Ardem Brendle said, “Family was really important for me.”
Dusty Baker said, “The word ‘family’ can be loosley thrown around but for one player on the Haskell Indians, it means so much more. After not having a family in the Ukraine, Ardem Brendle now not only has a new family at home but has his other family right here on the gridiron at Haskell High School.”
Brendle said, “I was nervous about Texas, I had never heard anything about the state and it was just in movies about a bunch of land and stuff.”
Ardem grew up in an orphanage in the Ukraine. Once the Brendle family adopted him, Ardem essentially started his life over.
Brendle said, “When I came here, it was like I was born again so I had to learn everything.”
Head Coach Brian Hodnett said, “There’s still a learning curve in terms of his English, there’s a learning curve in terms of just playing football but man the guy has really improved from last year and he’s getting better all the time and he’s just kind of a sparkplug.”
While in Haskell, Ardem quickly grew to love the game of football.
Brendle said, “I played soccer, I never thought I was going to play football and I just tried my freshman year and when I started hitting people I was like that’s my thing, I love hitting people.”
Landry Olson said, “We all appreciate him, we’re glad he’s here. He’s filled his role on and off of the field and we appreciate that and he’s always fun to be around and we love him.”
Brendle is now a defensive tackle and running back for the Indians, but he’s also a valued member of their football family.
Hodnett said, “He said years ago I prayed for a family and I got the Brendle’s and now I’m here in Haskell and I’m part of this football family too and so it really means something to him.”
Olson said, “It’s just a little sign of hope that, no matter where you come from, what your background is, you can always be a part of something.”
Hodnett said, “The guy is going to make a great husband and a great dad one day. He will approach life like he’s approached football and working out here. He can take any situation and put a positive spin on it and smile.”
Brendle said, “I love this life I live and I love Haskell.”