I won’t bury the lede: Ryan Burkholder returns as captain for his senior season. The alternate captains are defensemen Matt Baxter and Curtis DeBruyn and forward Chris Fairbanks.
Burkholder, a senior from Newmarket, Ontario, played in junior hockey for his hometown Newmarket Hurricanes. Over three years in Huntsville, Burkholder has been a defensive defenseman, registering just two points in his collegiate career while anchoring the Chargers’ blueline. Burkholder is the second straight two-year, defenseman captain, following in the skate trails of Scott Kalinchuk, and was awarded a Bronze Scholar Award at the 2010 UAH Athletics Banquet for having a GPA in the 3.0-3.5 range.
Baxter, a senior from Courtice, Ontario, played junior hockey for the now-defunct Bowmanville Eagles. Over three years in a Charger uniform, Baxter has netted two goals and nine assists while patrolling the Charger blue line. Baxter has also proven to be a stellar student, making the College Hockey America All-Academic team as well as being awarded a Silver Scholar Award at the 2010 UAH Athletics Banquet for having a GPA in the 3.5-3.8 range, majoring in psychology and sociology.
DeBruyn, a sophomore from Calgary, Alberta, played junior hockey for the Olds Grizzlys. In his first season in Huntsville, played in 32 of the team’s 33 contests, netting one goal and six assists. DeBruyn is majoring in finance at UAH, and was awarded a Bronze Scholar Award at the 2010 UAH Athletics Banquet for having a GPA in the 3.0-3.5 range.
Fairbanks, a senior from Milford, Michigan, is the nephew of former Charger Mike Fairbanks and played junior hockey with the Mahoning Valley (now Youngstown) Phantoms. Fairbanks is fifth among returning scorers from the 2009-10 team, and has netted eight goals and six assists in 70 games for the Chargers and was awarded a Bronze Scholar Award at the 2010 UAH Athletics Banquet for having a GPA in the 3.0-3.5 range.
I know all four young men well, and they have shown themselves to be true Chargers, setting their foundations for success on and off the ice with character and discipline. Their work ethic shows both in their play on the ice and their performance in the classroom. Each has made significant strides each year in the Blue and White, and every Charger fan can be proud that they represent this program, our university, and the city of Huntsville. They will lead the team well this season. (Photos courtesy of Doug Eagan.)