Every hockey season has its share of surprises.
most of the time they reach the light by the all-star break. In fact,
if you asked anyone in Springfield, Illinois if they thought a player
named Greg Rallo would be the top scorer on their team – the NAHL’s
Springfield Jr. Blues – and named to Team West for the NAHL All-Star
Game in St. Louis, they would probably ask, “who?”
spotlight so soon, although he admitted that he was not surprised by
Rallo’s ability to score goals.
is in his first season with the Springfield Jr. Blues. “He just had to
get comfortable playing against big, strong players and he’s done that.”
wondered if a player from the AA hockey ranks could cut it at this
rising star play. “I heard a lot of grumbling from a lot of different
The numbers don’t lie.
break. He is one of the top scorers at the moment in the NAHL.
get right out on the ice. The result has been beyond the coach’s
think this big breakthrough would have happened right now. I knew it
would, but I thought it would be next season.”
performances so far a surprise.
the net. “I heard all of that stuff (criticism) way in the beginning,
but I don’t take any offense to it.”
ALL-AROUND GOOD KID
leader by example.
coach, who took over the team a mere five days before the NAHL draft.
know he’s going to be there.”
need. And being the team player that Rallo is, he would tell you he
needs the team too.
youngster is a host at an Applebee’s restaurant in Springfield, where he
works every day after practice. He says his routine shifts to weight
training and working out each afternoon, followed by an evening of
relaxation before getting up early in the morning and doing it all again
the next day.
what not, has helped me to adjust to the speed and change of pace coming
from AA,” says Rallo.
chance to prove himself. In coach Heggs and with the Blues, he found
see in every player.
Heggs. “He’s a perfect kid on a team that needs the support because of
the late start we had.”
game and otherwise.
certain core group of players for a number of reasons,” says Heggs.
“Some kids even need more maintenance on the ice too and I can tell you,
Greg does not fall in that category. ”
Rallo can only agree.
talkative person. That’s how I lead.”
perform is what really matters most at the moment. Rallo talks about
what he and his teammates need to do to win.
previous wins over the Danville Wings and the Chicago Freeze. “If we
show up, we can play with anybody.”
more colleges will come knocking.
college because he will be one of the hardest players to replace,” he
said, referring to colleges that have inquired about Rallo, including
Union College. “But, I know Greg wants to go to college and I want
what’s best for him.”
If he stays?
hockey. Those are certainly great steppingstones for improving one’s
life chances and perhaps having some fun trying to make the NHL some day
Rallo will continue to weigh all of his options.
see what other opportunities open up too.”
Hard-working. Determined. Selfless.
Rallo,” says Heggs.