College/Pro News Feed - LaPorteCountyLife https://laportecounty.life Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:21:18 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 34th annual Hammond Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet https://laportecounty.life/article/34th-annual-hammond-sports-hall-of-fame-induction-banquet/ Mon, 17 Feb 2020 17:31:25 +0000 City of Hammond https://laportecounty.life/article/34th-annual-hammond-sports-hall-of-fame-induction-banquet/ The Hammond Sports Hall of Fame will honor six individuals from the city’s proud athletic past during its annual induction dinner program, Tuesday, March 10 at the Hammond Civic Center.

Also, in this 100th anniversary year of the establishment of the American Professional Football Association, subsequently renamed the National Football League in 1922, the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame will pay homage to the Hammond Pros, a 1920 APFA/NFL charter member.

The inductees are:

  • 1950s/60s Hammond High and Drake University track sprinter Richard Barnes
  • 30-year Hammond High boys track & field coach James (Chief) Brown
  • Bishop Noll boys basketball & baseball coach Jack Gabor
  • Clark 2000s 3-sporter and Purdue North Central volleyball standout Brittany Piaseczny
  • 1940s Hammond High & University of Illinois football lineman Robert Prymuski
  • 1980s Morton 3-sporter and Indiana University baseball MVP David R. Snedden

Anderson-Peterson Family Distinguished Athlete Award recipients
Also during the induction program, the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame’s 29th annual Anderson-Peterson Family Distinguished Athlete Award will be presented to two 2019 high school graduates who depict the qualities for which the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame was established: athletic and academic achievement, dedication, citizenship, and school and community service.

The recipients are Dawn Pawlak and Noah Maravilla, both from Gavit.

Pawlak earned eight varsity letters in softball and cross country and was all-conference in seven of her eight seasons of competition. She graduated with a 4.39 grade point average and was active in Gavit’s Natural Helpers mentorship program in service to underclass students, Key Club, Principals Leadership Committee, Student Council and Rainbow Staff. She received a softball scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where she is majoring in mechanical engineering.

Maravilla was a football, wrestling and baseball standout, earning 11 varsity letters and all-conference recognition in all three sports. His 3.78 grade point average complemented his service outside the classroom in Natural Helpers, Key Club, Principals Leadership Committee, Student Council and Rainbow Staff. He attends Indiana University and is studying social services

Time/Schedule
Hall of Fame festivities begin at 5 p.m. with a social time. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m.; the induction program follows at 7:30.

Ticket availability
Single tickets can be purchased in advance for $25; tables of eight seats for $200 are on sale at the Hammond Civic Center. Single admission tickets also can be purchased at Rich’s Barber Shop (Hammond), Cheers (Munster), House of Pizza (Hammond), and the Cavalier Inn (Hammond). Any remaining tickets the night of the induction dinner will go on sale at the door for $35 each.

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34th annual Hammond Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet
34th annual Hammond Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet https://laportecounty.life/event/34th-annual-hammond-sports-hall-of-fame-induction-banquet/ Mon, 17 Feb 2020 17:26:49 +0000 City of Hammond https://laportecounty.life/event/34th-annual-hammond-sports-hall-of-fame-induction-banquet/ The Hammond Sports Hall of Fame will honor six individuals from the city’s proud athletic past during its annual induction dinner program, Tuesday, March 10 at the Hammond Civic Center.

Also, in this 100th anniversary year of the establishment of the American Professional Football Association, subsequently renamed the National Football League in 1922, the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame will pay homage to the Hammond Pros, a 1920 APFA/NFL charter member.

The inductees are:

  • 1950s/60s Hammond High and Drake University track sprinter Richard Barnes
  • 30-year Hammond High boys track & field coach James (Chief) Brown
  • Bishop Noll boys basketball & baseball coach Jack Gabor
  • Clark 2000s 3-sporter and Purdue North Central volleyball standout Brittany Piaseczny
  • 1940s Hammond High & University of Illinois football lineman Robert Prymuski
  • 1980s Morton 3-sporter and Indiana University baseball MVP David R. Snedden

Time/Schedule
Hall of Fame festivities begin at 5 p.m. with a social time. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m.; the induction program follows at 7:30.

Ticket availability
Single tickets can be purchased in advance for $25; tables of eight seats for $200 are on sale at the Hammond Civic Center. Single admission tickets also can be purchased at Rich’s Barber Shop (Hammond), Cheers (Munster), House of Pizza (Hammond), and the Cavalier Inn (Hammond). Any remaining tickets the night of the induction dinner will go on sale at the door for $35 each.

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34th annual Hammond Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet
National Mascot Hall of Fame announces official 2020 inductees https://laportecounty.life/article/national-mascot-hall-of-fame-announces-official-2020-inductees/ Sat, 14 Dec 2019 05:15:48 +0000 City of Whiting https://laportecounty.life/article/national-mascot-hall-of-fame-announces-official-2020-inductees/ Four professional mascots will be inducted into the Hall in June of 2020

The National Mascot Hall of Fame (MHOF) is excited to announce the four professional mascots being inducted into the Hall in June of 2020; Youppi! (Montreal Canadiens, NHL), Boomer (Indiana Pacers, NBA), The Oriole Bird (Baltimore Orioles, MLB), and Blue (Indianapolis Colts, NFL). The official announcement was made publicly at the MHOF’s 2nd Annual Fur Tie Fundraiser held at the museum in Whiting, Indiana on the evening of Wednesday, December 11th. 

‘THE VOTE’ was conducted this past October; a worldwide voting process consisting of a formal mascot nomination, final ballot creation by the MHOF Executive Committee based on mascot eligibility, and two rounds of voting. Of the 19 nominees, 10 finalists were determined after 126,824 ballots were cast, including votes from all 50 U.S. states and a total of 58 countries. After two rounds of voting from the public, MHOF Members, and the Executive Committee, the four mascots were made final 2020 MHOF Inductees.

Induction Weekend at the MHOF will be held June 12th-14th, 2020, filled with a variety of events celebrating the best mascots in the business; the unsung heroes of sports in communities across the nation. On the morning of Sunday, June 14th, a special ceremony will be held to officially induct Youppi!, Boomer, The Oriole Bird, and Blue into the Mascot Hall of Fame. The four mascots will join the 21 existing Hall of Famers and be featured prominently inside the 25,000 square foot museum located in Whiting, Indiana – less than 30 minutes from Downtown Chicago.

The Mascot Hall of Fame is a state-of-the-art, interactive children’s museum that was created to entertain, educate and enthuse children, families and sports fans of all ages. The attraction’s wide range of exhibits, activities and events offer guests the opportunity to celebrate mascot fun year-round. Visit Whiting, Indiana to explore the world of mascots. Learn more about the MHOF induction process, 2020 Induction Weekend, and museum events and exhibits at www.mascothalloffame.com.

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National Mascot Hall of Fame announces official 2020 inductees
Mascot Hall of Fame 2020 Inductee Announcement https://laportecounty.life/video/mascot-hall-of-fame-2020-inductee-announcement/ Sat, 14 Dec 2019 05:13:04 +0000 City of Whiting https://laportecounty.life/video/mascot-hall-of-fame-2020-inductee-announcement/ Mascot Hall of Fame 2020 Inductee Announcement Homer and Bryce Drew – On Life, Coaching, Family, Success https://laportecounty.life/video/homer-and-bryce-drew-on-life-coaching-family-success/ Fri, 13 Dec 2019 15:55:08 +0000 Kali Beatty Stacey Kellogg https://laportecounty.life/video/homer-and-bryce-drew-on-life-coaching-family-success/ Homer and Bryce Drew – On Life, Coaching, Family, Success Running in the Region With Kellyn: Grace Dwyer represents CCSJ at Cross Country Nationals https://laportecounty.life/article/running-in-the-region-with-kellyn-grace-dwyer-represents-ccsj-at-cross-country-nationals/ Thu, 28 Nov 2019 05:11:20 +0000 Kellyn Vale https://laportecounty.life/article/running-in-the-region-with-kellyn-grace-dwyer-represents-ccsj-at-cross-country-nationals/ Thanksgiving is upon us this week, and Grace Dwyer of Calumet College of St. Joseph certainly has a lot to be thankful for. Last weekend, Dwyer competed in the NAIA Cross Country National Championship race in Vancouver, Washington, an honor she earned after placing highly at the CCAC Conference Championships on November 9.

“I had my eyes on November since I found out CCSJ was hosting Conference,” Dwyer said. “Qualifying for my first national championship, right in my backyard, where all my friends and family could witness, was a scenario I had played in my head over and over again throughout the past six months of training.”

For Dwyer, Conference was just about the most perfect race.

“It couldn’t have gone any better,” Dwyer said. “There wasn’t a single moment where I felt weak. I wanted to give everything I had, so any time I felt a burst of energy I used it to get ahead instead of gambling on a battle with someone at the end.”

Her tactical approach and calculated efforts paid off—the moment her spikes crossed the finish line in 7th place, Dwyer became the first athlete to represent CCSJ cross country at the national level since 2005.

“With 1k left in the race I heard a friend yell, ‘You made it Grace, you just have to finish!’ and that really got me,” Dwyer said. “Then with about 50m to go I knew I had a good position and would be heading to my first national championship. That was emotional, I couldn’t help but cry!”

While her teammates took a well-deserved two weeks rest, Dwyer continued to hit the ground running. She put in another two weeks of tough training before hopping on a plane to Washington, ready to make a long sought-after dream a reality.

“At nationals, I wanted to see what I was capable of when running against a large group of girls right around my time range,” Dwyer said. “At that point, I felt like it was a matter of putting my training on the line and gritting it out to achieve the best possible outcome that I could that day.”

Dwyer’s national debut was also made memorable by a trip to Eugene, Oregon, also known as “Tracktown USA” and hailed as the Mecca of running by runners across the country. Her coach, Jackie Torres, had planned a surprise visit to the University of Oregon, the alma mater of late distance legend Steve Prefontaine. Dwyer also traveled to “Pre’s Rock”, a memorial marking the site of Prefontaine’s fatal car crash back in 1975, where runners from all over come to pay their respects to the running legend.

“I had no idea where we were going, so when we pulled up and I saw the big Oregon O I literally started crying,” Dwyer said. “Being there, running on Pre’s Trail, and seeing his rock gave me chills, it was like stepping into a dream. I left there feeling completely motivated and so excited to race!”

The morning of the national race brought sunny skies, temperatures in the low 50s, and hefty competition—a cross country runner’s dream. The course was a challenge, sporting several hills, tricky footing, and an uphill finish with little room for position movement throughout the race. Dwyer navigated it skillfully.

“It was a very interesting race,” Dwyer said. “It was so crowded, making it difficult to have a choice on what to do in that racing situation. I had some close calls as far as trying not to trip or get caught up by other runners. It wasn’t an easy course, but I just wanted to give everything I had through each lap and every hill to stay tough in such a big field.”

She represented CCSJ well, placing 146 out of 300 women with a respectable time of 19 minutes and 46 seconds.

“It was a memorable experience for sure,” Dwyer said. “I felt like I was experiencing what I had imagined for months.”

Though Dwyer’s cross country season has officially come to a close, she’s not done yet. She will be competing in a Half Marathon in Schaumburg, IL November 30 in hopes of qualifying for the half marathon at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships this May.

“I really enjoyed the half I ran back in the summer, so I’m excited to run it again and hopefully get my time down to where it needs to be,” Dwyer said. “I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and after nationals my confidence is at an all-time high, so I’m very curious to see what I can do this weekend.”

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Running in the Region With Kellyn: Grace Dwyer represents CCSJ at Cross Country Nationals
Where to spend NFL Sundays around the Region https://laportecounty.life/article/where-to-spend-nfl-sundays-around-the-region/ Wed, 04 Sep 2019 05:01:14 +0000 Julia Demma https://laportecounty.life/article/where-to-spend-nfl-sundays-around-the-region/ September—when Friday Night Lights slowly transition into a Sunday full of NFL football. Fans across the country wake up eager as little kids on Christmas morning, throw on their jerseys, and make a day out of each pressing game.

No matter which team you’re rooting for, football season and #SundayFundays spent with friends and loved ones are the perfect close before a new hectic week. Bars and restaurants across the Region go out of their way to lend a helping hand in making your game day great. From drink specials, multiple TVs, finger foods, and some of the best Bloody Marys you’ve ever had, the Region has a lot to offer on a football-filled day.

Based on our readers’ suggestions, here are a few hot spots around the area to check out on your next NFL football #SundayFunday.

R Bar & Grill

Highland, IN

Did we mention how important TVs are during an NFL Sunday?  R Bar is home to 37 TVs and two 4-panel flat screen walls with a processor allowing four games to play on each wall. Now let’s talk drinks—Budweiser & Bud Light buckets are on special every Sunday for $11 a pop and the House Bloody Marys come in at a close second at $5. Finger food is also available for a discounted price on Sundays.

Catch Table & Tap

Merrillville, IN

Formerly known as Catch 22 Bar and Grill, Catch Table & Tap was recently renovated and serves as another great place to catch a game with buddies on Sundays. Catch has a wide range of food option,s including everything from fish tacos to chili. One of the most notable aspects of their menu is the vegetarian and gluten free options. If you’re looking for a variety food options, Catch is the place for you.

Bullpen Luxury Bar & Grill

Schererville, IN

With flat screen TVs every where you look, cheap beer, and great food, Bullpen is another #SundayFunday hot spot not to be overlooked. With a super casual atmosphere, outdoor patio seating, and a circle-seating bar, it’s so easy to settle in at Bullpen that you might just find yourself staying for the 7p.m. games after the noon ones end. One of the most notable menu options has to be the Region-famous Gelsosomo’s Pizzeria Sunday special: $7 10” personal pizzas. Throw on your jerseys and indulge in half-priced select appetizers, $4 Miller and Coors Light Big Boys, $3.50 Blue Moons, and $5 Bloody Marys all day at the Bullpen.

Duffy’s Place

Valparaiso, IN

Did someone say tater tots? Duffy’s Place offers outdoor patio seating and a courtyard with bag boards to entertain your party during halftime. Sunday specials include $6 Miller Lite, Old Style, Coors Light & PBR pitchers. Duffy’s selection of appetizers is nothing short of mouthwatering. They have an array of game day classics including mini corn dogs, wings, nachos, fried pickles, and Italian beef sandwiches. Be sure to put Duffy’s on your list of Sunday hot spots to check out.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Portage, IN

BWW is a game day classic, and for good reason. This football season, expect to leave full on Sunday nights. BWW offers $5 cheeseburgers and Brats on Sundays along with $5 Pitchers to wash down the meal. There are TVs galore, and the staff is almost always flexible with which games you want playing near your table (hint hint, Packers fans). BWW Bloody Marys are also a hit, adding their own wing sauce in to complement the mix. Chow down and enjoy some football with hundreds of other fans all under the same roof at BWW.

Where is your NFL Sunday hot spot? We are always looking for suggestions. If we missed your favorite, don’t hesitate to send them our way.

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Where to spend NFL Sundays around the Region
Purdue Big Ten Announces 2019-20 Conference Schedule https://laportecounty.life/article/purdue-big-ten-announces-2019-20-conference-schedule/ Fri, 23 Aug 2019 20:21:45 +0000 Purdue University Northwest https://laportecounty.life/article/purdue-big-ten-announces-2019-20-conference-schedule/ WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Big Ten Conference has announced its 2019-20 composite schedule, releasing the dates of the Boilermakers’ 20-game conference slate. The announcement completes Purdue’s 31-game regular-season schedule that tips off Nov. 5, against Green Bay
 
Times and TV designations will be announced in early September.

For the third straight year in its 20-game league schedule, the Boilermakers open Big Ten play prior to the holiday break with a pair of Sunday contests. Purdue begins league competition Dec. 8, in Mackey Arena against Northwestern. After a week off for final exams, the Boilermakers head to Lincoln to face the Cornhuskers on Dec. 15.

After a few weeks off from Big Ten play, Purdue resumes the league slate once the calendar flips to 2020 when Minnesota visits Mackey Arena on Jan. 2. Road games with Illinois (Jan. 5) and Michigan (Jan. 9) follow before a showdown in Mackey Arena with Michigan State on Jan. 12. The Boilermakers and Spartans shared the league title a year ago and the meeting in West Lafayette will be the only contest between the squads.

Other highlights of the schedule include the Indiana series taking place Feb. 8, in Bloomington and Feb. 27, in Mackey Arena. Michigan visits Mackey Arena on Saturday, Feb. 22 and the Boilermakers’ home-and-home with Wisconsin will be Jan. 24 (West Lafayette) and Feb. 18 (Madison).

The Boilermakers will have five home weekend games (one Friday, two Saturdays and two Sundays) and six road weekend games.

Purdue lost three starters but returns several key contributors from last year’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight squad. Nojel Eastern and Matt Haarms are returning starters as juniors, and regulars Evan BoudreauxAaron WheelerEric Hunter Jr.Trevion Williams and Sasha Stefanovic all return after strong seasons. Head coach Matt Painter also welcomes a highly regarded freshman class and high-scoring grad transfer Jahaad Proctor. Season tickets for the 2019-20 season are sold out, but mini-plan packages and single-game tickets will be available at a later date.

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Purdue Big Ten Announces 2019-20 Conference Schedule
Oilmen Drop Opener of MCL Championship Series https://laportecounty.life/article/oilmen-drop-opener-of-mcl-championship-series/ Tue, 13 Aug 2019 14:31:14 +0000 Northwest Indiana Oilmen https://laportecounty.life/article/oilmen-drop-opener-of-mcl-championship-series/ Bloomington, Ill. – Aug. 9, 2019 – For the second consecutive series, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen find themselves entering Game 2 in must-win mode. 

The Oilmen dropped the opener of the best-of-three Midwest Collegiate League Championship Series 12-4 to the Bloomington Bobcats on Friday night at O’Neil Park. The Bobcats broke the game open with a five-run seventh against an Oilmen team that was using numerous players out of position due to a roster depleted by injuries and departures. 

Colin Walton gave us everything we asked him to and more,” Oilmen manager Kevin Tyrrell said. “He gave us seven innings worth of outs; we just didn’t make plays for him. He was awesome. We didn’t play well enough for us to earn a victory. We’ve got a million excuses, but we would have had to play a lot better, even if the Bobcats didn’t play as well as they did, to beat anyone tonight.” 

The Oilmen turned to Walton (Robert Morris / Midlothian, Ill.) – who hadn’t pitched since July 6 – as the team’s starting pitcher. He allowed six runs (three earned) on eight hits and three walks while striking out eight in five innings to take the defeat, but did his job of giving the team a chance to win. The Oilmen defense committed four errors behind him. 

“He had 32 days off, and I was expecting for his stamina to not be there, but he seemed to get better as the game went on,” Tyrrell said. “He figured it out when he had trouble. He knew tonight was his last outing before fall ball, and he gave us everything he had.” 

The Oilmen were limited to three hits as they couldn’t fully capitalize on a Bobcats pitching staff that issued six walks and hit five batters. The Oilmen received a walk, an error and a hit batter in the third but didn’t score after also leaving the bases full in the second. Bloomington pitching allowed a walk and two hit batters in the sixth, but again escaped without damage. 

“We didn’t get the timely inning, and we cost ourselves a big inning when we got the leadoff man aboard in the sixth and got picked off,” Tyrrell said. “That was huge for momentum, and that’s where they got their confidence from. We may have had a big inning if we didn’t get picked off to start that inning.” 

The Oilmen got out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to two RBIs by Clay Thompson (Kankakee CC / Schererville, Ind.), one on a ground out and one on bases-loaded walk. The Bobcats got four runs on three hits, two walks and an error in the bottom of the second to take the lead. 

Starter Jack Gilmore picked up the win for Bloomington after allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits and five walks in five innings. Reliever Karson Aherin did not allow a hit and walked just one over four innings to garner the save. 

The Oilmen find themselves in familiar territory, needing to rally from a game down much like they did in the MCL Semifinal Series against Southland. 

“Timely hitting is the key,” Tyrrell said. “We’re not going to play spotless defense, but if our pitchers put the ball in play like we did tonight, we can make it through nine innings and we’re going to have to score seven or eight runs. We didn’t do that tonight because we didn’t get those timely hits. We stranded key runners in the second and third innings, and that was big. Hopefully the guys remember what it was like that first series and that we’re not out yet.” 

The Oilmen will host Game 2 of the MCL Championship Series on Saturday night at 7:10 p.m. at Oil City Stadium. NWI must win to force a Game 3 on Sunday in Bloomington, while the Bobcats can secure their first MCL title with a victory on Saturday. For those who can’t attend, Jon Zaghloul (filling in for Brandon Vickrey) and Blake Toman will have the call beginning at 7 on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network, which is available via Facebook Live. 

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Oilmen Drop Opener of MCL Championship Series
Mentzingen Named USL League One Player of the Month https://laportecounty.life/article/mentzingen-named-usl-league-one-player-of-the-month/ Thu, 08 Aug 2019 23:05:24 +0000 Valparaiso University https://laportecounty.life/article/mentzingen-named-usl-league-one-player-of-the-month/ Former Valparaiso University men’s soccer standout Rafael Mentzingen (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Bryan) earned a high honor for his professional prowess on Thursday as he was named the USL League One Player of the Month. Mentzingen is a member of Lansing Ignite FC.

“It’s a great honor to be player of the month in a league with so many top players, especially in a month in which the race for playoffs became so intense,” Mentzingen said in a team release. “I think there were a couple factors that helped me have good performances in the month of July. First of all, having my mom and sister here gave me the confidence and the extra motivation to push myself to a higher standard. Also, my teammates and the coaching staff gave me the confidence and the freedom I need to play the way I feel most comfortable.”

Mentzingen scored two goals and had three assists as his team went undefeated in six games during the month of July. He received 60 percent of a weighted poll that included the USL League One Technical Committee and an online fan vote held at USLLeagueOne.com.

After playing for two seasons under head coach Mike Avery, Mentzingengraduated in December 2018 with a grade point average above 3.8 in economics. He achieved numerous honors during his time at Valpo as he was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region Second Team in both 2017 and 2018 while also earning first-team all-conference in both years on campus.

Mentzingen’s latest honor adds to a glowing history of professional success for the Valpo men’s soccer program, which has produced countless professionals under Avery’s guidance.

Former Valpo Players Currently Playing Professionally

Kyle Zobeck (FC Dallas / MLS)

Jordan Aidoud (Jura Sud Foot / Championat National 2 / France)

Stefan Antonijevic (Sogndal FC / 1. Division / Norway)

Zev Taublieb (Atvidaberg FF / Div. 1 Sodra / Sweden)

Rafael Mentzingen (Lansing Ignite / USL league 1)

Ignacio Miras (Real Balompedica Linense / Segundo Div. B / Spain)

Ramone Howell (Phoenix Rising FC / USL Championship)

Mathew King (Nybro IF / Div. 3 Sydotstra Gotaland / Sweden)

Jordan Simon (Nybro IF / Div. 3 Sydostra Gotaland / Sweden)

Hamid Babaali (Balvu SC / Latvian 1st League / Latvia) Lucca Lacerda (Milwaukee Torrent / NPSL Founders Cup)

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Mentzingen Named USL League One Player of the Month