Senior provides leadership for both hockey, lacrosse

Bedich learns from his older brother’s success

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The Bedich brothers, David on the left and Sam on the right, take the ice with the 2017 State championship trophy.

Maddie Wirth, Reporter

The name Sam Bedich is not one that will easily be forgotten in Cathedral athletics. Bedich, a senior, excels in both hockey and lacrosse. Despite neither being an IHSAA sport, he has walked off the ice, and the field, not once… not twice… not three times… but four times a State champion. 

Bedich carries two rings in each sport, playing on winning teams in both State tournaments his freshman and junior years. 

It began his freshman year when he made varsity for the two teams. While it was already a special feat, he got to play alongside his older brother, David Bedich ’17. David, then a senior, served as a mentor to the younger sibling at home and in the hallways while also sharing both the ice and the field.

The two played for the high school team, the Central Indiana Knights. The Knights are composed of surrounding area high schools of Bishop Chatard, Cathedral, Guerin Catholic, Hamilton Heights, Noblesville, Park Tudor, Pendleton Heights and Sheridan.

Bedich explained that his freshman year State tournament teams were “one of underdogs.” He said, “We really came together during the playoff run.” 

In March 2017, the Knights were crowned 3A State champions against South Bend St. Joseph on their home rink. Bedich can recount almost every moment from “the drums pounding from SBSJ’s band” to “looking out and seeing not a single place to sit.” 

His favorite comes from skating out to take the last face-off as time expired and feeling everything pay off. He said, “It was the first time in my high school sports career where I had accomplished something huge. The joy I had was indescribable.

“But being able to hoist the trophy alongside my brother was really special for our family.”

Mr. Kevin Karlander, who served as the squad;s head coach at the time and has since moved on to coach his son’s junior travel team, said his favorite memory is the same. He said, “One of the most memorable times coaching was seeing (Sam and David) take pictures together after the State final four years ago.”

Then came the Bedich brothers taking the field by storm. David and his friends, an army of 15 seniors, would lead Sam and his freshman group of six to the Irish’s fourth lacrosse State championship. They beat Carmel 8-5 after losing to them earlier in the regular season 17-11. 

The Bedich family hails from Carmel, where Sam attended Creekside Middle School. He played against many former classmates. But it was another very special trophy hoisting for the family as the two athletes’ careers together came to close. 

Sam Bedich said, “The opportunity to play with my brother was special. It allowed me to grow closer to him, and he taught me many things about how to succeed in high school academically, athletically, socially.”

“Not many people get to say they won a State championship in their life, but the thing that is so special to me is I got to win two with my best friend,” he said, referring to his brother.

Karlander added, “I’ve had some great kids and great families during my time.  I coached a Bedich for six of my nine seasons as coach. It’s parents like theirs that made it a joy to do. They cheered on the boys and the team, were eager to give you a pat on the shoulder after a win, and a hug now that I’m watching from their side of the glass.”

Sam continued the family legacy, and to excel, after his brother graduated. 

Although he came out of his sophomore year ringless, he said, “It was also the year I learned the most from sports.” He learned to lose and to learn more about the game than the championships that came from it. The Knights lost in the State championship and the Irish fell in the semifinal to eventual state champion, Hamilton Southeastern. 

He was named second-team all-State for lacrosse. 

A very different obstacle stood in Bedich’s way of his junior year. Just two weeks before the hockey playoffs, he had an emergency appendicitis and sat out for the next month. Bedich returned for the semifinals and state championship.

He said, “It was hard to get back into shape, but I was so relieved when we won because we fought through so much adversity the whole year and we are able to come up big in the end.”

They beat Evansville 4-2 in the finals to win their second State championship in three seasons in Class 3A. 

The lacrosse team then, too, proved dominant, never dropping a loss to an in-state opponent. They avenged last year’s season both in the regular season and the State final, beating HSE 10-6 and then 13-6. 

Bedich fulfilled the role of face-off specialist in his junior season. He carried a face-off win percentage of 80. He was also named the 2019 IHSLA State Championship Player of the Game.

He takes the award humbly and shifts the attention to his fellow players. He said, “This was my favorite team I have ever been on. The boys are people I loved to be around and always made me laugh. I’ve met some of my best friends through this team and it was awesome to win it together.” 

His accolades continued in that same season as an all-American, first team all-State and first team all-Midwest.

Bedich’s senior season could bring more success to his legacy. About halfway through hockey, he leads all-time in most blocked shots by a player, most face-offs won by a player and most hits delivered by a player. He also ranks in the all-time Top 10 for most points for the Knights.

But the older Bedich had something to say. David said, “I have witnessed Sam develop into a leader over his athletic career. He commits to his role on the team to allow the team to succeed. I have watched him care more about team success than his own achievements. Sam will care more about a State championship than any personal accolades.”

His upcoming goals for the rest of his career are all team related. His hockey goals include winning the league tournament. Sam said in his high school career they have never won. 

And his lacrosse goals are even bigger. He wants to be undefeated both in and out of state. He’s confident and said, “We have the talent this year to finally do it. Another goal is to win the MSLCA (Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association) championship again, and the final goal for the season is to go back to back with State championships. 

Mr. Rick Streiff, athletics director, said, “It’s outstanding for a player to have that kind of success” and said he wishes him the best of luck for what’s come in his senior year and a thank you for all he has done and achieved. 

His college plans are either to attend Miami of Ohio or Indiana University, where he will continue his hockey career while studying business, with a focus on marketing and entrepreneurship.