Sean Giles came to the Lone Star Brahmas in a round about manner after spending the past few seasons with the T1EHL Colorado Rampage. The big defenseman’s journey to the NYTEX Sports Centre started when he signed a Tender with the NAHL South Division rival Amarillo Bulls. In early August Head Coach Dan Wildfong pulled the trigger on a trade that brought Giles to Lone Star in exchange for Charlie Combs who the Brahmas had tendered last fall.
Giles was in main camp with the Bulls in July and knew from comments made by the Amarillo coaching staff that the Bulls would be making changes before the season opened. “The coaches hinted at the fact they would make some changes,” said Giles. “However, I was completely unaware that I was a player involved in trade discussions until I received a phone call from Coach Rogger with the finalized news.” Obviously it was the first time that he had been through the process and was caught off guard. “It was a weird feeling,” he recalled. “You see pro players being traded all your life very nonchalantly, but when it happens to you, it’s a strange rush of emotions. I now know how lucky I am to be in this situation, and I’m happy it worked out for the best.”
Upon learning that he had been traded Giles made two phone calls. The first was to his parents, the second was to Brahmas forward AJ Vanderbeck. The two had played three seasons together with the Rampage and spent the entire summer training together. They had joked about the rivalry they would have playing for different teams in the Sough Division. Now they would once again be on the same roster which helped in the transition. “When you leave for junior hockey you have to go to a new city, a new team, and even a new family, so I was very glad to have Vandy, not only because he’s a great player, but because he helped me realize I wasn’t alone in this journey.”
Sean began playing hockey at the age of four following a less than inspiring shot at T-Ball. The Giles family were Colorado College hockey season ticket holders so when his father asked him what was next, he chose hockey. Giles borrowed gear from some fellow season ticket holders who had a son a couple years older who had outgrown the equipment. The rest as they say is history.
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Rob Blake was Giles’ biggest inspiration when he was growing up learning the game. “He was the stud defenseman for my home team,” said Sean. “I wanted to be just like him.” Now he works to emulate Nicklas Lidstrom. “There’s a reason he didn’t miss the playoffs once during his 20 season NHL career,” explained Giles. “He matched up against the other teams best guys to keep them from scoring, but was also an offensive threat on the power play, he always made smart passes, and was a phenomenal leader. Hopefully I can play nearly as well as he did.”
Last season Giles was a member of a team that won the Colorado State Championship in overtime. They then went on to the Rocky Mountain District Title which they won in double overtime to advance to the National Championship. “It was incredible proof of our character to overcome the adversity of our season ending at any moment, and melding to achieve our season-long goal.”
When asked what he has seen as the difference between the T1EHL and the NAHL, Giles explained it with the following statement. “The T1EHL has a lot of talent and is great for development. However, there’s a huge difference in skill from team to team. The NAHL is a man’s game, with much more developed players. Every night is a dog fight for two points, and every team plays at a high level.”
He believes that high level extends to the Brahmas organization as a whole. “The Brahmas really treat us like professionals,” he said. “We have incredible facilities, coaches, and teammates to help us reach our full potential. Opposing teams hate coming into Brahmaland, and we love how rowdy the fans get. Hopefully they appreciate the effort we put forth for them, and I look forward to plenty of more wins to come.”
Giles has set some very basic personal goals this season. Goals that are buoyed by experience he had last season and his internal drive. I just try to focus on becoming a better player every single day.” He closed by adding “If the boys continue to stick to this process, we can achieve our team goal of winning the Robertson Cup,” something that everyone in Brahmaland is pulling for this season.
2012/13CO Rampage U16
2013/14CO Rampage U18