Texarkana Bandits' captain Casey Haines has spent the last three years scoring goals in front of goaltender Riley Gill.
But next year, he will be trying to score against him.
Just a few weeks following Gill's commitment to Western Michigan, Haines has accepted a scholarship to play for Ferris State. Haines, Texarkana's second all-time leading scorer, is the fifth Bandit this season to recieve a Division I scholarship and the third in the CCHA.
"I met the staff at Ferris last summer and knew this was the place for me," stated the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Haines. "Their commitment to winning a championship as well as the importance they place on getting a degree was impressive."
Texarkana coach-GM Jon Cooper was elated with the news.
"Casey has played the last four years for me and has been nothing but a class act on and off the ice," said Cooper, who also coached Haines with the HoneyBaked midget team in 2002-2003. "Whether it is on the ice, in the gym or out in the community, Casey leads the way. Ferris hit the lottery with this kid. Coach (Bob) Daniels and his staff did a great job during the recruiting process."
Haines, a 19-year-old from Indiana, PA, joins current teammates Gill, Jason Weeks (Canisius), Pat Knowlton (Army) and Pat Maroon (Ferris State) as players to go Division I next season, more than any other team in the NAHL. Haines is also going to be the 25th Bandit to be playing college hockey in the team's short three-year history.