The Lone Star Brahmas return eight skaters for the 2020-21 season, including Joey Baez, Cole Beilke, Jack Collins, Andrew DeCarlo, Mitchell Digby, Stefan Miklakos, Dylan Smith and Joey Trazzera. Brahmas media spoke to each player to learn about the abrupt end to the 2019-20 year, off-season activities and what they are looking forward to for the upcoming NAHL season.
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS — To say Jack Collins had a “different” beginning year in the North American Hockey League would be a massive understatement. The rookie appeared in all four preseason games, scoring not only his first goal as a Brahma, but the first Brahma goal of the 2012-20 season in a 3-2 overtime win against the Kenai River Brown Bears. Collins then returned to North Richland Hills ready to be an offensive force on the ice–until injury struck. The forward missed several games before appearing again, only to suffer a season-ending lower body injury. In his own words, that’s “all in the past”, as Jack Collins is healthy and ready to take care of business. Keep reading to learn more about the Canton, N.Y. native.
Brahmas Media: How would you describe the 2019-20 season in your own words?
Jack Collins: There were a lot of veterans on the team that took ownership from the start. They had a goal in mind of what they wanted to accomplish, which was winning a championship. All of us younger guys bought into that and wanted to do the same. It was tough since I got injured so early in the season, but it was apparent that there was a great leadership core on the team.
BM: You suffered a serious injury in the middle of the season. Are you 100% ready-to-go for this year?
JC: I’m 100%.
BM: How have you been staying in-shape and motivated during your recovery?
JC: COVID was really tough, especially since I live in New York. They closed all of the gyms, but I have an uncle that has a gym in his garage so I used that. I had to learn how to walk again, so it was a different recovery for me. I worked one-on-one with a physical therapist which helped. I came back in the summer and skated, so that’s how I stayed in shape, but basically had to learn how to skate again, so that was tough. I couldn’t walk for four or five months, so it was hard to stay motivated, but I knew that I wanted to play hockey again. When I lost the ability to skate, I was frightened and scared, because I’ve never gone through a major injury like that before, but I trusted the process of recovery and it’s past me now. I’m ready to be back on the ice.
BM: What is one part of your game that you’re confident in and one part of your game that you’re looking forward to working on this year?
JC: I’m a big guy being 6’4”, so I’m good in the corners because I’m bigger than a lot of guys. I take up most of the net because of my size and I can screen and can read plays well in the defensive zone. One thing I’d like to do more this year is shoot the puck more (laughs).
BM: What are you most excited for this upcoming season?
JC: I’m excited to see what personalities are on the team and how we bond together, since it will be a different group. This is my fourth year of juniors and second in the NAHL, so I’m looking to take more of a leadership role this year. I’m ready to get going.
Fast facts about Jack Collins:
Hometown: Canton, N.Y.
Ice cream flavor: Chocolate chip cookie dough
Breakfast food: Pancakes
Hockey player: Mike Fischer
Dream job (besides hockey player): Stockbroker
Superpower of choice: Flying
Dream vacation destination: The Bahamas
Hidden talent: Boxing
The best thing about living in North Richland Hills: The food selection!
Sydney Johnson is a media and content intern with the Lone Star Brahmas.