Freeman’s Freudenthal: A great leader in the toughest of times
FREEMAN, Wash. — Freeman’s Konnor Freudenthal loves baseball because thee are no shortuts. He’s a hard-working leader that likes to let his actions speak for themselves.
“He’s not a big talker but he’s the first on the field and last to leave,” says baseball coach Chad Ripke. “He’s a guy that you’ve got to tell to stop, you’ve done enough for the day.”
But slowing down isn’t something that comes easily for Freudenthal, who stays busy playing two sports, and he’s the school President of the A.S.B. and the F.F.A.
“I time manage pretty well,” Freudenthal says. “I know the stuff I have to get done, when I have to do it, and have my schedule ordered out pretty well.”
His hard work and time management payed off as Freudenthal received a congressional nomination and will be attending West Point Military Academy.
“I actually got a call from Cathy McMorris Rodgers the first time I found out that I got accepted and that was really something, that was special,” Freudenthal remembers.
“Most kids have a goal to go to a four year college or get a scholarship to go play a sports somewhere, and he wants to go serve our country and push himself to be even a better man and a better leader than he is right now,” says Ripke
That won’t be easy as Freudenthal has shown to be an amazing leader, even after the school shooting in September.
“I remember just a lot of questions, why, how, this doesnt’ happen here, this shouldn’t happen here, this is Freeman,” Freudenthal says remembering the days after the shooting. “I just remember the support of the staff, the support of my friends, the support of all my classmates.”
In the week’s and months following that day in September Freudenthal and his peers showed incredible strength as they helped guid Freeman through its most challenging school year.
“Him and our ASB took it on their shoulders to kind of take the rest of the student body and put them on their shoulders,” says Ripke. “They were asked to do more than any other students in this school, hear things more than any other kids in this school.”
“It’s something you don’t want ever, it’s so terrible, but to be able to take it and turn it into a positive and take it and make it an aspect that improves your life instead of demeaning it,” Freudenthal added.
Shortly after the shooting, the school’s ASB realized the freshman hallway would soon have an empty locker as a constant reminder of an event that brought so much pain to their school. That thought was brief however, as Freudenthal volunteered to take over that locker.
“Other kids don’t have to see and remember that’s the shooters locker and he puts his football sign on it so they see Konner Freudenthal,” boasts Ripke.
“As a leader of this school and as a leader of the community I just felt that it was really my responsibility to step into that role and help be a shoulder for people to lean on, and be there for people,” remembers Freudenthal. “I really felt like that’s what I had to do.”
The Scotties baseball team have their sights set on a state title this weekend, and before long Freudenthal will move on from Freeman High School.
“People like that don’t grow on trees man, he’s one of a kind,” says Ripke. “He’s one of a handful of kids like this that I’ve had in my 16 year career of teaching.”
“I think it’s going to be tough for all of the Senior’s this year just because leaving a place that’s so special to us that has so much healing to do,” says Freudenthal. “I also know that it’s in great hands and there are so many great people here who are going to help get us through these next three, four, five, even ten years.”
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