- Created: 18 October 2017
The Eugene Generals are proud to announce Nash Berkowitz, Kenneth Griffin and Jackson Baughman as the team’s assistant captains for the 2017-18 season.
Eugene native and third-year veteran Jack Thornton was named as the team’s captain prior to the start of the season, but with only a handful of returners from last year's squad, Generals Head Coach Justin Kern opted to wait and see during the season's first few weeks which players would exude the leadership qualities required of the assistant captain role. Midway through this past weekend’s USPHL Chicago Showcase, Kern felt comfortable and confident that Berkowitz, Griffin and Baughman were the proper choices to wear the "A" for the Generals this season.
"In years past, we've named all of our captains right out of the gate, and I've learned that doesn't always work out the best," said Head Coach Justin Kern. "Jack stepped up immediately and was the clear choice to serve as captain, but when it came to the assistants I wanted to wait it out and see how the guys handled both adversity and success, and also who was being a positive influence to others on and off of the ice."
Nash Berkowitz is one of those aforementioned returners, a fourth-year veteran that has seen the team increase its win totals in every year since his first season in 2014-15 (13, 21, 34).
"Nash has a great demeanor and I think the guys really feed off of his energy," said Kern. "He has a pair of rookies (Dillon Foster and Dakota Henn) at his billet house, and I think he's had a great impact on those two. Berky has seen and done it all. He's been through bad times and good times with the team, and he's really good at handling the grind while keeping his teammates on a positive track."
Kenneth Griffin may not technically be a returner from last year’s team, but as a member of the 2014-15 team, the first full season with Head Coach Justin Kern at the helm, he brings a mature and veteran presence to the team that has been instantly felt since his return to the Emerald Valley.
"Kenny was an easy choice because of how calm under pressure he is," said Kern. "He's as blue collar as they come when it comes to working. He always does exactly what he's supposed to do, doesn't get crazy, and he's a very calming presence for everyone around him. He's a bit of a stoic individual, and you can just see everyone looking up to him for the way that he works in dryland and performs during games."
Jackson Baughman, a first-year defenseman, is the only true newcomer to the Generals that will wear the “A” this season, a statement in itself. Originally slated to join the team last season, an upper body injury while playing football at Windsor High School prevented him from traveling North to join the Generals.
"Jackson has been a really great teammate from the moment he arrived here," said Kern. "He's relates so well to everyone on the team, and I see him being the kind of captain that can get all sides of every situation because of that. He's a really fun guy to be around, and I think that he's going to do a great job in bridging that gap between the rookies and the veterans."
The Eugene Generals organization congratulates Berkowitz, Griffin and Baughman for being named as Assistant Captains for the 2017-18 season.
The three will make their official debuts wearing the "A" this weekend as the Generals travel to Bellingham, Washington for a two-game series against Western Washington University. The series is set to be played Friday and Saturday night at the Bellingham Sportsplex with both games scheduled for a 7:00pm PST start time.