- Associated Press - Sunday, June 1, 2014

HOBART, Ind. (AP) - The lines on the face seemed to mirror the cracks in the concrete below. There is an eternal bond between the two.

Crooked and jagged, the lineation is a lifetime on display — the joy, sadness, euphoria and thrill of every breath. Of every snap of Hobart Brickies football.

“Coming here almost wants to make me cry,” said Tom Kerr on Thursday standing inside Hobart’s Brickie Bowl.

Kerr grew up in Hobart, played football for Russ Deal and then went on to play at Michigan. He returned to coach the Brickies from 1962 through 1998, winning 314 games and four state championships.

Kerr was the defensive coordinator for fellow Hall of Fame coach, Don Howell.

“Running out of the tunnel at Michigan into a stadium of 100,000 some fans was an incredible emotion,” Kerr told The Times (http://bit.ly/1hNECEX). “I got the same feeling every Friday night here.”

Kerr laughed about what Munster coach Leroy Marsh told him several decades ago about The Brickie Bowl.

“If you come here during the day you’d say, ‘What a dump.’ But that place came alive on Friday nights.”

Hobart played its last game at Brickie Bowl on Oct. 24, 2008, a 59-12 win over West Side in the sectional opener. The grand patch of grass has been dormant since.

But with the city of Hobart recently taking control of the beloved facility, a promising future is on the horizon.

All Brickies supporters, though, know the future is built on the past.

“I love this place,” Kerr said.

In the late 1930s, 10-foot-high ragweed was all that was on the grounds. The Norfolk-Western railroad tracks ran through the swampy rectangle around Duck Creek.

WPA dollars flowed into the community to provide bread for families and hope for communities. This sparked Brickie Bowl’s genesis. About $25,000 went into labor costs to build the football field, with the first shovel going into the ground in 1937.

Duck Creek was moved for the field. Hobart students built wooden forms and helped pour concrete.

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