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Honoring our High Plains Seniors: Tier II - Part 1

05/24/2020, 7:30pm MDT
By Scott Cattelino

The High Plains Hockey League continues it's recognition of our Senior with a look a the first part of our Tier II graduates


Cherokee Trail's Joe Kuzminski is all smiles as he graduates this spring and will head to Grand Canyon University next year.

     The 2020 High Plains hockey season is one that we will never forget, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.  Although we didn't get the chance to take the ice and enjoy the comradery of our friends, teammates, and coaches, we would like to take a moment to recognize and honor our High Plains Hockey League Seniors for their accomplishments and the culmination of their amazing high school careers.

     We at High Plains would like to extend our apologies for the heartbreak that you all have had to endure during your final days of high school.  We know it was not the ending that you had hoped for, but we are also here to applaud your courage and resiliency during these harsh and uncertain times.

     I wish there were some words of wisdom or enlightenment that I could bestow upon you Seniors to ease the frustration as you close this chapter of your lives in such an ominous manner, but the truth is none of us have been here before.  

     The class of 2020 has overcome something that we have never been through during our lifetimes, and that will only make you stronger.  The perseverance and determination to overcome that you all have displayed is inspiring and we have taken notice, so thank you.  Thank you for your strength.  Thank you for your resolve.  Thank you for showing us all the same conviction and persistence that we saw from you on the ice during your careers.  And thank you for making High Plains the fun and amazing league that it is because of all of you.

     Today we would like to recognize the first portion of our Tier II Seniors.  There are 49 graduating Seniors from ten teams that are representing Tier II this spring.  We appreciate all of you graduates and wish you the best as you venture forward.

High Plains Tier II Graduating Seniors - Part 1

Keegan Chambers - Arapahoe

High School: ​​​​​​Highlands Ranch High School

Position: Right Wing

Favorite hockey player and team? Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche

What’s your favorite thing about hockey? Having fun playing with friends.

Why do you like playing High Plains hockey? Chance to relax, fun but not 100% serious.

What are your future plans? Become a firefighter.

Ryan Larese - Arapahoe

High School: ​​​​​​Highlands Ranch

Position: Center

Favorite hockey player and team? Phil Kessel - Arizona Coyotes

What’s your favorite thing about hockey? Great Sportsmanship

Why do you like playing High Plains hockey? It is less competitive and makes the league a much better experience.

What are your future plans? College club hockey at Montana State and Beer League. 

Gabriel Dorra - Cherokee Trail

High School: ​​​​​​Overland High School

Position: Defense

Favorite hockey player and team? Mcdavid, Colorado Avalanche

What’s your favorite thing about hockey? Having fun playing with my friends and teammates.

Why do you like playing High Plains hockey? High plains hockey is a league where you can have but at the same time be competitive.

What are your future plans? Attend the University of Denver (Du) and study Business.

Joe Kuzminski - Cherokee Trail

High School: ​​​​​​Cherokee Trail

Position: Forward

Favorite hockey player and team? Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

What’s your favorite thing about hockey? I enjoy hockey for the rush, the excitement and the nonstop action the sport brings. You never know what your shift will bring to you.

Why do you like playing High Plains hockey? I played for Cherry Creek during the fall season, but always looked forward to playing high plains because of the fact that I would play with my close high school friends and teammates.

What are your future plans? This coming fall, I will be attending Grand Canyon University in Phoenix AZ.   Hockey will continue as I plan on playing for their hockey team.   I will also major in Cyber security.

Sebastian 'Sebi' Suarez - Fossil Ridge

High School: ​​​​​​Fossil Ridge

Position: Right Wing

Favorite hockey player and team? TJ Oshie, Washington Capitals

What’s your favorite thing about hockey? The feeling of playing the complex game without thinking of all the technique involved.

Why do you like playing High Plains hockey? It is fun and relaxed and all other seasons such as CHSAA or travel are just warmups for High Plains... the real deal.

What are your future plans? Go to school at CSU for architecture and construction management.

Ethan Blackburn - HTB

High School: Broomfield High School 

Position: Goalie 

Favorite hockey player and team? Pekka Rinne and The Avs

What do you like best about playing hockey? The friends I make and the memories that come with it. 

Why do you like playing High Plains Hockey? I play with a lot of my friends from the same teams and same school. I have known these guys for years and it’s really fun to keep playing even after regular season.

What are your future plans?

Go to college and keep playing hockey.

Romeo Luna - HTB

High School: Horizon High School

Position: Defence 

Favorite hockey player and team? Vegas Golden Knights and Nathan Mackinnon

What do you like best about playing hockey? Creating new bonds and being able to feel the cold rush. 

Why do you like playing High Plains Hockey? Able to play with new players and old players too. 

What are your future plans? I’m gonna go to Front Range Community College for one year and then transfer over to Metro State University and play for them and be a road runner and major in Business.

Mason Proctor - HTB

High School: Horizon

Position: Forward

Favorite hockey player and team?  Sidney Crosby

What do you like best about playing hockey?  The intensity of the game and my teammates. 

Why do you like playing High Plains Hockey?  Good Hard Hockey.

What are your future plans? College. 

Ryan Proctor - HTB

High School: Horizon

Position: Goalie 

Favorite hockey player and team? Martin Brodeur 

What do you like best about playing hockey?  Hanging with Teammates and travel.

Why do you like playing High Plains Hockey?  More Hockey.

What are your future plans? College.

Joshua Caraher - Longmont

High School: Niwot High School

Position: Wing

Favorite hockey player and team? Dylan Larkin - Detroit Red Wings

What do you like best about playing hockey? My favorite part about playing hockey is getting to spend time with good friends while sniping goaltenders.

Why do you like playing High Plains Hockey? I like High Plains Hockey because it is a more laid back scene compared to other competitive leagues and allows me to have a fun season after the more grueling competitive season.

What are your future plans?
I plan to study Aerospace Engineering at CU and hopefully find ways to keep playing hockey.

Hunter Hawkins - Monarch

High School: ​​​​​​Legacy High School

Position: Left Wing

Favorite hockey player and team? Aleksander Barkov- Florida Panthers

What’s your favorite thing about hockey? It's fun to play.

Why do you like playing High Plains hockey? To Play with friends.

What are your future plans? CU Boulder

Dylan Huth-Kramer - Monarch

High School: ​​​​​​Monarch

Position: Center

Favorite hockey player and team? Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche

What’s your favorite thing about hockey? Nothing feels better hitting the ice and grinding out three periods with your team.

Why do you like playing High Plains hockey? It is much more relaxed, less pressure in playing the game makes it more enjoyable for everyone.

What are your future plans? College Hockey at Colorado Mesa University.

Jason Katz - Monarch

High School: Monarch

Position: Defense

Favorite hockey player and team? Avalanche, Cale Makar

What’s your favorite thing about hockey? How fast and fun it is.

Why do you like playing High Plains hockey? It is chill and I don't have to work much.

What are your future plans? CU Boulder for Engineering. 


Hunter Hawkins will graduate from Legacy High School and is one of six seniors from the Monarch team. He will be attending CU Boulder in the fall.

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