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January 29, 2023

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With the IHSAA Tournament Series beginning this upcoming week for Girls hoops and swimming & diving ... and already underway for Wrestling, it seems like an appropriate time for an inspirational/motivational quote from someone famous. Don Meyer is one of those people. Many of you may not have heard of Coach Meyer since he didn't play professionally or coach at what most consider the "highest level". He was an American basketball coach whose resume included stops at Hamline (NCAA Div III), Northern State (NCAA Div II) and Lipscomb (NAIA) where his team won the NAIA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in 1986. His career record as a head coach was ridiculous ... 923 wins vs 324 losses in 38 years. Coach Meyer was one of the most respected people in his profession when he died of cancer in 2014 at age 69.
I had the privilege to hear Coach Meyer speak on multiple occasions and he ALWAYS provided something funny and something inspiring. Here is one of my favorite quotes of his:

"All you can control in life is your effort and your attitude. Effort is how hard you try. Attitude is how you respond."

During the post-season, the "noise" created by things outside our control can get loud. Over the next few weeks, I hope our Brickies will FOCUS IN on what Coach Meyer is saying here ... GIVE YOUR VERY BEST EFFORT and RESPOND IN A POSITIVE WAY each time adversity strikes. Those are things that will not only help us SUCCEED now, but in the future as well!!

You know what else we control right now? BricksCenter!

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On Saturday, our Brickie grapplers were at Portage High School for the start of the 2022-2023 IHSAA Tournament Series ... or as Coach Cook might put it, the first stop on the #BrickRode to Indianapolis! Each winter, one of the goals is to bring home some hardware during the post-season and yesterday, Hobart was looking to pin down the school's 31st sectional crown against a stacked field. Our boys have literally wrestled different kinds of adversity all year ... injuries, illness ... and they've made us SO PROUD because of their PERSEVERANCE, EFFORT and ATTITUDE!

In one word, the Brickies were FANTASTIC on Saturday! Our boys pushed the hosts and 2-time defending champion Indians to the limit! Simply put ... OUR BOYS SHINED and came away with 4 SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS (Daniel Mata, Devin Wible, Aidan Costello & Jake Sparks) and 12 REGIONAL QUALIFIERS!! Portage edged the Bricks with 5 champions and 13 regional qualifiers. To say the competition was close would be an understatement. Ultimately, Portage was able to outdistance the Brickies 275-233 and to win their 3rd straight crown. While the trophy may have stayed at Portage ... their 35th title in school history, our boys showed a tremendous amount of BRICKIE PRIDE, wrestled their butts off and should hold their heads high ... the #BRICKRODE continues next week with a stop right here in H-town for the IHSAA REGIONAL!!

Here are 12 Brickies who advanced and will compete next Saturday @ the IHSAA REGIONAL:

113 lbs - sophomore Seth Aubin - 2nd place

120 lbs - freshman Daniel Mata - SECTIONAL CHAMPION (2nd straight title)

126 lbs - sophomore Daniel McGill - 2nd place

132 lbs - senior Jonny McGill - 3rd place

145 lbs - senior Devin Wible - SECTIONAL CHAMPION

152 lbs - senior Owen Gniadek - 3rd place

160 lbs - senior Auggie Verduzco - 4th place

170 lbs - sophomore Aidan Costello - SECTIONAL CHAMPION (2nd straight title)

182 lbs - senior Alan Turich - 4th place

195 lbs - junior Jake Sparks - SECTIONAL CHAMPION

220 lbs - junior Aidan Olague - 2nd place

285 lbs - sophomore Luke Juris - 4th place

A few more highlights from Saturday:

Hobart has great balance between with 5 seniors and 7 underclassmen advancing to the REGIONAL next week!! Perhaps the most exciting match of the day was sophomore Daniel Mata's VICTORY in the 120-lb title match by a 2-1 margin over his counterpart from Portage!! Like I said earlier, the Brickies were FANTASTIC!

Next week, Hobart hosts the IHSAA REGIONAL and the Brickies will have a contender in 12 out of the 14 weight classes. Top 4 places advance to the Semi-State @ East Chicago. DON'T STOP NOW BOYS!!


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In their final week of the regular season, the Lady Brickies were in action twice with a chance to reach their highest win-total since 2015 before IHSAA Sectional play begins down at Lowell High School next week!

Tuesday, the Lady Bricks visited Wheeler for a non-conference varsity match-up. Behind some STELLAR D-D-D-DEFENSE played by the Lady Brickies, our girls held the Lady Bearcats to just 5 points in the 1st quarter and led 12-5 after 8 minutes!! The two teams traded baskets for part of the 2nd stanza and Hobart led 28-16 at the half. Our girls came out of the locker room FIRED UP and BLEW OPEN a competitive game with a 22-point 3rd quarter to take a commanding 50-21 advantage into the final period of play!! WOW!! The Lady Brickies CRUISED the rest of the way to finish off an easy 69-41 VICTORY!! Senior Asia Donald torched the nets for a game-high 29 points ... junior Jesse Neace also reached double-figures with 12 points and freshman Riley Weber added 9 in the win!

On Friday night, Hobart hit the road again ... this time the destination was Hammond Central for the regular season finale. The Lady Wildcats are one of the most improved teams in the 219 compared to last season and were looking to pull off an upset in the regular season finale. Well, there was NO WAY our girls were going to have a let-down with the IHSAA Sectional beginning next Tuesday! As intense as the hosts were, the Lady Brickies matched their energy, executed the game plan, and came out on top with hard fought 62-53 VICTORY!! Donald once again led the offensive attack for Hobart with 25 points ... Neace chipped in 13 and junior Emma Ortiz finished with 10 to help our girls earn a BIG road win!

Hobart finished the regular season at 13-10 ... their most wins since the 2014-2015 season when Coach Richter was still lacing them up for the Lady Bricks!! Our girls will open up IHSAA Sectional play on Tuesday night down at Lowell High School against the Kankakee Valley Kougars. Hobart lost a 53-52 heartbreaker to KV back on December 9th. Will the Lady Brickies also earn the nickname "Avengers"? BE THERE on Tuesday to help cheer them on to a VICTORY!! GOOD LUCK LADIES!!



The Brickie cagers had just one contest on the calendar this past week ... a home contest against the Morton Governors! Our boys have been showing consistent improvement over the month and on Friday night, THEY SHINED!! Hobart handled the Morton pressure ... finding the open man for easy baskets en route to a 16-7 1st quarter lead!! The 2nd quarter was a mirror image of the 1st with the Brickies time and time again WORK WORK WORKing collectively to make the extra pass for a great shot on the offensive end. When senior Gabe Dickerson's rebound put-back went in right before the buzzer sounded, Hobart held a 32-14 advantage going into the halftime locker room!! The Governors tried to turn up the heat in the 3rd, but the Brickies were cool as the other side of the pillow ... outscored Morton 21-16 in the period and led 53-30 with 1 quarter to play!! WOW!!

Final Score: Hobart 63, Morton 48

Our boys DOMINATED the boards against a taller Governor squad and the unselfish play of the Brickies was evident in the 15 assists on 20 made field goals! AWESOME!! Sophomore Aidan Leonard had a MONSTER game with 16 pts, 9 rebs & 5 assists! Senior Vonzell Strayhorne matched him with 16 pts (& 6 rebs) as well and sophomore Felix Lopez also reached double figures with 13 pts (& 7 rebs) in the win!

The Brickies are currently 6-8 overall and 1-1 in NCC action. On Thursday, Hobart hosts Kankakee Valley in a HUGE NCC matchup! The Kougars enter the contest with a 3-1 mark in conference play ... sole possession of 2nd place is on the line. LET'S GO BOYS - WE CAN DO THIS!!


Lady Brickies @ Wheeler

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Here is a link to the Class 4A IHSAA Girls Basketball Sectional @ Lowell High School!

Brickies vs. Morton

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On Thursday, Hobart traveled to area powerhouse Valparaiso ... winners of 13 IHSAA State Championships and a squad that finished 3rd at the 2022 State Finals. The Lady Brickies are still a gymnast shy of scoring a full squad, but that hasn't slowed them down! Senior Haylie Skripac was FANTASTIC over at Valpo ... placing 5th in the All-Around standings with a score of 33.400!! (Chris Farley voice) HOLY SCHNIKES THAT'S HIGH!!

Here is her individual event placing:

Bars = 5th

Floor = 9th

Vault = 4th

Sophomore Elizabeth Crespo finished 6th on the balance beam for the Lady Bricks!

Saturday, the destination was Merrillville for the Pirate Pride Invitational and our Lady Brickies CAME TO PLAY ... or jump, vault, tumble ... you know :) ... and they ROCKED! Skripac was 3rd on vault, 7th on floor, and 9th on bars to finish 8th in the All-Around against some of NWIs very best!! MAGNIFICENT!!

Watching these two girls battle is exciting as they continue to gain more and more confidence with each competition! This week presents ANOTHER opportunity as the Lady Brickies put their leos back on at LaPorte on Thursday. LET'S GOOOOOO!!!


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Swimming & Diving

There were no competitions this past week in the water, but the Brickie fish just keep swimming (& diving)! The girls IHSAA SECTIONAL gets underway this week right here at Hobart High School!! That's right - we are HOSTING the girls SECTIONAL!!

Here's a quick rundown of the schedule:

- Thursday = preliminary swimming races

- Saturday morning = diving (1st 8 dives)

- Saturday afternoon = swimming & diving finals

This is what our girls have WORK WORK WORKed for all year! They've persevered this winter and given us all their best (I say THEIR BEST) effort!! Now ... it's TIME TO SHINE!! GOOD LUCK @ SECTIONALS LADIES!! WE BELIEVE IN YOU!!


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Sports Schedule This Week


9th Boys Basketball @ River Forest


Girls Basketball vs. Kankakee Valley @ IHSAA SECTIONAL (Hosted by Lowell High School)


9th Boys Basketball vs. Merrillville


Girls Swimming @ IHSAA SECTIONAL PRELIMS (Hosted by Hobart High School)

Boys Basketball vs. Kankakee Valley *

Gymnastics @ LaPorte


Girls Basketball @ IHSAA SECTIONAL (If advance on Tuesday)


Wrestling @ IHSAA REGIONAL (Hosted by Hobart High School)

Girls Swimming & Diving @ IHSAA SECTIONAL FINALS (Hosted by Hobart High School)

Girls Basketball @ IHSAA SECTIONAL (If advance on Friday)

* = NCC Opponent

High school sports are all about COLLABORATION: 🤝 Student-athletes working together to achieve a goal 👊 Coaches communicating the best game plan 👏 Fans cheering as one

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