Greenville, SC isn’t known as a hockey town, but it is home to our very own Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Hockey first skated into town in 1998, but the Swamp Rabbits name didn’t arrive on the scene until the 2015-2016 ECHL season. Previously dubbed the Road Warriors, the team wanted a name that resonated with Greenville itself.
The icy sport had been a part of the Upstate on-and-off for 15 years, but the team was serious about showing that they were Greenville’s hockey team, and NOT just the team that played in Greenville. With this pledge to become immersed in the Greenville community, the Swamp Rabbits were born.
Our city is one that is constantly evolving, and there are few aspects of it that unite the whole community. Some in Greenville bleed orange-and-purple while others don garnet-and-black. Many families have their roots in the Upstate while thousands of young professionals have recently migrated to Greenville because of the booming business. Furman and Bob Jones are universities founded on religious values while many locals are more free spirits.
The one constant in Greenville is the name Swamp Rabbit. Very few of us have seen an actual Swamp Rabbit, but chances are we’ve all heard of the Trail, Cafe or Brewery. The Swamp Rabbit Trail literally connects the different parts of the Greenville area, just as the name brings us all together.
The name itself and the reasoning in choosing it are what I love about sports. In a day and age where the bottom line is the only thing that matters, our team tries to buck that trend.
Do we want to have financial success? Yes, of course. Do my coworkers and I like getting a paycheck for our hard work? Obviously. But at the end of the day, while cleaning up after dozens of young children just skated on the ice after a Swamp Rabbits win (hopefully, sometimes it’s a loss), are we here for the money? Absolutely not.
We put in the hard work to bring this sport to our fans because we want Swamp Rabbits hockey and Greenville to be synonymous with one another. We want to be a positive influence on the amazing community around us. Sure, we love to score on the power play and win a good hockey fight, but we would much rather help the Cancer Survivor Park stick it to cancer. We would much rather honor those that keep our community and country safe. We pull planes and participate in heart walks because we care about Greenville.
Who are the Swamp Rabbits? We aren’t a trail. We aren’t a brewery. We are Greenville’s team, and we’re here just as much for our city as we are for our sport.