We’re excited to welcome our newest contributor.
Stephen Anderson: Rampage Coordinator
I aim to provide coverage of the Blues’ AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage live from Texas. I’ll have coverage on my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram TV pages. Postgame recaps, including three standout players, [and] will be on RampageCentral.Net. I graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts (journalism concentration) from the University of the Incarnate Word. I’ve worked with the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. I was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.” – Stephen Anderson
Having a set of eyes down at the “farm” is a huge plus, and it will add a level of Blues coverage you won’t get from just any St. Louis Blues Blog. Ray Standefer and James Barry asked Stephen a few questions to help our readers get to know him.
- Ray Standefer: Can you tell the readers more about yourself and tell us about how Rampage Central came about?
“Hey Ray and James, I’m happy to be here and looking forward to contributing to BluesRants.com. A little about myself: well, I am a true Texan and have been covering sports since 2014. I began covering the San Antonio Stars of the WNBA for four years, from 2014, until they relocated and left San Antonio after the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Then, I moved over to the San Antonio Rampage during the 2014-15 season. My first year covering them, they made the Calder Cup Playoffs and lost to the Oklahoma City Barons in the first round. I have been a credentialed media member at the AT&T Center since 2014 and have covered the team under the Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche affiliations.
In the summer of 2016, I made my move to covering soccer. The newest local club, San Antonio FC, took the pitch at Toyota Field, and I’ve covered them ever since their first match.
Apart from sports, I’ve been an entertainment journalist, and have written for one of the fastest growing websites in Britain, Reality Box. I’ve covered some of the biggest shows – including Big Brother, The Voice, and Dancing With The Stars.
As for RampageCentral.net, we started the website due to the lack of coverage for the Rampage in San Antonio. We post interviews, preview and recap games. With the affiliation change, Rampage Central will be providing even more coverage of the St. Louis Blues in the upcoming season.”
- James Barry: So, a guilty pleasure of mine is Big Brother. I’ll never admit to it, but I love it, and I know as an entertainment writer, you’ve got some strong opinions on it. Which BB character would be the best hockey player? If you say Paul Abrahamian, I will block you on @StephenTV_.
“Haha, oh no, Paul couldn’t even make the squirt hockey league. I’d say Tyler from BB20 or Brendan Villagas from BB12 and BB13. The guy could be a solid defenseman.”
- Ray: What are you looking to contribute to Blues Rants this season?
“I’ll be contributing a weekly recap of the games for the Rampage. The results of the games and which players stood out over the week. I feel I can give St. Louis fans a unique view of the prospects here in San Antonio with my weekly recaps, here as well as my work over on Rampage Central.”
- James: Back to pertinent issues, what’s your favorite hockey movie?
“Haha, easy one. Miracle! If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Hockey and a great message behind it. But you also can’t go wrong with the Mighty Ducks!”
- James: Two things- If it’s Mighty Ducks, then it’s got to be D2. The Goodwill Games. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. Also, I’m slightly offended you didn’t say Slapshot.
“Haha, I haven’t seen Slapshot yet! “
- James: Fix that, like immediately.
- Ray: In your opinion, what are some reasons the Blues and Rampage fans should be excited about the upcoming AHL season?
“It is no secret that the Rampage hasn’t seen much success in their time in San Antonio, making the playoffs just four times in their 16-year history. Rampage fans should be excited for the fact that the St. Louis Blues have solid young prospects to help the team, and a new Head Coach in Drew Bannister, who seems to be a future NHL coach in the making.
Blues fans should be excited to see the goaltending. In my opinion, Ville Husso was one of the main reasons the Rampage finished above .500 in 2017-18. I’m interested to see what he does in his second season and if last season is anything to go by, he’ll grow even more.”
- Ray: Who is a forward that you are convinced will be a difference maker for the Rampage this season? Why?
“Easily Brian Flynn. He had a great season with our in-state rivals, Texas Stars. I’m excited to see if he can bring the same grit and grind attitude and style to the Rampage.”
- Ray: What are your overall thoughts on the captain of the Rampage, St. Louis native, Chris Butler?
“In my opinion, Chris Butler is one of the better captains in team history. His leadership on the ice was obvious but it’s how he carried himself off the ice that stood out to me. During postgame interviews, he was open and honest about the club during their struggles, and admitted they needed to be better in all aspects. During their highs, he would praise the team, and always puts the team before himself.”
- James: I am visiting you in San Antonio, where we going to eat at?
You can’t come to Texas and not try Whataburger! It’s a sin if you don’t. If you’re in for Mexican food, Mi Tierra is the best spot.
- Ray: When you look at guys like Sammy Blais and Klim Kostin, what do you see? It’s understood that these players were not always given the most prime opportunities. Can we expect that to change?
“I would expect change all around under [Drew] Bannister. The fact [that] Blais was one of the offensive standouts for the Rampage last season, I would expect him to be the main cog for San Antonio. Kostin is another player I do hope that gets more playing time. His production on the ice was solid last season.”
- Ray: Are you looking forward to the possibility of Jordan Kyrou spending some time in San Antonio?
“Definitely. After the season he had with the Sarnia Sting, I’m excited to see what he brings to the Rampage. Kyrou was named the Player of the Year for the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and he’s definitely a type of player the Rampage have needed.”
Welcome to the family Stephen! Guys and gals don’t forget to follow Stephen Anderson on Twitter.