Centaurus grad, Broomfield product Biggerstaff excited to be moving up to NA3HL’s Cobras in ’21-22
For Ross Biggerstaff, he has always believed in the development system in the game of hockey.
This past season, the Broomfield native skated for Centaurus High School and previously, for the Hyland Hills Jaguars.
Next season, he’ll make the leap to junior hockey after recently signing with the NA3HL’s Butte Cobras, coached by Vail native Kirk Golden.
“The opportunity to play for Butte first arose when my current coach Stephen Cunningham was meeting with all the seniors about our goals next year,” Biggerstaff said. “I told him I wanted to try and play juniors next year and he looked into what coaches he knew. At the time, my good buddy Jay Alford was playing for the Great Falls Americans in the NA3 and was giving me the contact information for the coaches. I got into contact with Coach Golden, who was an assistant coach for Great Falls and talked to him about playing next year. He then got the job to be the head coach over at Butte.
“My current coach (Cunningham) actually played with Golden up in a European pro league, I believe, and helped me decide playing for him next year would be the most beneficial to my hockey career, so I talked to Coach Golden about the Butte program and team and thought it would be a great fit so I signed with him for the opportunity to play next season.”
Biggerstaff, a 2002 birth year, said he feels he can adjust to the junior level early on in 2021-22.
“I think that my vision and awareness on the ice will be very beneficial in making the transition,” Biggerstaff said. “As well, I think although I am not a very large defenseman sitting at 5-foot-10, I think my speed and shot which allowed me to be the leading scorer of our high school team, the Centaurus Warriors, will also help me succeed in juniors and be able to make plays and help the Butte team this next season.”
During his youth, Biggerstaff said he caught the itch to play hockey at a young age.
“I started playing hockey very early, when I was four years old, I believe,” said Biggerstaff. “I’m not exactly sure why I chose hockey, especially when I was that young, other than the simple fact that my dad and uncle had both been hockey players playing up until high school. My dad was playing men’s league at the time and I remember watching him when I was very little, which probably played into the fact I chose the sport, since when I was little, I just wanted to be like my dad.”
Biggerstaff played most of his youth hockey for the Hyland Hills Hockey Association in Westminster, all the way from rec as a Squirt up until 18U AA in 2019-20.
“I went through many coaches there so it’s hard to pick one, but one coach that stuck out at Hyland would be Jeff Lipton,” Biggerstaff said. “I really just loved his coaching strategy and approaches, as well as how hard he pushed us making us run hills for dryland and push tires on the ice. We ultimately ended up winning the league that year at 16U A.”
In high school, Biggerstaff joined the Centaurus program out of Lafayette with a JV team his first year and a first-year varsity team competing in the 5A conference his senior year.
“I think this is when I truly locked in my passion for hockey through two coaches I will never forget – Andy Finney and Cunningham,” said Biggerstaff. “Coach Finney was an assistant coach for our JV team and moved up to our varsity team as well. Finney is the most inspirational person and coach I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Throughout the season and long before Finney was in a constant battle with cancer, he truly showed us what it meant to be a Warrior pushing through endless rounds of chemo and waking up at 5 a.m. to come and coach us the next day. No matter what got thrown at him, he would always take it and bounce back to be able to help his team and help us grow as players and young men. Unfortunately, Finney lost the battle to cancer at the start of our first varsity season. This hit our team hard, and the loss really hurt us, but we used it to help fuel our passion for the game knowing he was still watching from above and loved to see us play hard.
“’Cunny’ has been a huge help for me throughout high school hockey and is one of the reasons I have the opportunity to continue playing. His coaching strategy and view of the game are what made me the player I am today, and I loved having the opportunity to learn from him and absorb all the knowledge he had to offer in order to help me better myself and my hockey skills.”
Going forward, Biggerstaff has set goals he feels are attainable if he continues his work ethic on and off the ice.
“My short-term goals right now are to first graduate from high school and be able to make an impact helping the Butte Cobras next season,” Biggerstaff said. “My long-term goals I am still not set on yet, but I think I would like to play juniors for as long as possible to grow and get exposure to hopefully be picked up by an NCAA college and be able to continue to play hockey and get a college education in the engineering field.”
— Matt Mackinder
(May 14, 2021)