Rampage program keeps growing, adds new 15U AAA team
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A new team will join the Colorado Rampage lineup next season.
It’s a 15U AAA team (2001 birth years) that will be led by veteran coach Marc Boxer.
“We’re looking for good kids from good families who are self-motivated, hard workers and want to be the best they can be,” Boxer said. “Our key mindset will be skill development. That will be 80 percent of our focus. We want team success, of course, but we want to make each kid a better player. And have a ton of fun along the way.”
The new Rampage team will be eligible for state, regional and national tournaments. It also will participate in several showcase events.
There will be as many as four practices and four off-ice sessions per week, adding up to more than 100 practices and more than 100 off-ice sessions over the course of the season.
Boxer is looking forward to working with the team.
“After the team was formed, I was asked if I was interested in being the coach,” he said. “I thought it was a good opportunity. This is an intriguing age group. As coaches, we’ll have a chance to introduce the kids to a lot of new things and watch them grow.”
Tryouts will be held in July. The team has a core group of players, but there are plenty of roster spots open.
“We’re very happy with the core group, but we’ll be looking for players until the end of the summer,” Boxer said. “I’ve have a lot of phone calls already from people who are interested in the team.”
The Colorado Sports Center in Monument is home for Rampage teams and has two rinks and in-house off-ice training facilities for skill development and strength and conditioning workouts.
The three-member 15U coaching staff has more than 36 years of coaching experience. In addition, there are goalie and strength and conditioning coaches.
Boxer, director of junior hockey for USA Hockey, was born in Dallas and grew up and started playing hockey in Hancock, Mich.
After a playing career that included four years at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and professional stints with the Louisville River Frogs (East Coast Hockey League), Memphis River Rings (Central Hockey League) and ESV Bayreuth-Germany, he’s been a coach for about 20 years.
He’s coached a variety of age groups from 8U to college players at Michigan Tech University and pros with the River Kings. He also coached Team Michigan in the USA Hockey Select 16 program.
Boxer lives in the Colorado Springs area with his wife and two sons, who each play in the Rampage program.
Joey Carroll is the new team’s associate coach. The New Mexico native was coach of the 2015-2016 Rampage 16U American AAA and 14U AA and B teams. He played for the University of New Mexico and junior with the Colorado Outlaws. He also lives in the Colorado Springs area.
Dan Beaudette is the new team’s assistant coach. He’s coached hockey in the Denver area since 2006 and helped coach the Rampage U14 AAA team during the 2015-2016 season. A 1986 draft choice of the New York Islanders, he decided to play college hockey at Miami and was assistant captain and captain in his junior and senior seasons, respectively. He then played pro hockey with the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL. Away from the rink, he’s a commercial insurance business executive living in the Denver area.
Former Colorado College goalie Matt Zaba and Riese Niehaus will be the new team’s goalie coaches. Zaba has been the Colorado College goalie coach and has worked with Rampage goalies since 2015. Niehaus has served in the Rampage program in many capacities since 2014, including assistant coach with the 16U National and 18U teams.
Jon Eng and Lauren Colizza will serve as strength and conditioning coaches.
— Steve Stein