by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Terry Hadden entered his senior year at ERHS with a lofty goal: playing in state tournaments in all three sports. He’s 1-for-2 so far, with one near miss, and a fighting chance to finish 2-for-3.
Having a blast was also a goal, and that one has been met all year.
“Yes, it’s been awesome,” Hadden acknowledged after pitching a 3-1 win over Maple Grove on Monday. “We’ve had great teams this year. Teams that have played really well.”
The 6-foot, 170-pound pitcher and outfielder has helped the baseball team post an 11-2 mark. He was a big-play cornerback and punt returner on the football team that went 6-6 but won sectionals and went to state, and a scrappy, defense-first guard on the basketball team that went 20-9 and lost in the section finals.
“Terry is a very good athlete and you saw that in football and basketball, too,” said Ryan Holmgren, baseball coach. “He’s a rare breed these days, the three-sport athlete. What he did to help beat teams in football and basketball, he brings that here, too. We love to have kids like that.”
Hadden had a big part in two section semifinal games the kids will remember the rest of their lives. In a 53-42 football win over Rogers, where both offenses went crazy, he made the pivotal defensive play, an interception returned 45 yards for a touchdown. In a 78-77 basketball overtime win over Moorhead, Hadden found his 3-point shot (7-for-12) and delivered 24 points, capped by the game-winning free shot with 00.1 on the clock.
“That ‘pick six’ against Rogers, that’s my number one memory so far,” smiled Hadden. “The Moorhead game, yeah, that too. That’s definitely in the top two or three.”
Hadden intercepted five passes and made 45 tackles to help the football team reach state for the first time since 1992. In the section finals, his 35-yard punt return set up a touchdown in the 24-10 win over STMA. As a junior he had 40 tackles and two pickoffs on a 6-3 team. He made all-Mississippi 8 as a junior and got NWSC honorable mention as a senior.
In basketball, Hadden averaged 5.1 points and got the team’s Hustler award. Coach Randy Klasen said Hadden’s main contributions were “the energy and passion he brought to every game and every practice” along with tenacious defense and eagerness to take on the opponent’s best scorer in many games.
Hadden took it hard when the Elks lost to Brainerd 74-68 in the section finals.
“I was crushed. I knew we had potential to go to state in all three of my sports. We lost to Brainerd in the regular season and really wanted to beat them and go to state.”
Looking forward to baseball helped him get over it.
“I thought we’d do as well as we have,” said Hadden. “We knew we’d have enough strong enough pitching. We are very confident with our bats, like when we gave up a nine-run inning against Spring Lake Park, and just kept battling back and won.”
Hadden has a 2-1 mark in five outings with a nifty 1.64 ERA and just 15 hits allowed in 21.3 innings, and 23 strikeouts, throwing a four-seam and two-seam heater (mid-80′s), change up and curve. He had a good junior year with a 3-4 record, 2.49 ERA, and 30 strikeouts in 39 innings on a 10-11 team.
Hadden is hitting .359 (14-for-39) with 13 runs, seven RBI, and 8-for-8 base-stealing. He struggled at the plate last year and worked on hitting all winter including Sundays in a dome in Rosemount.
Said Holmgren: “Number one, he’s a good leader, and number two, he’s a competitor. He has done a great job this year controlling the mental part of the game and letting his physical ability take over.”
Hadden calls baseball “definitely my favorite” and is set to continue at Bemidji State next year.
THE HADDEN SCORECARD
Personal file — Age: 18 … Family: parents Loree and Paul; older brothers Jimmy and Brett; younger sister Katrina … Sports: football, basketball, baseball … Other activities: Link leader … College plans: Bemidji State, pre-physical therapy, baseball
Favorite stuff — Class: Team Sports in P.E. … TV show: “Big Bang Theory” … Movie: “Law Abiding Citizen” … Music: Sammi Adams … Food: Pizza Ranch fare … Drink: Mt. Dew … Team: Twins …. Athlete: Kobe Bryant …. Kickback activity: beach volleyball … Would like to visit: Hawaii