EDWARDSVILLE – Reid Hendrickson certainly has a background in baseball.
Hendrickson, the son of Saint Louis University baseball coach and one-time Granite City standout Darin Hendrickson, signed to attend NCAA Division II program Central Missouri in a ceremony at Edwardsville High School Wednesday afternoon.
Hendrickson is expected to be a major contributor to the Tigers this coming baseball season, coming off a year where Edwardsville reached the IHSA Class 4A final, falling to Crystal Lake South 8-3 to finish the year 34-8.
Hendrickson is familiar with the Mule program, Darin Hendrickson having coached at the Warrensburg, Mo.-based school for three years in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. “My dad coached there for three years and I knew it was a good program,” Reid Hendrickson said. “They're winners and they always have a good team every year; that's the atmosphere I wanted to be a part of; it was a good fit for me.
“I wanted somewhere where I could be in the mix right away and compete for a few spots.”
Baseball having been a big part of Hendrickson's life means much to him, and being able to move to the next level also means much. “It's really special; it's something I wanted my whole life and whole career,” Hendrickson said. “This is what I've been working for.”
“It's always an exciting time to see guys, see what their future holds,” said Tiger baseball coach Tim Funkhouser. “Reid contacted me and said Central Missouri's interested, and it seemed like a great fit for him. I'm real happy for him.”
Hendrickson's baseball ties have helped, Funkhouser felt. “Reid's a baseball guy; he loves baseball and loves to compete,” Funkhouser said. “It's an exciting time for him, I'm sure.
“Any kid gets to that point where you're trying to figure out how's it all fall in; just talking to him, it sounded like the visit went well and he saw himself there; he's lived in the town before and he's familiar with the excellent program they have there – Kade Burns is down there and I think it gives a kid a vision of, 'OK, I know where my landing place is'.”
Hendrickson contributed to the Tigers in their run to the final last season, hitting .222 in 54 at-bats in 2017 with a .288 on-base percentage and .259 slugging percentage with nine RBIs; he also saw time on the mound as well, throwing 13 innings and giving up 11 runs (eight earned) for a earned-run average 4.31 with two saves.
Funkhouser thinks Hendrickson's best baseball is ahead of him. “I know just hearing feedback that he had a real good summer,” Funkhouser said, “and we opened up our field for what we called open field where the kids just scrimmage in intersquad, and you can tell he's improved in all facets of his game.”
Hendrickson intends on focusing on the pitching aspect of his game at UCM. “In college, I'm going to focus on pitching,” Hendrickson said. “That's one thing I haven't focused on much; I've always just been very good and been able to go out there and pitch."
Feeney, 56, is a native of Granite City and graduated from Granite City South in 1978. He was a part-time writer for the old Granite City Journal from 1979-84 before attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston,
from which he earned his BA in journalism in 1988. He has worked for newspapers in Sikeston, Mo., Rocky Mount, N.C., Seneca, S.C. and in Charleston-Mattoon. He also worked for the old St. Clair County Suburban