Ryan Hebrink and Jeremy Hinderks have been close friends for many years. They were classmates and teammates in high school at BDRSH (now Renville County West), graduating in 2000. They were roommates in college while playing football and baseball at Concordia, Moorhead. After graduation, they both played baseball in the independent Northern League.
Now, they are both married (they were in each other's wedding party) with two children and living back in the area. And each are now working in the medical field in Willmar; Hebrink as a physical therapist at Affiliated Community Medical Centers and Hinderks as a chiropractor with Duininck Chiropractic Clinic in Renville and Willmar.
Now they can add another similarity to the list. Hebrink was recently named the head football coach at Renville County West. Hinderks will be his assistant coach.
"I never even gave coaching any thought before," laughed Hebrink, "until (RCW athletic director Dale Negen) called and asked me if I would be interested in the job. I told him I need some time to think about and talked it over with my family and my boss at work."
Hebrink and Hinderks were going to be co-head coaches, but Hinderks found it difficult to find the time for that position so he accepted being the assistant.
"It's going to be fun to work with Jeremy," said Hebrink. "We've been great friends for a long time."
Hinderks was equally excited to be working with his longtime pal.
"I'm definitely excited to be coaching at RCW, but even more excited to have the opportunity to coach with Ryan," said he said. "Ryan was an amazing football player, but he's even a greater person, so just being around football together with him again will be great."
Hebrink was a standout quarterback for Concordia. He was voted the team's Most Valuable Player three times and he is still the school's all-time leader in total yardage with 6,432 yards. He was also only the fourth Concordia player to rush for 2,000-or-more yards in a career. And he passed for 4,390 yards and 44 touchdowns and ran for 2,003 yards. He was also a shortstop on the baseball team.
"I was an option quarterback and I'm very familiar and comfortable with that offense," said Hebrink. "But that doesn't necessarily mean that's what we will automatically run at RCW. You have to fit the offense and defense to the kids you have."
RCW had low numbers in the football program last year, partly due to injuries.
"We need to get the numbers up again," said Hebrink. "I'm going to work on getting kids who are excited about RCW football. And, like every coach will say, we want to make it fun for them to play football. It's a game and they need to have fun playing it."
Hinderks was a fullback on the Concordia football team, rushing for 488 yards and 13 touchdowns his senior year. He averaged nearly five yards per carry and was just short of 1,000 career rushing yards. The right-hander was also a standout pitcher on the Concordia baseball team. He holds several school records, including most career wins (22).
"I think it is unique that we will get an opportunity to coach and mentor kids in the same school that we grew up in," said Hinderks. "We have had some great coaches along the way both here and in college, so now is our opportunity to return the favor and help teach football to these kids and get them motivated to improve themselves athletically."
Hebrink and his wife, Brittany, live in Sacred Heart with their sons, Hudson, 21/2, and Hampton, 5 months. Hudson's twin brother, Harrison, died shortly after birth. Hinderks and his wife, Jackie, live in Willmar with their son, Braylon, 3, and daughter, Mckenna, 1.
From the gridiron to the gym
Chances are 50-50 that if you were among the top 10 football players in the area in receptions this past fall, you are also among the top 10 scoring leaders in the area in basketball this winter.
And chances are also good that if you were among the top 10 in rushing yardage this fall, you are also listed in the area's wrestling honor roll.
Brendon Foss of Hancock led the area in receptions this season and is also currently No. 1 in the area in scoring with a 24.9 average (see list at right). Taylor Filipek of Willmar was second in receptions and is now fourth in scoring with a 21.3 average. Shaun Condon of MACCRAY was fourth in receptions and is second in the area in scoring at 23.5. Dominic Devine of Litchfield was sixth in receptions and is sixth in scoring. And Shane Bosek of Minnewaska was ninth in receptions and is seventh in scoring.
Brent O'Halloran of BOLD was second in the area in rushing in football this fall. He is fourth on the wrestling honor list at 145 pounds. Joel Bauman of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg was third in the area in rushing and is now first at 189 pounds on the wrestling honor roll. Alex Steffel of BOLD was fourth among rushing leaders and is fifth on the honor roll at 152 pounds. And Dominic Sweetman of Redwood Valley was 10th in rushing and is currently third at 152 pounds in wrestling.
Matt Anderson of Dawson-Boyd went a different route. The area's rushing leader this fall is now fifth in the area among basketball scoring leaders.
He told her so
When Montevideo's Brook Moseng scored the 1,000th point of her career in basketball in 2007, her grandfather took a freshman player aside after the game and told her she would be the next player for Montevideo to achieve the mark.
"It stuck with her for a long time that he would take the time to tell her that," said Montevideo coach Jamie Harrington.
Harlan Moseng's prediction came true three years later as Beka Schwendemann scored her 1,000th point Saturday night in Windom with a free throw with three minutes left in the game.
Harlan did not get to witness the event as he passed away in 2008. But Schwendemann will always remember his words of encouragement.
BOLD's Schulte gets 100th win
BOLD senior Kyle Schulte earned the 100th win of his career on Jan. 21 in Paynesville with a 17-3 major decision at 125 pounds. Schulte is one of only four unbeaten wrestlers in the area this year. He is currently 28-0 after winning the West Central South Conference 125-pound title on Saturday in Montevideo.