(Notre Dame, Ind.) Thomas Hendzel otherwise known as "T.J." signed to play for the Saints soccer team back in December of 2009. T.J. prepared himself on the field of competition and in the classroom to earn a scholarship.
T.J. played 21 games in 2009 for the Lions of Lisle High School. He recorded 8 goals and 7 assists earning him 23 points. He was team captain and named to the All - Conference team his senior year. During his high school career, T.J. was also a part of two conference championships, and two Orion Tournament championship teams.
T.J. has earned many awards for his efforts on the soccer field, but it is what he does in his spare time that truly defines his character. Coaching two teams that represent the Proviso Township Special Olympic program, T.J. coaches a high school team and a Jr. High School team. The teams are consisted of individuals that are developmentally delayed and range in age from 9 - 22.
"T.J. is the type of player that we will build this program with," said Head Coach Dustan Harley. "We are always looking for young men that are not only good soccer players, but great people as well. I look forward to having T.J. at Holy Cross next fall to see the impact he will undoubtedly have on our campus."
Coaching on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3pm - 4:30pm, T.J. helps the teams prepare for the district and state soccer tournaments. One year ago he was an assistant coach helping out the team. "This year I have taken on a more active role," said Hendzel. "I have really enjoyed the opportunity to share my passion for soccer with others."
As a Champions of Character institution, Holy Cross embodies the true spirit of athletics and giving back to the community. T.J. Hendzel embodies these characteristics and is a true Champion of Character.