Henry Friedrich Named Lions Club Athlete of the Month
By Mitch Silver
His coach has this to say about April’s Athlete of the Month: “His success on the field has led the way to the overall success of the team. His work ethic throughout the program is one our younger players have followed.”
That’s Rye High Baseball Head Coach Mike Bruno speaking of Henry Friedrich, his three-year starter on a team that’s won its league championship each season Henry played on it. Heading into May, he’s hitting .488 through 14 games and, so far, the Garnets are 13-1.
Even better than his ability to barrel up the ball, Coach Bruno appreciates his versatility. “Henry has been able to adapt to numerous positions on the field,” he says. “He’s strong wherever we put him: catcher, first base, outfield, pitcher.”
Henry brings many tools to the diamond, tools he’ll bring to the diamond at Adelphi University a year from now. There’s his ability to get on base, something he does about every other time he’s at the plate. And there’s more: the month of April saw him hit a home run, drive in ten runs, steal a couple of bases without being caught, and play outstanding defense wherever’s he’s put. He even has a win under his belt as a Garnet starting pitcher.
Of course, there’s more to his game than sports. To earn the Athlete of the Month award from the Rye Lions Club and the Rye High Athletic Department, a senior must be a good student who’s willingly involved in extracurriculars and service to the community. Henry says the college-level course he’s taking this semester, Mrs. Warner’s U.S. Government and Politics class, is “hard work but fun.” Let’s look at that again: Henry Friedrich declares U.S. government and politics to be “fun”. He may be the only one in the country who feels that way.
When he’s not whacking baseballs, our April winner is writing and helping to publish The Garnet Mine, the school’s online newspaper. (Maybe journalism will yet live on in the next generation.) His community service record includes conducting clinics in Port Chester for Warrior Baseball and serving meals to the homeless in the South Bronx with Part of the Solution (P.O.T.S.).
Winning the Athlete of the Month award has earned Henry a meal ticket to the Lions Club annual recognition dinner at The Osborn in June, when they’ll announce Rye High’s Athlete of the Year.