Many are in mourning throughout the Hilton community after the loss of a recent graduate. 19-year-old Alex Hendry was found early Monday morning on the Onondaga Community College campus.
The Onondaga County Sheriff's Office said his roommate reported him missing Sunday afternoon, and the last time anyone saw Hendry was late Saturday night when he left an off-campus party. He never returned home, and his body was discovered around 1 a.m. Monday.
Campus officials are saying his death was not suspicious. His body was found near the baseball fields at OCC, where he was a student, and preparing to pitch in his Freshman year on the baseball team.
OCC Baseball Head Coach John Sheedy said, "we're coping, and we're doing our best to make sure that we put our best face forward right now in this very difficult time."
Sheedy says the team gathered after Hendry was found and stayed close throughout the night. Hendry never played a full season with OCC, but his coach began to choke up when talking about the loss.
"Every one of those 40 athletes that I have on my baseball team is an extension of my family. Those are all my sons, and it… it hits home," said Sheedy.
Hendry was also a member of the Hilton Cadets baseball and basketball team. A two-time all county pitcher and short-stop, he was a central part of a dominant baseball organization.
Hilton Athletic Director Mike Giruzzi said, "[I'm] very proud of the manner of which he competed, how he represented himself, the school, the community. He always did it in just a great manner. Really a neat kid, just a good kid."
Giruzzi says just about everyone at Hilton knew Hendry, and everyone who knew him, liked him.
"His smile and his nature with his friends in the building is what really strikes me most as I reflect on Alex," Giruzzi said.
A childhood friend of Hendry's, Chuck Raetz told News 8, "he was just like the nicest kid ever. I don't think there was anybody that disliked him. He literally was loved by everyone."
OCC will be offering grief counselors to their students, as will Hilton High School when they return from their break next Monday.
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