Top 10 ValpoLife Sports Stories of 2013

By: Brett Fuller Last Updated: December 30, 2013

2013 was host to quite a year for ValpoLife Sports! From football to basketball to running and everything in between, it was a busy year for sports in the region.

We picked 10 of our top stories from the Sports Section on ValpoLife that we felt best represented the year we had telling positive stories in this arena. Take a look below and let us know your favorite of the bunch in the comments!

Horizon League Men's Basketball Tournament Recap: Valpo Comes Away with NCAA Berth
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An exciting weekend of basketball filled with buzzer-beaters, upsets and late-game dramatics concluded with Valparaiso University notching its first Horizon League Tournament Championship since joining the league in 2007. The Crusaders are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.

As the Crusaders’ await their opening round matchup and location, let us take a look back at a great week of basketball.

VHS Has Created a Tight Knit Sports Community as Shown at the 2013 Winter Awards Program
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The VHS Auditorium was once again filled on Thursday evening with athletes ranging from freshmen just starting their high school careers to seniors getting ready to take the next step of their lives. Coaches sat proudly on stage and watched their players and teams celebrate the end of the season. The program was opened by Herb Hofer, Athletic Director at VHS.

“For me, one of the highlights of the awards recognition programs, such as tonight, is the opportunity to honor individuals for their outstanding contributions to their team and sport,” Hofer said in his opening speech. “Each of us can be inspired by their passionate commitment to improve themselves. Their dedication should serve as our motivation to continue the interscholastic programs that we oversee.”

A Q&A with Joe Otis, New Vikings’ Girls Basketball Head Coach
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It was announced at the April 16, 2013 School Board Meeting that former Valparaiso High School boys’ basketball head coach Joe Otis will now take the lead job in the school’s girls’ program.

The move was unexpected news to many Valpo basketball fans, including longtime Vikings hoops historian John Knauff. Knauff expressed some surprise with the decision, but ultimately has confidence in what Otis brings to the table as a coach.

The 6th Annual Kent's Run Was a Massive Success!
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Boone Grove Middle School was filled with runners of all paces and ages. It was the 6th annual Kent’s Run that brought them all together that Saturday morning. Kent’s Run was the brainchild of Reggie Flesvig, assistant principal of Bremen Middle School in Bremen, IN. Kent Ribordy was a student at Boone Grove High School. He ran track and cross country and was loved by all that knew him. This included Flesvig. Ribordy’s time with us was unfortunately short as he was was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away his freshman year. But his life is remembered and celebrated each year during Kent’s Run.

Before the race began, runners waited anxiously outside of Boone Grove Middle School. They were treated to "Who You'd Be Today" by Kenny Chesney (Ribordy’s favorite song). Then a moving convocation was given by a local pastor and the National Anthem was performed.

VHS Alum Robbie Hummel Honored with Banner Ceremony in Mackey Arena
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Following a ceremony honoring his collegiate career, 2007 Valparaiso High School graduate Robbie Hummel’s jersey will forever hang in the rafters of Purdue University’s Mackey Arena.

Hummel, one of the greatest basketball players in Purdue history, is the 21st Boiler to have his number displayed above the crowds in Mackey Arena. The ceremony was held during halftime of a Big Ten battle against Michigan State, one of the nation’s top teams.

Kids Spring Into Action at Valparaiso Junior Triathlon
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The atmosphere at Valparaiso High School was full of excitement and anticipation on Saturday June 15 as children of all ages lined up at the starting line of this year’s Valparaiso Junior Triathlon.

When the timer began, the kids sprang into action, first swimming 150 yards, biking around the high school and finally racing to the finish line on the Valparaiso High School Track. This year’s Junior Triathlon was organized by the Valparaiso Swim Club and was put into place to get kids to try something new.

Beautiful Weather Prevails for the Annual Triathlon
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A triathlon is known as one of the toughest endurance sporting events there today. It takes endless amounts of training, perseverance and, most importantly, a whole lot of heart to complete one.

On Saturday, July 13th, about 375 individuals took that challenge to conquer a fourth of a mile swim, a 12.5 miles bike ride and 3.2 mile run in the 11th annual Valparaiso Triathlon, held at Rogers Lakewood. Men and women ages 15 and up were eligible to participate in this year’s triathlon organized by the Valparaiso Parks Department.

The Mudathlon is Much More Fun Than Sitting Inside and Playing Video Games
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The Mudathlon is an awesome 3-mile obstacle course and a ¼ mile kids fun run. Everyone wins a medal for doing the 40 obstacle 5K or the 10 obstacle 1/4 mile fun run! Once you complete the last obstacle you are an official “MUDATHLETE”.

The Mudathlon is a great race for team work. My dad participated in a team called “the Duneland Dirt”. He would stay with the team and help them over obstacles and helped them finish strong. I participated in the ¼ mile fun run with my little brother, Brock. We did 10 obstacles and got really muddy.

Young Man Looking to Join Elite Valpo Athletics Tradition
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Conner TenHove will be a sophomore at Valparaiso High School this year and is looking forward to playing varsity basketball and baseball. He is on course to join the elite Valpo athletics fraternity alongside the likes of Bryce Drew, Robbie Hummel, Scott Martin and Jeff Samardzija.

This summer, Conner played AAU basketball with the 15U Indiana Elite 2016 team out of Bloomington. They are a 26-year-old program with alumni that include Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell, Jordan Hulls, DJ Byrd, and numerous NBA players.

Boosters Honor Sponsors Before VHS Tops La Porte
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On Wednesday, the Valparaiso High School Vikings Wrestling team faced off against the La Porte Slicers. Even though both teams performed admirably, the thing to note happened before the meet started.

The Valparaiso Wrestling Boosters honored their sponsors right before the matches began. The Boosters main goal was made clear. They want to bring the sport of wrestling to the forefront of people’s minds.