Central Hockey League (CHL).The name of the training was the Buzzards, which however ceased operations in 2003. A former player for the organization, Cory Herman, an organization wanting to bring in this city, created the Rhinos team during the summer 2006. As part of the WSHL (Western States Hockey League) since that time, the team of Herman, who is both the director-general of the training as well as head coach, has had its share of success .

Evolving at Junior B III of the WSHL third in their first season, the organization graduated in Junior A-III third the following year. Since that time, the Texans, who play El Paso County Coliseum, won the championship six times in their division twice the Thorne Cup awarded to the champion team of the league (2008 and 2014) and the National Championship UHU in 2014. Their league, which will level tier II starting next year, will now be composed of 30 teams.States represented are numerous, either Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho, California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Nevada.

The ring Rhinos after their conquest of the national championship in 2014.

Source: Pierre-Luc Racette 

Caption: The ring Rhinos after their conquest of the national championship in 2014.

Pierre-Luc Racette kindly describe the game of this caliber league and the benefits for the many players to play for his training: “We have a mission to develop the program in the best interest of our players and our many supporters. We ensure the success and the evolution of our players. We also want to give them a nice window for the higher levels such as the NCAA or the professional leagues. The league is becoming more competitive each year, the current level of play is found between the Junior AAA (now LHJQ) and the Major Junior (QMJHL). The fact that we are now in a Tier II league caliber demonstrates that organizations like ours have a good development structure. We could play Tier II for some years, but being under the governance of UHU instead of USA Hockey has slowed the process, ” wanted to clarify the man of 31 years soon.

Whoever works in the field of hockey for a decade in North America and even Europe has only good words to say about his new organization, like the city: “Since I arrived with the Rhinos I can tell you that I feel at home. The organization and structure of our team is much like what is done in Quebec Major Junior, although the caliber of play is a little lower. This is what am happy and greatly motivates me to be part of the success of the Rhinos since joining the club. In terms of the city, El Paso was ranked in the top 5 of the best US cities to live in addition to being one where sport is very important, especially hockey where everyone knows the Rhinos ! It may sound incredible, but it is indeed the case. You have to see it to believe it, ” exclaimed the former assistant coach of the Isothermic Thetford Mines in the North American Hockey League (LNAH).

The return of players on the ice before every home game.

Source: Official website of El Paso Rhinos 

Caption: The return of the players on the ice before every home game.

Although this league is still unknown because it is not affiliated with the US hockey system, WSHL is constantly evolving and attracting more and more players across the globe. Each circuit training can have up to 12 European players and an unlimited number of North American players. There is no restriction on the maximum number of players to 20 years, unlike many junior leagues in Quebec. The opportunities for these hockey players aged between 17-20 years are especially at university level since the organization has a good relationship with the NCAA. At the end of the 2013-2014 season, no fewer than 10 players who played in El Paso were recruited in the third division of the NCAA.

At the lifestyles of hockey players who are heading this program, no detail was left to chance: “In terms of our weekly schedule, the team is on the ice four mornings a week from 7 am to 9:30 am although the ice remains available until noon for players who want to make extra working on their individual game. In the afternoon, our players are heading to our private gym under the supervision of coaches. The supervision of our hockey players is essential for all of our mission ” , described the Quebecers who is also involved in a junior team in Slovakia in 2014.

Often celebrated in El Paso!

Source: Official website of El Paso Rhinos 

Caption: It is often celebrated in El Paso!

At the games, these are only played on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Last year, 46 games were played without the games of the playoffs. By cons, with the new expansion teams, the number of parties could increase for the 2015-2016 campaign. The Rhinos, who post the best average attendance per meeting with about 2000 since the last 9 seasons have very specific objectives for each year beginning as explained by Mr. Racette: “The goal is clear Rhinos year after year, which is to win the Thorne Cup (awarded to the champions of the WSHL) and the national championship. Currently, recruitment is going well for the new season. Our team works hard to welcome the best players available that will allow us to win. “

The team of El Paso is also involved in their community by fundraising for various local organizations, like the foundation in the fight against Breast Cancer Susan G. Komen and the various local hockey teams at amateur. The Rhinos military also hold special events to thank their fighters and help animals find a home with their foundation “Animal Rescue League of El Paso.” Money is raised through the sale of jerseys worn during special events.

The jersey worn by players of Rhinos at the weekend of the military appreciation for the 2014-2015 season.

Source: Official website of El Paso Rhinos 

Caption: The jersey worn by players of Rhinos at the weekend of the military appreciation for the 2014-2015 season.

As closing remarks, the Magogois appeals to all Quebec players who might be tempted by this experience Texan flavor: “Our players live in a professional environment with a management and services that meet their needs. As a Quebecer, I would like to invite young people to try this unique experience. We have athletes from across Europe, the US and Canada, but very few of our province. Explain to hockey there are other possibilities that Québec networks and that could enable them to learn about different cultures, ” concluded the director of recruiting players Rhinos.

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