(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, were extremely excited and honored to receive a surprise visit from one of the most inspirational individuals in professional sports. Following morning skate prior to the Rush vs Wichita Thunder showdown tonight, former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale graciously gave us his time and visited with the Rush players.
The gentleman who is the subject of the Walt Disney movie “Invincible” was in Rapid City this morning speaking to the Boy Scouts of America at a breakfast event. Tim Bouchard, a Rush Season Ticket Holder, and Scout Executive and CEO of the BSA Black Hills Council, was the catalyst in arranging Mr. Papale’s visit. After the Rush’s morning skate in preparation for their tilt against the Wichita Thunder, Rush General Manager Joe Ferras introduced the former NFLer to the Rush players, and he took the time to speak with them prior to their game tonight.
Among the many topics Mr. Papale covered, the most important in his message to the team was the importance of chasing your dream, believing in yourself, and working as hard as you can in both your professional and personal lives. One of his most poignant quotes was “Team work makes the dream work”, and closed by stressing the importance of the players believing in each other on the ice.
Papale made headlines in the late 1970’s as the oldest rookie to ever play in NFL history without the benefit of having played collegiate football, doing so at 30 years old. He played for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles from 1976-1978.
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