MINOT—In an age where many athletes focus their energy into one main sport, seeing an athlete who excels in three separate sports is increasingly rare.
However, 18-year-old Zach Hendrickson of Minot is one of those rarities.
Hendrickson plays basketball and golf for Our Redeemers Christian School which he attends, but he also plays football for rival Bishop Ryan High School through a co-op.
Hendrickson helped Bishop Ryan to a league title and to the state playoffs this year with an overall record of 11-2. This fall he amassed more than 1,200 yards from scrimmage and scored 14 touchdowns (15 touchdowns rushing and receiving combined). He also threw for two more touchdowns. Last February, he hit the 1,000-point milestone for Our Redeemers basketball team and then finished in 8th place in the North Dakota State High School Golf Tournament this past spring. Each of these feats on their own is not an easy task, but completing all of these in the same calendar year is nearly unheard of.
"I believe if you truly want to do something you can do it, you just have to put some time and effort into it.” Zach Hendrickson
As for balancing the three sports and school, Hendrickson said, “I don’t think there is a secret to it honestly. I believe if you truly want to do something you can do it, you just have to put some time and effort into it.”
Hendrickson said he plays as many rounds of golf as he can all summer and never misses a lifting session for football. “When I was a freshman, I was going to just play basketball, but my coach at the time, Brody Bosch, told me that is stupid.” He continued, “I just love to play, all the time. I love to be in the gym, and it is easy for me, because all my family loves being in the gym also.”
Our Redeemers Athletic Director Jake Stach says he sees that effort firsthand, “He puts his work in, he’s in the gym and gets [golf] rounds in during football without it affecting his team. He is a great kid.”
But Hendrickson says it doesn’t feel like work at all. He even has a putting green in his house, so he can work on his short game during basketball season. “Fundamentals are very important, and I work on them all the time, but mostly I just play. I play the sports all the time,” he chuckled.
“Zach is a class act, and you throw in his ability, and he is the total package." Roger Coleman, Bishop Ryan football coach
Bishop Ryan Football Coach Roger Coleman says Hendrickson’s athletic ability isn’t the most amazing thing about him—it's his ability to care and lift others up around him. “Zach is a class act,” said Coleman, “and you throw in his ability, and he is the total package.... He is an awesome kid all around, including academics.”
In an era when kids become more self-centered leading up to signing day and their worries about where they are playing, and their playing time, Hendrickson is just worried about enjoying his final high school seasons and his teammates.
As his high school career draws to an end, Hendrickson says he isn’t worried about college. “College is so much different than high school,” he said. “Right now, I just want to enjoy high school sports. As far as which one I want to play in college, I would prefer to stay local, and it would be a dream to play any one of them.”