CB South Teacher Profile: Mr. Hetrick

Mr. Hetrick, CB South’s beloved AP US History teacher, is well known among his students for his energetic speeches and insightful lessons about how a knowledge of history can benefit society. With a man who seems to live and breathe history, many are surprised to learn that his first love was not history, but football. A self-described energetic kid, Mr. Hetrick said that as a child he always thought “the ability to exude adrenaline by running around and hitting people was a pretty fascinating thing.” Growing up in an environment that idolized football, it was inevitable that he would develop a love for the sport. Football players from the local high school were worshipped, and he strived to achieve that kind of success. 

His love of history would later become his instrument for achieving that success. One part of history that had always fascinated him was military history. He was drawn to the idea of understanding the strategies, goals, and tactics of war. This, to him, was the link between history and football. Hetrick, who is now the coach of CB South’s football team, still maintains that there is a connection: “the actual act of going out and competing [in football], is similar, to me, to strategizing and coming up with tactics and then going out onto a battlefield.”  

After this initial connection was made, Mr. Hetrick’s love for history has only grown. History’s ability to tell us about ourselves still fascinates him, and he embraces this feeling of wonder. He says, “History is just a collection of a bunch of fascinating people doing good or bad things, but collectively, it’s the story of us.” 

The “story of us,” as Mr. Hetrick calls it, is crucial for our understanding of our own ability to better society and overcome the issues that currently face us. He believes that there is nothing we can go through now that hasn’t been experienced in some form during history, so we can look upon our knowledge of history for how to address the issues that confront us. History, he says, “gives people some comfort and confidence to know that there’s nothing we’re dealing with right now that we can’t figure out a way to work through and resolve.” 

This profound knowledge of history and its benefits shape Mr. Hetrick’s purpose in his daily life. He strives to have an impact on those he mentors—both his students and his football players. His overall goal as a role model is to instill morals in impressionable young adults, and hopefully, set them up in a position to enjoy success. He is simply just happy that his main areas of expertise, history and football, allow him to achieve this goal. He can use this knowledge to teach his mentees the right way to live their lives. He lives by the philosophy that he hopes to ingrain in the morals of his students: “if you live your life the right way, everything else will take care of itself.”