NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Lone Star Brahmas are thrilled to announce that captain Sean Giles has committed to Robert Morris University for the 2016-17 season.
“You know initially I didn’t feel like I thought I would, but after getting my first practice in with the boys (since committing to RMU) and hearing how happy they were for me I’m just ecstatic,” Giles said. “It was really exciting to talk to my friends and family and they were all telling me congratulations. It’s just really cool.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity for him to go in there and play a lot,” head coach Dan Wildfong said. “Obviously he’s been such a great leader here. I think it’s going to transcend over there and he’s going to be a great asset for (the Colonials) not just on the ice, but off the ice as well.”
Giles spent two seasons with the Brahmas, and since day one, he has been one of the team’s shut down defenders. Both years he has been a pivotal part of the Brahmas penalty kill, earning himself a top spot on the NAHL’s second best killing unit, which is operating at nearly a 90-percent clip. Additionally, his plus-13 rating was the second best on the team and highest of any Lone Star defenseman.
“I think my first year in Lone Star I really had to focus on being more of a man in our end defensively,” Giles explained. “I had to find a role just being held accountable and make sure the coaches could trust me in our zone to not get scored on. Whereas this year, I think I’m starting to take a little bit more of an all situations role. I still want to have that shut down role… but I think that this year I’ve become a more complete player in all three zones.”
“I think he’s really done a great job in his role,” Wildfong added. “When he was a midget, he did a lot on the power play and was a lot more offensive. He really learned to not just play up, but how to shut down guys. He’s learned how to lead a team.”
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenseman is more than just a one trick pony. His offensive game is on the rise and it will continue to improve now that he is seeing steady minutes on the power play unit. Giles has 24 assists and 28 points for Lone Star in two seasons.
“He’s been working after practice on getting his shot away. He’s more mobile out there I think that’s a side of his game we haven’t even touched on like we could and that’s something Robert Morris is going to see a lot more of,” Wildfong said.
Last season, the Colorado Rampage product scored the game-winning, overtime goal to eliminate the Topeka RoadRunners in Game 4 of the South Division Finals. He carried that momentum into the 2015-16 season.
Giles began the year as one of two alternate captains, but earned the captaincy in January by demonstrating a team first mentality throughout his North American Hockey League career.
“I think that the leadership role I’ve taken on has helped me mature. Obviously when I have to think about the team more than myself, it’s about the big picture.”
The big picture from an individual perspective, however, is to continue to advance ones hockey career, and that is exactly what Giles is doing by attending Robert Morris.
“Robert Morris is moving a ton of guys on to the American League and I think it’s a great program not only hockey wise by in the classroom as well,” Wildfong said.
Giles plans on studying engineering at Robert Morris and he looks forward to taking his community involvement to the greater Pittsburgh area. When it comes to the ice, Giles said he is ready for his next opportunity.
“RMU is going to give me a chance to play right away and I told them that I would have used my extra year (of junior eligibility) if I needed to, but they lost three really big seniors (defensively) who played a lot of games for them and I think that it’s a good fit,” Giles said. “They have confidence in me and I want to go in and work hard for a spot in the lineup right away.”
There is no denying the Colorado Springs, CO native put in hard work throughout his career to earn a college scholarship. He is constantly critiquing his game, developing new skill sets, and working with his teammates and coaches to improve.
One thing is for sure. Giles does not waste any time when it comes to his development and the Atlantic Hockey Conference is about to see what No.27 is all about.
“As cliché as it sounds, I hear a lot of coaches say that ‘you have to do better today than you did yesterday.’ Even if you’re a little bit tired at the end and you want to get off, staying those extra ten or fifteen minutes will pay off so much. You won’t even feel it the next day; you’ll just have the reward. If you just do what the team does then everyone would be at the same level, but if you put the extra work in you can separate yourself,” Giles explained.