Many high school students are happy to excel in one sport.
Some are blessed to be good enough to play two.
Very few, nowadays, have the talent to be at the top of their game in three sports.
How about four?
Five? Now, that's impossible.
Not if you are Bridgman's Todd Hendricks. The senior will graduate next month with 18 varsity letters, by far the most in school history.
This spring, Hendricks is playing baseball and running track. In the fall, he was an all-state soccer player and a wide receiver on the football team. In the winter, he takes it easy---just one sport: basketball.
"You're only young once," Hendricks explains. "Your only going to be able to do this once. I'm going to be able to go out and do this when i'm my 40's. So hek, why not enjoy high school."
Baseball is Hendricks' primary spring sport. He's hitting .370, leads the team in stolen bases and has an unbelievable .667 on base percentage. He's the team's shortstop---which makes sense since the best athlete on the team tradionally plays that position.
Track and Field is probably the sport where Hendricks falls into the second tier instead of being one of the very best. But that's ok for Hendricks. Since Bridgman is a small school, he helps out in track because he wants to help his friends and school out.
We only have 25 guys on our track team," Hendricks says. "We need people in events to try and score points everywhere. It gives me an opportunity to come and run in random events and have fun being a kid."
Hendricks is the utility man for the track team. Since he's a pure athlete, his coach, Aaron Locke, places him wherever they need him that day. On Monday, Hendricks was thrown into the 100 meter dash for the first time ever. He had never run off blocks before. 11.9 seconds later, he finished in 2nd and gave his team some much needed points.
A day for Hendricks once the final school bell ends is quite eventful. On Monday, he began at baseball practice. By 3:10, he was hitting in the cage. By 3:30, he was taking infield practice that was designed specifically for him so that he could get in extra work before leaving for track.
At 3:45, Hendricks went to his car. He changed shirts, pulled off his basball pants to reveal his track shorts underneath. You could tell he had done this plenty of times. After his superman-like change, it was a 200 yard drive to the track.
By 4:30, he was competing in the high jump. As soon as that was over, it was off to the 3200 meter relay. Then a little break before impressing everyone with his performance in the 100 meter dash.
While Hendricks has enjoyed every second of his 5-sport high school career, he will not play a single one in college. He says he needs a break. He is headed to Western Michigan and will pursue teaching.