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Up Close and Personal

Democrat File Photo by Rob Potter

BRENDEN HENDRICKSON (16) makes a block for teammate Brian Ballard in an October 2002 game versus Eldred.

With Brenden

By Jeanne Sager
ROSCOE — November 28, 2003 – Brenden Hendrickson isn’t one to sit around and twiddle his thumbs.
The Roscoe Central School senior always has his hands in something.
He does construction on the weekends and studies late into the night. He’s on the yearbook squad and the school newspaper, taking classes at Sullivan County Community College.
And Hendrickson still manages to keep his grades up – he’s one of the students vying for top honors in his class.
So why sports, on top of everything else Hendrickson has on his mind?
“The fact that you’re getting out and doing activities,” he said, “instead of sitting at home.
“It’s a chance to get out frustration, it’s kind of outputting, most sports.”
Hendrickson knows what he’s talking about. He started playing organized athletics as a youngster, joining the local AYSO soccer team and swinging his bat on the Little League diamond.
Today Hendrickson is on the football team, the basketball squad and plays golf for Roscoe.
At 145 pounds, 5 foot 11 3/4 inches, Hendrickson isn’t the biggest kid on the gridiron. But he may have the biggest heart.
“He’s always shown the best interest of the team,” explained Roscoe Athletic Director Fred Ahart, who has coached Hendrickson on the football and basketball teams for years. “He’s very much a team player and a dedicated athlete.”
His best example of Hendrickson’s efforts sprouts out of this year’s football season.
With a small team, possibly the smallest team in the state, Ahart often finds himself scrambling for players when a student is out sick or on the bench.
Hendrickson was at the head of that challenge this year, moving from the offense as an end, then to quarterback and ending his final football season at tackle.
“I needed someone to do that, and he didn’t complain,” Ahart said.
Hendrickson said he didn’t mind the challenge. He was out on the field with his friends enjoying himself.
Besides, he added, his eyes are on his future, not the past.
“I’ve always looked forward to the future, and I don’t want to give up because I’d screw something up,” he explained.
Hendrickson has a lot of dreams. He’s looking to go to college and become a writer. He wants to make late grandmother, Elaine Wilbur, proud – she urged him to read as a kid and inspired him to write.
And he wants to thank his parents who have kept him going.
His mother, Lori, even signed up to coach cheerleading at the school so she could be on hand for all of her son’s games.
And his dad, Charles, has fueled a thirst for knowledge that has helped Hendrickson earn a Bausch & Lomb science award and consistently land on the honor roll.
Hendrickson’s brother, Shawn, also attended Roscoe, and he’s been a kind of role model for the senior athlete.
“He had his own accomplishments in school, and it gives me something to kind of look up to.”
That included balancing athletics and schoolwork, trying not to overdo things.
“Brenden has always been a scholar athlete in the truest sense of the word,” Ahart said. “I’m very proud of him for that.”

Name: Brenden Hendrickson

Age: 17

School and grade: Roscoe Central School, senior

Hometown: Roscoe

Parents and siblings: Hendrickson is the son of Charles and Lori Hendrickson. He has an older brother, Shawn, 20, and a younger brother, Kyle, 5.

Favorite sport: Football

Favorite school subject: English

Future plans: Hendrickson plans to go to college next fall.

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