FREDONIA, N.Y. — Ryan Wilkinson (Calgary, Alberta / St. Albert Catholic) has been selected captain of the 2015-16 Fredonia Blue Devil men’s hockey team.
A defenseman, Wilkinson has appeared in 71 games for the Blue Devils over three seasons — most among returning players.
“It is a huge honor to be named captain … and having the decision come from my fellow teammates is an incredible feeling,” Wilkinson said. “I can’t wait to get back to school next year and start the season. Things are definitely changing around here and we’re ready to bring a new culture to our team, school, and community.
“Right now we all have a chip on our shoulder but that’s only going to help motivate us over the summer and into next season. As a team we know that people will consider us underdogs We’re ready to embrace this label, catch some people by surprise, and prove all the critics wrong.”
In addition to choosing a captain, the Blue Devils selected three assistant captains — seniors Taylor Bourne (Calgary, Alberta / Bowness) and Mitch Kaufmann (Red Deer, Alberta / Hunting Hills), and junior Hunter Long (Lebanon, Tenn. / Lebanon).
Here are their comments:
Bourne: “It is an honor to have my teammates put their faith and trust in me to be an alternate captain this upcoming season. It’s special to be put in the same group with Wilky, Kauf and Hunter as those three guys are tremendous leaders in our dressing room. I think the biggest thing for me, is to lead by example both on and off the ice, come in and work hard every day and keep things positive. The group that we have coming back wants to win more than anything next year and there is a lot of excitement in our dressing room about the upcoming season.”
Kaufmann: “It’s an honor to have been selected as a leader of this hockey team. We have already come so far since the end of the season and I couldn’t be happier to move forward with the lean group we have now and also welcome in a large group of freshmen that are willing to work as much as we are now.”
Long: “It’s always an honor to be formally nominated by your teammates for a leadership role. However, being a leader also requires being a good listener and being open to others’ ideas. The four of us may have a letter, but it is the focus and execution from a group of 28 players, coaches and staff that win hockey games.”