Northwest Christian has one of the best boys soccer team in the state. On that team is one of the best players in Washington: Austin Friedly, who has more assists than anyone east or west of the Cascades. But it is Friedly's work off the pitch that is most impressive.
For the past two years Friedly has spent part of his summers on mission trips to Nicaragua, a country with one of the highest poverty rates in Central America. He worked in an orphanage that took in girls and boys who had been abused, and is now a friend and mentor to a few of them.
"I cried quite a bit when we left, it was really hard," said Friedly. "Just the influence I had on them and the influence they had on me…"
Friedly is back home now trying to complete a goal that has meant so much in life. But soccer is no longer his biggest priority. Ministering to the girls in Nicaragua has made him want to just be a better man overall.
"It's really made me want to treat may parents – especially my mom – a lot better," he said. " And also influence my guy friends to do that too."
Friedly and the Crusaders begin their quest for a state title Friday with a match against Waitsburg-Prescott at 4 p.m.
Monday, February 18 2013 5:01 PM EST2013-02-18 22:01:04 GMT
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