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Wilhite Commits

04/28/2008 8:47 PM - Marcus Wilhite arrived in El Paso just in time to make the final day of camp.
He departs leaving behind him the benchmark by which all future Rhino forwards will be measured.

Marcus leaves as the Rhinos top offensive player in the programs short history.
Ranking #1 in:
Games played (115)
Goals (86)
Assists (125)
Points (211)
Power Play Goals (23)
Power Play Assists (49)
He was part of Rhino teams that tallied 101 wins in 2 years.
Was 1 of 3 Rhino players named to the ’06-’07 WSHL Team for the Junior Jamboree.
Was voted to the ‘06-‘07 Thorne Cup All Tournament Team
Was named an Alternate Captain for the ’07-’08 Rhinos WSHL Thorne Cup Championship team.
Was only held without a point in 15 of the 115 games he played in, and scored a point in every playoff game he appeared in this year.
 
 
Marcus proved to be a prolific scorer for the Rhinos throughout his career in El Paso.
His up ice rushes where he would weave in, out, and through his opponents seemingly at will, remains a vivid memory in the mind of all Rhinos fans.
Marcus provided Rhino fans with many happy moments and opposing goaltenders, nightmares.
He’s a young man who after a 108 point season eschewed the NAHL to come back and finish his Junior career as a Rhino.
On top of all his personal and team accomplishments, Marcus will be remembered as one of the building blocks from which this franchise was built.
.

An interview with Marcus Wilhite.


What other schools were you looking at and/or what other schools were recruiting you?
 
I ended up having around 10 schools contact me about playing for their teams. I was looking at 4 (Nichols College, Westfield State College, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Curry) and finally narrowed it down to Curry.

What made you decide on Curry?

I felt really comfortable with the coach. He reminded me a lot of Coach Herman. He has a lot of passion for hockey and his players personally.
The school seemed really laid back, built into the trees 7 miles outside Boston. Had the feel of a small school in a small community (Milton, Mass), yet really close to the city (Boston).
What was it about coach Davies that made you feel like he was the coach you wanted to play for these next 4 years?
 
Coach Davies seemed like a real nice guy right off the bat and then after talking to him more, he reminded me a lot of Coach Herman, whom I obviously have a great deal of respect for.
He said a lot of the same little phrases and had the same mannerisms as Herm and it just further made it seem like it was the right choice.

Your family, especially your father, is a big force in your life.
What are his feelings about your signing with Curry?
 
Everyone has been extremely supportive. They are all excited and happy for me. They didn't push me to choose a certain school.
My dad is just trying to figure out how he is going to be able to afford flying out to watch us play. (haha)

Was coach Herman involved/helpful during the recruiting process?

Coach Herman along with Trevor Converse were very helpful in the process.
He (Herman) basically gave me the opportunity to go to Milwaukee School of Engineering single handedly over this last summer.
He never once pushed me to go to a school or anything like that, he was very supportive and told me that it was my decision and that he'd help me wherever I needed it.
Looking back 2 years when you first called coach Herman about leaving Alaska and coming to play for a first year coach and program; did things turn out how you had hoped?
 
I went down there with the mind set to just play some hockey and have some fun.
I had no idea we were going to be as competive as we were.
I matured as a player and person and I learned how to overcome adversity and lead under tough conditions.

What made you come to El Paso to begin with?
 
I came to El Paso because Costi Hinn and Sean Molina were down there and I had talked to both of them a lot over summer.
After I left Alaska Sean and Cost both called and said I had to go down there.
I decided after talking to Coach Herman, I went down and made it to the last day of camp and was a Rhino ever since.

You had a very prolific and decorated career as a Rhino.
Do you feel like you became a better player playing for coach Herman?
 
Yes, I believe I played my best hockey in El Paso.
I got better, stronger, and more mature in my two years there.
The success I had individually was a product of the whole program.
Coach Herman really coached to my strengths.
He would give me advice along the way and show me little things to help perfect my game.
He let me be creative and go out and produce as much offense as I could, as well as become more disciplined and accountable on the defensive side.

You left an NAHL team to come to El Paso originally, and I understand you were being heavily recruited by another NAHL team this past season.
Was it still the right decision to forego the NAHL and play in El Paso for your final year of eligibility?
 
I think ultimately it was the right desicion.
I learned how to play in every situation in El Paso, whereas I don't know if I would of gotten the same experience being a first year guy on an NAHL team.
Plus I've always said that you shouldn't fix what isn't broken and in El Pason everything was working.

What makes Coach Herman a good coach?
 
What makes Coach Herman a great coach is that he really believes in his players and has as much confidence in us as we did in him.
He's a guy where we would look to him on the bench or in the locker room and always find answers.
He let us play and rarely was negative, which in turn, made us play with more confidence and at the highest level we could play at.

I know you have a younger brother.
Looking back at your experience in El Paso, would you:
Do it all again the same way?
 
Absolutely! I have no regrets about the past two years in El Paso.
Maybe a couple regrets about getting caught going to fast on the highway (haha).
But no, I have met some of the best people, and I'll stay close with a lot of my teammates I've met over the last two years.
 
Would you want your younger brother to eventually become a Rhino?
 
I would never push my little brother into doing something, but if he told me that he wanted to play in El Paso I would definitely support his decision.

You and your family are a huge part of the Rhino program.
We’d love to keep in touch with your continuing career as a player.
Will you continue to keep in touch with coach Herman and the Rhino program?
 
Yes, actually I'll probably be back in the summer time helping out with camps, and also if I can find time during the school year I will try to make it out to a couple home games and watch the boys get after it.
 

Quotes by Coach Cory Herman on Marcus Wilhite:
 
"Marcus has very quick speed, he's very crafty with the puck and has great side to side movement".

"He has the uncanny ability to see space in a defender before it appears".

"He's a great puck handler, and very smart with his passing".

"Marcus needs to carry the puck, the more you put the puck on his stick the better he plays".

"Marcus grew a lot as a player and as a person here".

"He's a very intelligent person, which is why schools like Milwaukee School of Engineering, and Curry College were after him.
It's a testament to Marcus as a person to find the perfect situation at Curry, he can get a great education, and still play for an accomplished, winning, hockey program".

"Marcus will succeed wherever he goes".

"We're excited for the Wilhite family, and proud to be turning out another great (soon to be) student athlete".