Gridiron Heroes: HOCEE Version 2.0

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ELSA – He’s an art teacher, an artist, and a Yellow Jacket fan. You can find Brett Oberthaler’s work all over the Edcouch-Elsa High School campus. They’re all different, but they all come from the same passion.

“My goal, my purpose of being an art teacher is to show them a piece of art,” said Oberthaler. “To experience it, to witness it, and hopefully to appreciate it.”

Oberthaler’s next piece of art will sit outside the athletic fieldhouse where players can touch it before they take the field. It’s a statue of a Yellow Jacket holding a heart.

“Here at Elsa we want our kids to have a whole heart in whatever they do,” said Oberthaler. “Put their whole heart into it whether it’s athletics or academics.”

It’s actually the second time Oberthaler creates this object. A few years ago, the Jacket football team had HOCEE to touch before games. HOCEE is an acronym which stands for ‘Heart of Champions Edcouch-Elsa’.

“They just touch that heart as they get on the field,” said Edcouch-Elsa coach Joe Marichalar. “When times get tough, they pat their heart a little bit and say, ‘You know we’re jacket football. We play with our heart.’ “

So what happened to the original HOCEE? It was stolen two years ago. A police report was filed, but HOCEE was never found. That’s why Oberthaler is now set to make HOCEE version 2.0.

“This is something I’ve done during my conference period for the coaches out there,” said Oberthaler.

The art teacher is volunteering his free time and his own resource to remake HOCEE. It’s an effort the Jackets of the present and the future will appreciate.

"It’s awesome,” said Marichalar. “For him to do that out of his kindness. Having that tool out there will definitely add to the flavor that we’re trying to implement here.”

HOCEE version 2.0 is almost ready to inspire the Yellow Jackets again. Oberthaler tells CHANNEL 5 SPORTS the work of art should be completed in a few weeks.


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