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Fall 2008 | The Next Chapter

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Hackbart family
The Hackbart team, from left, Jake ’12, Katie ’12, Jared ’09 and Ben ’10.

Quartet in autumn
By Sharon Korbeck Verbeten

Two teams, four Green Knights, one family

Call it a full house, or four of a kind. Whatever you call it, finding four siblings concurrently at one college is unusual. Finding them all active in varsity athletics – well, that’s a photo opportunity, for sure.

The Hackbart family of Sussex, Wis., makes just such a claim to Green Knight fame, with a trio of sons on the football team and a daughter hitting the hardwood this fall. They all follow in the athletic footsteps of their father, John ’85, a college athlete who played football and was a member of the Swinging Knights.

“I encouraged them in not just sports but to be well-rounded,” says Hackbart, who coached his sons in youth football leagues. “Athletics taught them how to work hard and how to work with other people. I also think it brings an aspect of community.”

Jared ’09, studying business, somewhat takes his younger siblings under his wing, or, ahem, shoulder pad. But, more importantly, the defensive end says he hopes to represent his family well on and off the field.

While he was surprised that all his siblings joined him at St. Norbert, he welcomes the camaraderie. At times, he says, he aims to be a role model for them.

Younger brother Ben ’10, is studying communications. Playing the safety position on the gridiron, he lines up right behind Jared. “He’s a good guy to have behind you,” Jared admits. The duo played football together at Arrowhead High School in Hartland but they’ve since switched sides of the ball and positions on the field.

Twins Katie ’12 and Jake ’12 round out the Hackbart quartet. Katie, a guard on the women’s basketball team, couldn’t help but inherit a penchant for sports. “I always wanted to play football,” she says. “You can definitely tell that I have three brothers – I’m the tough one on the team.”

Jake – who had yet to play on the same team as his brothers – hit the field this fall as center. “I’m lined up right next to my brother Ben on the punt team,” he says.

Head football coach Jim Purtill says he has coached two siblings before, but never three on one team.

“It’s a little more unusual to have three,” he says, “They’re all pretty good football players.”

While the Hackbarts share the same parents and athletic ability, they also share another trait – diplomacy.

Asked which of the siblings is the best athlete, all refuse to name one over the other … until Ben finally offers, “I think we’re all pretty good at what we do.”

Fall 2008 magazine

Web extras Web exclusives
Look here for web-only content that expands on topics presented in the current
St. Norbert College Magazine (PDF).

Photo Gallery Panama research experience
Explore images from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Photo Gallery A most excellent celebration
View images from the inauguration of the new president.

Video The Pursuit of Excellence
Watch the inaugural address delivered by Thomas Kunkel.

Photo Gallery Out to Africa
A photographic essay brings a Zambian connection to life.

Text Extra Bodyguard to the Packers
Enjoy recollections of the Ice Bowl, from the new book by Mike Dauplaise ’84.

Video “Communio”
This new video celebrates the college’s long heritage.

Story ideas? Your ideas for future magazine stories are most welcome. Write to the editor with any suggestions or comments.

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