When Cory Herman started the El Paso youth hockey program in 2001, the goal was to give local kids the opportunity to develop their hockey skills. Soon more youngsters started to play hockey, and Herman brought both of his brothers into town to help him out with the youth program. Kids from the surrounding area, including Midland-Odessa and Amarillo regularly make the six to eight hour drive to El Paso to play in weekend games and tournaments. Currently, the Rhinos have over 500 boys and girls playing youth hockey over 10 different age groups. Their biggest program, the Mite (8 and under) and Mini Mite (6 and under) consist of 250 youngsters.

Kendal Craig, the newest member of the El Paso Rhinos. Photo courtesy of Oscar Yanez.

Yesterday, the El Paso Rhinos announced that another member of their youth program was going to get an opportunity to play with the big club. Kendal Craig has been involved in the Rhinos program for nearly five years, and now has made the final roster of the Junior A amateur team. It is quite an accomplishment for the Amarillo native.

"This is what the youth program and the Rhino program are all about," head coach Cory Herman said.  "Our youth players have taken advantage of our facilities and programs and are getting the opportunity to play on the junior team."

Craig is a left winger and is a junior at Franklin High School and is 5'11 and 185 pounds. He will be in uniform this weekend when the Rhinos host the Boulder Bison. For Coach Herman and the Rhinos, Kendal is another example of how hard work and dedication on and off the ice pays off.