Dear Brahma Nation,
As my time as a Brahma player comes to an amazing end, it’s impossible to imagine where I’d be without this program. Often times with winning a championship, comes this week-long commotion and overwhelming excitement, rightly so. However, as the buzz starts to die down, and the boys have left town, and all of the fan events are over, I can’t help but reminisce and thank those responsible for my time as a Brahma. Whether you had a huge impact or a relatively small one, this letter is for you, this letter is for everyone.
To the various staffs revolving around the Brahmas, whether it’s coaching, ownership, rink, front office, training, or equipment staff, your efforts do not go unnoticed. Throughout the years, players come and go, but you guys are the constant that holds this great organization together. Without you all, we don’t have a rink to skate on, equipment, healthy bodies, fans in the stands, a plan going into games, or even an organization all together. I remember at the beginning of the year, the rink staff was tasked with installing the main sheet of ice in less than two days. Nobody complained, the only rumblings heard were, “we’ll get it done.” This is just a small example of the willingness of the rink staff to put the team before themselves, which embodies the way the entire organization runs itself. While looking back at the team that won the Robertson Cup, we weren’t the biggest, most skilled, or even the fastest team in the league. We were the most prepared. Thank you for your often unseen but always appreciated work. We are able to do what we love everyday because of the invaluable foundation you have built for this program.
To the boys, thank you for allowing me to be your captain. It has undoubtedly been the greatest honor of my life to be the captain of a championship winning team. As I’m thinking back though, I really didn’t have to do much. Sure a word here and there, or trying my best to lead by example, but it’s the leaders that didn’t have letters that really held our team together. Guys like Glover, Kelley, O’Rourke, and many others who didn’t have the representation of a leader on their jersey, but pushed our team to become champions. To the puppies (rookies), thank you for bringing the juice not only for games, but for every practice as well. When times seemed tough, and the older guys were tired, it was you guys who inserted energy into the lineup, we don’t win without each and everyone of you. Brahmaland, you guys are in good hands with the guys coming back. Michael Jordan said that a legacy is built by more than what is seen, and that couldn’t be more right. Wherever you play next, remember how we embraced the grind, will your teammates to do the same, and you’ll be champions again.
To the fans, it’s been an honor to play in front of y’all in the shoebox. No matter the outcome of our games on Friday night, you would be there on Saturday with the same energy and enthusiasm week in and week out. There’s hundreds of things to do on the weekends in the metroplex and over 2,000 of you all came and supported every time we had a home game. Your dedication and love for our team doesn’t go unnoticed. When we beat Corpus in Game 4 and forced Game 5 back home, we knew. We knew you would show up, we knew you would be loud, and we knew that no matter the outcome, you would be there for us. That Game 5 was the loudest I’ve ever heard the shoebox, and we don’t win that game without you. Aside from all the noise and love you guys showed to us all season, the most rewarding experience you gave to me was the opportunity to be a role model for your children. To see the awe in your children’s eyes after getting an autograph or picture on Friday and Saturday makes all the sacrifices throughout the week worth it.
In closing, let me just say that it has been an honor. Thank you for making this the best junior hockey experience anyone could ever ask for. I will miss everyone dearly, and wish nothing but the best for everyone revolving around the organization, as you’ve done for me. While the junior hockey chapter of my life comes to a close, I feel so fortunate to say that I was, and always will be, a Lone Star Brahma.
Your Captain John Zimmerman