2006 - Brett Kolinek
2006 was a peak year for Hibida. We had graduated almost nobody from the 2005 squad. We had legitimate nationals aspirations and this group, top to bottom, was the most talented team we ever fielded until the 2017 team. This was, without a doubt, the toughest year to decide on an inductee with so many unbelievably impactful and talented seniors graduating, but Brett's legendary post-Hib playing career gives him something that no Hib alumni can rival.
Brett played on Hib for five years, captaining in his fourth. He played club with DTL (elite mixed) out of Fort Collins in college. After college, Brett played several years on Johnny Bravo (elite men's) then on Machine (elite men's) when he moved back home to the Chicago area. Within that time, Brett also played for the Chicago Wildfire, won beach Worlds (at least once) and just this year won Master's nationals with Johnny Encore. I'm sure there's some stuff I'm missing, but long story short, Brett has been and continues to play at the absolute highest levels of the sport even into his mid 30s.
On the field, Brett doesn't look overly-imposing with his slight frame and 5'10 height, but he's that guy that always does everything right and makes it look easy. In college, he played almost exclusively down field for Hib, consistently being a threat in all phases of the game. In club, I believe he's largely handled for Bravo and Machine but he's someone who I know is comfortable anywhere on the field. His fundamentals are flawless, he's got breakaway speed and is stellar at maintaining position on deep reads.
Probably the most dominating performance I've ever seen was in the second half of a college game at Mardi Gras in 2004. We were down at half 3-7 to Tennessee. In the second half, Mickey Thompson threw literally all but one or two scores to Brett in a comeback win - Brett was just uncoverable.
I wasn't super close with Brett in college, but I respected the heck out of his play and I'm proud to cite him as an example of an alumni making the rounds through the highest levels of the sport. I believe he is extremely deserving of this spot in Hib history.
Honorable Mentions: Adam Zwickl, Chad Pearson, Zach Taylor, Corey Johnson