West/South Xtra: Canevin is relying on 'Big Carcass' to anchor defense


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Bishop Canevin hockey coach Kevin Zielmanski often referred to Brennen Adams as "Big Dog."

But after Adams told Zielmanski about his success at the county fair this past summer, Zielmanski came up with a new nickname for the senior defenseman.

"Our captain, Brennen Adams, works extensively on a farm," Zielmanski said. "He raises animals, including pigs, and he was explaining to me how he goes and shows off these pigs at competitions and how he won the Carcass Award this summer.

"He asked me if I understood what he was saying, and I said, 'No, Brennen, I don't, but I'm going to call you the Big Carcass from now on.'"

Adams, who is from Bethel Park, has been going to his grandfather's farm near Perryopolis since he was young. The farm doesn't have any crops, but raises pigs, steers, sheep, horses and goats, among others.

Through 4-H, a youth organization administered by the National Institute of Ford and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture, Adams has competed in farm shows.

He also has competed in county fairs, such as the one this past summer where he won the Grand Carcass champion for a pig he showed.

The award not only led to his nickname, but also to the name given to Crusaders' player of the game this season, an informal team award.

Adams said that each season he has been on the team, Bishop Canevin had some sort of award for player of the game -- a hard hat his freshman year, a lunch box his sophomore year and last year a black cowboy hat with a string hanging down.

They kept the cowboy hat this year, but now it is called "The Big Carcass" award and the hat has a big "BC" and the "Big Carcass" written in small print across the front center.

The winner of the hat must wear it out of the locker room following the game and then return it prior to the next game.

"It's a fun little thing to keep the team bonding," Zielmanski said.

Brennen's brother, Blaine, just won the award last week for his two-goal performance against Plum. He has 13 goals on the season.

Brennen, meanwhile, has two goals and 10 assists while being the team's rock on defense.

"I'm real physical and I bring intensity to the team," Adams said. "I've been told that when I go out there, everyone else seems to calm down. The players on offense know they have someone behind them that will get the puck out of our zone. There's a calming effect."

Adams credits part of his success to his work on the farm.

"Farming teaches you discipline and responsibility," Adams said. "You have to be responsible for your actions when you're taking care of the animals and you have to be disciplined in how much you feed them. If you're not disciplined, and give the animals the wrong amount of feed, they can get sick."

Although Adams won the championship at the county fair, he is still hoping for a championship at a 4-H farm show some day, too.

He also has his eyes set on another Penguins Cup and state championship for Bishop Canevin (12-2), after his team was upset by Pine-Richland on a controversial goal in overtime in the Penguins Cup semifinals last season.

Canevin won both hockey titles when Adams was on the team as a freshman, and after hesitating briefly, said winning the state title is more important to him than winning a farm show.

"Hockey is such a big part of my life," said Adams, who is hoping to play club hockey at West Virginia University next season. "Farming is too, but the hockey team is like my second family and so I'd rather win the state title.

"There are only so many chances to win a state title, while I can continue to do farm shows after hockey."

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