The Hawks Earn Historic Bid to the NJCAA Region 8 Tournament

The Hawks Earn Historic Bid to the NJCAA Region 8 Tournament

Spectacular things have been happening in the Hawks Nest this season with HCC’s Women’s and Men’s basketball teams. Over the last few months, it has become clear that the Hawks are not who you want to mess with as both have been able to produce outstanding winning seasons. For the first time in fifteen years, the two will both be traveling up to Niceville, FL to compete in this season’s FCSAA/NJCAA Region 8 Tournament.

For some Hawks, this has been a long time coming. Sophomore, Asnate Gerke, remarks on her journey this year, saying, “Going to the state tournament was the main goal that we all have been working towards for almost 8 months. The team has had a great share of ups and downs, but that is the great part of the learning process that helped us understand and trust in each other more.”

Another sophomore who has shared the court with Gerke for the past two years, Eizaenirys Allende, better known as Chiky, explained her feelings on this big achievement, saying, “This has been a long trip and a hard year for me, there were many obstacles along the way, but I’ve been working hard since this began and in the end it will help us achieve our goal. I’m really excited about what the future will bring and I think the best is yet to come.”

Though the roster was quite young with only two healthy returning sophomores, that did not hinder their swift rise to the top. The team finished 3rd in their conference, with a record of 17-13 and 13-8 in their conference. They expect to put on a show at this year's tournament.

The Men’s team has been equally impressive this year, and have fought their way into the state tournament after their tie-breaker win against Miami Dade State College. Being led by their sophomore captain, Dominic Gooden, the young men were able to show up when it mattered in order to seal their ticket to Niceville. The captain remarks on their journey, saying, “I’m super excited to be playing in the state tournament. It’s somewhere we haven’t been in a decade so it’s exciting. All the hard work me and my teammates put in to play and the tournament just shows how hard we worked for this and I’m proud of myself and the guys.”

Teamwork played a fundamental role in this season for the Men’s program, as Caleb Mackrey says, “It’s a great feeling knowing how hard we worked to get to this position. Our goal
in the beginning of the season was to get to the state tournament and we achieved it. I am proud of the guys and coaching staff as we all did it together as a team.” They closed out the season with a record of 18-12, and 6-10 in their conference. They hope to continue their success this week at the FCSAA/Region 8 Championships.

Though both teams shared the goal of getting to the state tournament, don’t count the Hawks out yet. There is a real chance that these talented athletes could win it all and take home the trophy. The Hawks have put their blood, sweat, and tears into getting where they are, but they didn’t come this far to only come this far. Make sure you keep an eye on these teams because you definitely won’t want to miss it.

Both the men's and women's team will face Eastern Florida State College in the first round of the tournament. For livestream and updated draws, follow this link to the tournament page.