Colorado Rubber

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Staub to fly with Falcons

 

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Colin Staub, a forward with the North American Hockey League’s Wichita Falls Wildcats, will continue his hockey career at the NCAA Division I level next season after committing to the U.S. Air Force Academy.

“I’m excited not only to play college hockey, but to play college hockey in my hometown,” the forward from Colorado Springs said. “I want to thank my parents and girlfriend back in Colorado Springs; their support over the last three years and prior to my junior career has been incredible.

“I’d also like to thank the coaching staff here in Wichita Falls, starting with Paul Baxter and now John LaFontaine, and of course (assistant coach) Chris Ceransky and (former assistant coach) Nick Harper.”

“We’re thrilled to see Colin’s hard work and character get rewarded by Air Force,” LaFontaine said. “Colin is our team leader and exemplifies that every day in his actions, on and off the ice. He’s earned every bit of this opportunity to play for one of the nation’s top programs while attending one of the best academic institutions in the country.”

Although Staub had been on the Falcons’ radar for a time, a strong performance in Wenatchee, Wash., prior to the holiday break proved to be the final piece to his recruiting puzzle.

“(Air Force head coach) Frank Serratore saw me in Wenatchee right before the Christmas break, but he didn’t really talk to me after the game,” said Staub. “Then when I got home to Colorado Springs, he called and asked if I wanted to come down for a visit.

“He mentioned he’d been watching me over the last couple of years and said that in Wenatchee, he saw that last little thing he needed to see, which for him, was an extra step in my speed. That’s something I’d been working on for a really long time, so it was exciting to hear that it had finally been noticed.”

Staub, who played his Midget hockey with the Pikes Peak Miners program of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) prior to joining the Wildcats, highlighted the proximity of the Air Force Academy to his childhood home as a key factor in his decision.

“It’s 20 minutes away from where my parents live, which was a huge thing for me” Staub said. “I love playing in front of people I know, so it’s exciting they’ll be able to see me play every weekend for the first time in three years.”

While playing in the NAPHL from 2009-12, Staub played in 62 career regular-season games for both the Pikes Peak 16U and 18U teams. During that span, he recorded 69 career points and was named to the All-NAPHL 16U First Team during the 2010-11 season.

Staub currently ranks among the Wildcats franchise leaders in most offensive categories, including goals (33), assists (58), points (91) and games played (144).

But for Baxter, the Wildcats’ president and general manager who coached Staub during his first two seasons in Texoma, the numbers don’t paint the entire picture.

“Colin is the consummate leader,” Baxter said. “We’re very proud how he’s represented the Wildcats and the city of Wichita Falls in his time here, and are excited to watch him represent our country in the same fashion he has our community.”

Article/Photo Courtesy Wichita Falls Wildcats