The pain of having to sit and watch the baseball season may have been just as unbearable to Brandon Hennessee as tearing his ACL. An all-district performer a year before, Hennessee was sidelined for all but five games his senior year as the Pioneers advanced to the region tournament.
Despite being unable to help his team on the field, Hennessee was a steadying presence in the dugout. For his constant encouragement and positive attitude in the face of adversity, Hennessee was recently named the 24th recipient of the Hilda Lowry Memorial Award.
“Brandon exemplifies the character, sportsmanship and camaraderie – on and off the field – that we’ve looked to honor the last two decades,” said Dawn Wanamaker, the daughter of Hilda Lowry who has helped pick a winner each year. “He’s a team-first player who leads on the field and in the classroom.”
The Hilda Lowry award has been given for the last two decades in honor of a longtime educator who had a passion for baseball, dating back to when her son – Brandon Lowry – was part of the 1992 championship baseball team. Wanamaker believed Hennessee would have been a favorite of her mother’s because of his passion.
Hennessee was honored to accept the award, even though he would have loved to add more all-district honors as well.
“It’s good to know that even when you’re not out there, you can still make an impact,” said Hennessee. “It hurt not being able to go out there and perform with the team, but I wanted to make sure I was there helping anyway I could.”
Hennessee tore his ACL during a preseason game in the fall, just weeks before he was set to be a contributor at receiver and defensive back for the Pioneer football team. He worked as hard as he could in rehab, but his knee wasn’t ready for the grind of a long season on the diamond.
The senior made two appearances on the mound and was able to bat in three games, but the day he was supposed to make his debut in the outfield ended with him being shut down for the season.
“I got back and was able to pitch, but I went out to the outfield one day and made a move and it felt like it did back in the fall,” said Hennessee. “I had the mindset going into the season that it may not go as I had hoped. When the doctor shut me down, I expected it. My knee is getting better though.”
Hennessee plans to attend Motlow in the fall.