With almost all of a talented roster returning next season, Chesterton projected to be one of the top teams in the area, if not a major player in Class 4A.
Clouds have now rolled in on the Trojans' sunny future.
Sophomore Matt Holba, a two-year starter and Division I prospect, is moving to Indianapolis.
"We talked in our end-of-season meeting and he said his dad (Tom) was getting a job transfer and they were putting their house up for sale," Trojans coach Tom Peller said. "I could tell he was having a hard time with it. It was news to all of us."
Tom Holba, a native of Lansing who starred at T.F. South, is a manufacturer's representative. He found out he was losing most of the Chicagoland territory he covered and it was being shifted to the Terre Haute-southern Indiana area.
"That's the main factor in this," Holba said. "The No. 1 thing is making money and providing for my family. I have a brother who's a colonel in the Air Force and they have to move every two years. It's hard. We've got roots here. Matt's a mature kid. He understands things. But he's still a kid."
The 6-foot-6 Holba averaged over 10 points and seven rebounds and nearly two blocks per game for the Trojans, who went 13-9.
"Obviously, it's a big blow for us," Peller said. "It's disappointing, no doubt about it. As a coach, thinking selfishly, he's an important part of the team. He's a great athlete. He's also a great kid, a great student. We had a good rapport."
The impending move marks the second time a standout player who started his career at Chesterton will finish school elsewhere. Mitch McGary, now at Michigan, left Chesterton to attend Brewster Academy.
"What can you do?" Peller said. "I've learned as a coach there are things you can control and things you can't control. People have to move. These things happen. There's no negative on my side. We've got such a great team back. We're right on the brink of great things. I'm going to stay positive."
Holba was also a receiver on the Chesterton football team and Tom, a former Times Illinois Athlete of the Year at T.F. South, was an assistant coach.
"The Holbas and Snyders are great friends and we respect their decision because we know from experience how hard the decision had to be," Chesterton football coach John Snyder said.
Matt Holba will attend Guerin Catholic, the 3A state champ in 2012.
"We knew it was going to be tough enough on Matt," Tom said. "My wife (Denise) went to a private school, and as we started looking into it, the more we liked the idea."