HOBART WINS TWO TITLES IN TWO WEEKS
5/31/12 12:00 AM
(May 31, 2012)... As the confetti rained down on the Knighthawks players and staff, Rochester Knighthawks Scout Brian Hobart felt a great sense of pride as he observed from the periphery.
“To be part of that was a great feeling,” he said. “It was an up and down season but (Head Coach) Mike Hasen kept them balanced and focused. The win was the result of six months of hard work that paid off.”
Hobart was at The Blue Cross as the Knighthawks rallied in the second half to defeat the Edmonton Rush, 9-6, on May 19th to win their third NLL Championship. He followed up that victory with another, as he coached Penn Yan to a 14-6 win over Livonia on May 29th at St. John Fisher College in the Section V Class “C” Finals. Not a bad 10 days for Hobart.
“It’s been a really exciting month with the Knighthawks winning the championship, us winning a championship and being involved with the Hamilton Nationals,” said Hobart. “I love being involved in lacrosse and I have been fortunate to have some real high points.”
With the Knighthawks, Hobart specializes in analyzing players and their tendencies in his role as the team’s NCAA American Scout. His value, however, goes well beyond notes and stat sheets.
Hobart is also an accomplished head coach in his hometown. The former Penn Yan attackman has had an unbelievable 21 seasons at his alma mater, nine of which have been spent as a head coach. He was an assistant at Penn Yan from 1992 to 2003 before taking the reins in 2004 from the legendary Harry Queener.
With the Mustangs, he has won half of his 16 sectional crowns as a head coach. In 2012, he won his eighth Section V title, as Penn Yan went 18-2 and improved its state ranking to No. 6. Hobart cited the play of his seniors and sophomore scorer Bradley Voigt, who leads the team with 55 goals and 42 assists.
“It has been a special season for us. We have 13 seniors, which is the largest class we have ever had. They have struggled in their other sports, but came together and decided to do the work it took to be successful,” said Hobart.
Hobart, a master tactician, has worked as diligently on and off the field to give his team an edge. He has used his experience with the Knighthawks and the Nationals to create new wrinkles in his offense and defense. Being around some of the greatest names in lacrosse, he has tapped into the expertise and knowledge of such stars as Cody Jamieson, John Grant Jr., Shawn Williams and Johnny Powless. Working with coaches Mike Hasen, Paul Day, Jason Johnson and Regy Thorpe has also allowed Hobart to bring the “indoor game outdoors.”
“Mike, Paul and Jason have been really helpful. They are willing to talk to me and teach me the indoor game,” said Hobart about his relationship with the Knighthawks coaching staff. “I try to take away things and integrate them into my team.
“Having a chance to work with Regy has been fantastic,” added Hobart about the Nationals Head Coach. “He is a true professional and has great rapport with the guys.”
That player-coach relationship fueled the Nationals’ late-season playoff run in 2011. Hamilton finished in a second-place tie in Major League Lacrosse and fell one-goal short to the Boston Cannons in the league title game. Hobart, who is a Hamilton assistant coach, for will miss the Nationals’ game in Charlotte as he focuses on the NY State Playoffs at Hamburg High School on Saturday, June 2nd.
Although beginning his playoff run, he already has Saturday, June 23rd circled on his calendar as three of his former players will take the field at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester. That night Brett and Brice Queener of the Hamilton Nationals will take on Mike Manley and the Rochester Rattlers.
“I have coached these guys since they were little kids,” said Hobart, who will be on the Hamilton sideline. “I am looking forward to that night.”