A Winning Tradition Since 2007
The San Antonio Rampage Sled Hockey Team is a joint effort between Operation Comfort and the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) offering a therapeutic and competitive sled hockey team for injured service members. The competitors on the team are primarily GI’s rehabilitating at San Antonio Medical Center (SAMC) and the Center for the Intrepid (CFI). Most of the players are veterans with lower extremity disabilities and a limited number of competitors are San Antonio residents with disabilities.
The team was originally coached by Lonnie Hannah, a former two-time US Paralympic Sled Hockey Player who won a gold medal in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002 and a bronze medal in Torino, Italy in 2006. On June 3, 2009 he was recognized as USA Hockey’s Disabled Athlete of the Year. Currently, the team is coached by Retired Army Sgt. Chris Leverkuhn who is a player/coach and an original founding member of the Rampage Sled Hockey Team.
The San Antonio Rampage “adopted” this team, and through the generosity of the AHL and the league’s equipment partner, Rbk/The Hockey Company, the Rampage have and will continue to provide all protective equipment (helmets, pads, jerseys, etc.) and other resources for the sled hockey team.
Operation Comfort presented the team with sleds donated from their organization and the Rampage outfitted the team with equipment and jerseys. The first ever practice was held on January 19, 2007.
The sled hockey idea was born in Sun Valley, Idaho, when San Angelo native Janis Roznowski watched nine wounded Iraq veterans work with Marc Mast, an instructor who specializes in adaptive skiing. In 2007 Roznowski’s sled hockey dream became reality when the Rampage Sled Hockey Team took to the ice following the February 27 Rampage game vs. the Chicago Wolves. Roznowski is the founder and director of Operation Comfort—a philanthropic organization that is focused on helping wounded service members who are rehabilitating at SAMC, the CFI and Audie L. Murphey VA Hospital.
The Rampage (AHL) continues to host various fundraising events, including their annual Military Appreciation Night, to raise money to support the Rampage Sled Hockey Team. The sled hockey team is a part of the Midwest Sled Hockey League (MWSHL). They travel the country competing against the other teams who make up the league, Chicago, St. Louis, Colorado, and Nashville. The team has won 2 league Championships and has gone on to finish 2nd two times at the National Championship. They also went on to win a National Championship in 2014.
Sled Hockey is a Paralympic sport. The Rampage Sled Hockey Team has 4 current and former members who now have gold medals. Jen Lee and Rico Roman each have 2 gold medals, 1 from the 2014 Sochi Paralympics and 1 from the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea. Josh Sweeney was also a part of the 2014 Sochi team. Luke McDermott was a part of the 2018 South Korea team. Currently, all 4 players are seeking another gold medal at the next Paralympic games along with Josh Hargis who is a new addition to the US Sled Hockey National Team. They all went on to win gold at the Para Sled Hockey World Championship for 2019.