ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The Jackalopes season is just around the corner, officially starting on Sept. 16. On Wednesday, 4 Jackalopes players were given some extra responsibilities.
"You know they gotta be a good go between and we've always talked about that. If I say the sky is purple, they have to say the sky is purple. They can't go in the dressing room and say, 'ahh coach is crazy. It's blue,'" said Greg Gatto, Jackalopes head coach.
The Jackalopes unanimously named Rune Kirby captain. The Ludington, Michigan, native who returns to Odessa for the second year, is already working to create a culture among his team.
"We're stressing a lot of things like love and trust and family. We come from 4 different countries probably 10 plus different states so we are like a home away from home. And it's West Texas, so it's a culture shock for a lot of kids coming here. So I mean making that feel like family, it's easier to work hard for your brother if you love him," said Kirby.
3 teammates were chosen as alternate captains, one of those being Noah Poindexter, who backed up Kirby's plans.
"This year already we started doing our first week of training camp. We were hanging out by the pool having barbecues, getting lunch together, just simple things like that," said Poindexter.
The captains stressed that they believe what happens off the ice will directly translate to game performance, along with proper training and a certain mindset.
"We've talked about having a winning mentality. We wanna go into each game expecting to win, expecting to be the best team in the south. And obviously, win the playoffs and get the cup. We wanna expect that to happen," said Kirby.