RoadRunners forward Kamrass makes NCAA DI commitment
March 24, 2014
By Arch Ecker, Topeka RoadRunners
The Topeka RoadRunners of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce veteran forward Jake Kamrass has committed to play NCAA Division I college hockey for UMass-Lowell in the NCAA’s Hockey East Association. He will join the River Hawks in the fall of 2014.
Kamrass, from Norcross, GA, will be the third of four brothers to play college hockey, with the youngest well on his way. Jake will join his brother Zack at UMass-Lowell as a freshman in Zack’s senior year. The opportunity to play with his brother at the college level is a dream come true.
“I am very excited to say the least. It’s going to be a huge honor.” It’s his other older brother, Josh, who he credits as being his biggest hockey influence. “I grew up watching him and learned how hard you have to work to reach your goals. He was a true team player and true RoadRunner.”
Josh, now the assistant coach in Topeka, played two years as a RoadRunner and played collegiate hockey at UW-River Falls and also at Curry College. For Jake, having two brothers who’ve played college hockey doesn’t add any pressure.
“I think it can help me more than anything else because they know what to expect. They've done it for years so I am going to use that to my advantage.”
In his third season with the RoadRunners, Kamrass has exploded offensively, currently second on the team in points with 56 (24 goals, 32 assists). He’s second in the NAHL in power play goals (12) and his 6 game-winning goals are one shy of a franchise single season record.
“Something clicked and everything that I have learned I was able to put together in one package”, Kamrass admits. “The long hours of work with Coach Langer began to show results early in the season. I was fortunate to build on that because of my teammates and my line mates Tyler (Poulsen) and Peter (Halash).”
RoadRunner Head Coach / GM Scott Langer is proud of Kamrass’ development over his time in Topeka. “Jake’s developments have been outstanding”, he said. “His high end work ethic and commitment to improvement have elevated him to one of the best players in the North American Hockey League.” He added, “I am very proud of the maturity of this young man and know that he will continue to be successful.”
Kamrass was one of four RoadRunners selected to participate in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.
While he is as of yet undecided on his major, he suggests he is leaning toward Business Management. He notes there are several people along the way who’ve helped him attain his dream. “My family has had the biggest impact on this, for sure. They have gotten me to where I am today, and I couldn't have done it without them. I think of all the late nights and early mornings during youth hockey. Thanks to Dad (Steve Kamrass), Mom (Barbara Stone), Don (Stone), Josh, Zack, and Seth. I also have to thank the organizations I grew up playing for and definitely the Topeka RoadRunners organization. They are the top organization in the NAHL.”
He elaborates, “Coach Langer has spent so much time with me not only on the ice but off the ice as well. He deserves a ton of credit too. I can’t thank him enough.” And of his fellow RoadRunners, “Thanks to my teammates that I have worked with day in and day out, both now and in the past, especially my line mates Tyler Poulsen and Yu Hikosaka. And definitely Peter Halash who led by example, everyday helping me to become the player I am today and helping me reach my dream.”
Kamrass is the fifth RoadRunner from this year’s team with his college plans secured, preceded by Drew Vogler and Shawn Brennan (Merrimack), as well as Tyler Poulsen and Cody Champagne (Alabama-Huntsville).
The UMass-Lowell River Hawks play in the Tsongas Center (cap. 6,496) in Lowell, MA. Led by Head Coach Norm Bazin, the team has won back-to-back Hockey East titles.