SHERIDAN — Sheridan Hawks’ head coach Andy Scheib is knee-deep in the process of building a roster. Sheridan’s new NA3HL team is set to drop the puck for its inaugural season this September, and in the meantime, Scheib is looking to round out his 25-man roster.
Saturday morning not only represented the chapter in that process, but a significant one as well. Local hockey players Blake Billings, Bode Dunham and John Mccaffrey signed their tender contracts with the Hawks Saturday morning at the M&M’s Center.
“These three guys are the hometown heroes, if you want to call them that,” Scheib said. “… I think it is huge for the community. I think we picked the best three in Wyoming, in my opinion. So for those guys to be simply staying at home, I think is awesome.”
Billings and Mccaffrey hail from Big Horn, and while Dunham is from Sheridan, he plays his hockey in Colorado Springs.
Billings led the Sheridan Hawks — of the Wyoming Hockey Amateur Hockey League — with 35 goals this past season.
He also logged 23 assists, and Scheib will need him to do more of the same for the NA3HL Sheridan Hawks.
“He needs to score goals,” Scheib said. “That’s what he did in high school, and that’s what I expect him to do here.”
Mccaffrey added 20 goals and 15 assists for the WAHL squad. Dunham played in 20 games for NAPHL Colorado Springs Tigers (U16) team and recorded one assist. Both Mccaffrey and Dunham will likely play as defensemen for the Hawks.
Dunham will take online classes next fall, Mccaffery will attend Big Horn High School as a junior and Billings, who graduates from Big Horn this spring, will either take a few classes at Sheridan College or just work a part-time job. Players on the Sheridan Hawks must either attend school or work in addition to their hockey obligations.
All three athletes are eager for the roster to fill out and the season to arrive, as they hope to make a splash in year one.
“I’m super excited,” Billings said. “This is where I grew up. We have a lot of support here in Sheridan. Our high school games have a bunch of people here (at the M&M’s Center). I’m super excited to see how many people show up this fall.”