Bishop Noll Hockey

Hockey team wins 3A state championship


NWI Times

Warrior Pride. The Warriors pose for a group picture after winning the ISHSHA Class 3A State Tournament on March 3rd, 2023.

Grace Buksa, Staff Reporter

The Bishop Noll hockey team won the Class 3A State Championship game on March 4–the 3rd state win since the team’s resurrection in 2014. The team defeated the Lake Shore St. Joe Warriors with a score of 4-2. With the season now over, huge changes and plans are set to be made in the program within the next few years. 


Before the state game, the team struggled with injuries.

 “A lot of our top players got  injured in the beginning of the season. This  left it up to our ‘depth’ players to step up and fill in those roles,” said junior Julian Orozco. 

Despite struggling with injuries, the team managed to have a successful season. Since January of this year, the Warriors went undefeated with a record of 14-0-0. Along with having a perfect record for 2023, the team also were Roper Cup Champions for the second year in a row.


The Warriors started off the season with a record of 13-10-2 and later went on to win 14 consecutive games in the second half of the season. Overcoming the State playoffs was the last challenge that the team would face this season. The anticipation for the big game was mixed as many players were nervous. 

“The week of State I was super nervous, but the night before the game all that nervous went away,” Orozco said. “I felt very confident in myself once I was in the locker room on Friday night. I reminded myself that I had the ability to play well as long as I had a positive attitude and didn’t doubt my capabilities.”


The first period started off rocky for the Warriors with LSJ scoring the first two goals. At the end of the second period, Nicholas Kiebles scored five-hole to tie the game up at 2-2. With only one period left, the Warriors went in with a winning attitude. Within the first 44 seconds of the quarter, Aiden Klen scored a goal which gave them their first lead of the game. At the end of of the quarter, Klen scored again with 40 seconds left, redirecting a shot from junior, Logan Stumpf which secured the state title for the Warriors. The final score was 4-2. 

Kevin Smith, hockey coach and school counselor at Noll said that all of the players are responsible for their huge success this season. 

“Their hard work this year and the past couple of years has really pushed them to their success this year, they all had positive attitudes the entire season too which definitely gave them the confidence to win. When you have a confident attitude, you fight till the end,” Smith said. 


Now that the season is over, plans to revamp and change the program are expected to occur. 

“The team is losing a lot of seniors that were very valuable assets to the team so it’s important that we rebuild our team during the offseason,” Smith said. “The hope is that the returning players will step up as leaders and players while we recruit interested newcomers to fill in the roster.” 


Plans to recruit for newcomers will look a little different next year due to the Indiana Choice Scholarship. Bishop Noll administrators are hoping that this expansion of the scholarship will convince current players who go to public school to attend Bishop Noll for school. 

“The Indiana Choice Scholarship program is a big factor,” Smith said. “That and the fact that we are planning to join the Chicago Catholic Hockey League once we have enough players. This will cause us to play better teams, and have a more competitive schedule.” 


The idea of everyone on the team going to BNI excites players. 

“I think it would be pretty insane,” said Orozco.” I think it would bring more popularity and recognition to our team and more people would come to our games.  Unfortunately, I don’t think some of them would want to do it. I know first hand that it’s tough leaving your friends at your current school to go to a different one.” 


During off-season, players will continue practicing on and off the ice in order to stay in shape for the upcoming 2023-2024 season. If you are interested in joining the state winning team, contact Mr. Kevin Smith for more information.