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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, June 23, 2019 1:00 am

Angolans proud of school, beer

Josh Patterson | For The Journal Gazette

About Angola

Population: 8,702 (2018 census estimate)

County: Steuben

Founded: Platted in 1838

• The Soldier's Monument in downtown Angola was built in 1917 and lists the names of the 1,278 Steuben County men who fought in the Civil War.

• Home to Pokagon State Park.

• Home to Trine University.

The locals call it “The Mound.” Others may say it's the “Circle.” Buildings surrounding the monument in downtown Angola share a Public Square address. However one chooses to refer to the heart of the Steuben County seat, the roundabout that encompasses the statue of Columbia commemorating the Civil War helps represent a city whose vibrant nature really blossoms in the summer.

During much of his tenure in education within the East Noble school district, Angola resident Mark Cockroft lived in Huntertown while also owning a lake cottage in Coldwater, Michigan. With 101 lakes in Steuben County, along with a high school enjoying a resurgence in athletics, Cockroft's decision to move to Angola continues to pay off.

“We wanted to have schools big enough that they could offer a lot of the curriculum and AP courses that my kids would take one day, but small enough where they weren't overwhelmed,” Cockroft said. “We've been very, very fortunate that the school corporation has made some really good hires in athletics. When there's excitement around your teams at the high school level, that's community pride.”

That pride extends well beyond the walls of Angola High School. After moving to Angola in the early 2000s, Kirk Bice eventually found a passion for craft beer. As the taproom manager at Chapman's Brewing Co., the only craft brewery in the city, Bice recognizes many in the community taking pride in Chapman's variety of offerings.

“We've been here for almost six years now, and once people know we're here we're striking chords with them left and right,” Bice said. “Even people that aren't familiar with the craft beer industry, we're drawing them in and making craft beer fans out of them.”

Even Olympic gold medal winners aren't immune to Angola's draw. Lloy Ball, Angola volleyball coach and owner of Ball Sports Academy, considers himself fortunate to count himself among the city's almost 9,000 residents.

“Angola is a place that you can be yourself,” Ball said. “It is a city with beautiful lakes that offer fun and fellowship. Angola has everything I need to live the American Dream.”