Written by Kirk Estes of SportDFW.com
(July 2, 2014)- The Lone Star Brahmas conducted an Open Tryout Camp at the NyTex Sports Centre this past weekend. The camp was the final tryout prior to the Main Camp scheduled for July 24 – 27 at the Taylor Sportsplex in Detroit, MI.
There were over 70 prospective players in camp divided into four teams looking to catch the eye of the coaching staff. “It is nice to get our feet wet with these camps as we were unable to field the competition last season due to our late start,” said Brahmas Head Coach Dan Wildfong. “We are getting excited about the upcoming season and look forward to main camp next month in Detroit.”
Texas is becoming a hotbed of hockey in a state long known for its love of football. There are currently six NAHL teams calling Texas home and five of the past 11 Champions have come from Texas. The Allen Americans have claimed back-to-back CHL titles and the Texas Stars won the AHL Calder Cup this past season.
When the Dallas Stars moved to North Texas from Minnesota in the early 1990s there were about 1,000 players in the state. According to Chris Peters, USA Hockey Official Membership Records show that number had grown to 11,861 for the 2012/13 season. Over a 10 year period from 2003, the number of registered players in the state jumped 82%, more than any other state other than Florida. So, it was no surprise that roughly 70% of the players on the ice being evaluated by the Brahmas staff had ties to the area. That fact was not lost on Wildfong. “It was great to produce a camp where both local and out of town athletes could attend. This area’s talent pool is growing, so it is promising to have several homegrown players come out.”
One of the players who made his presence known during the camp was the Brahmas’ third round selection in the 2014 NAHL Entry Draft and 53rd pick overall, Caleb Thompson. Thompson is a 6’ 0” / 180 pound defenseman born in Edmond, OK on 04/07/1994.
Thompson played two seasons in the Dallas Stars MM system and will now return to the DFW Metroplex as a member of the Brahmas organization. After wrapping up his two seasons with the Dallas Stars, Caleb was invited to the Prince George Spruce Kings Prospect Camp and signed with the BCHL program. In announcing Thompson’s signing, Spruce Kings GM Mike Hawes told 250 News “It’s an exciting day for the organization when we can add a player of Caleb’s ability to our lineup. He is a tremendous two-way defenseman who sees the ice very well, can contribute offensively and is very good defensively.” Hawes went on to add, “Caleb also plays the body very well and will provide a physical presence for us from the blueline.”