When Amherst’s Tim Hinrichs completes his graduate work at Providence College this spring, he will have finished a career as one of the more proficient lacrosse players in the history of the program.
What Hinrichs has done off the field is just as impressive as what he’s done on it.
Hinrichs has devoted a great amount of time visiting youngsters at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.
“Visiting Hasbro Children’s Hospital was a great opportunity,” Hinrichs said. “We get to travel there eight or nine times a semester. We get to brighten the day of these children who are undergoing hard times.
“Anything we can do to make their time enjoyable makes it worthwhile.”
Hinrichs and his teammates have participated in two fundraisers for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
“We shaved our heads (in March of 2020) because we knew we could raise $1,000 per head and it was for a great cause,” Hinrichs said. “It ended up being around $35,000.
“My reaction was these kids were completely normal children who were so elated to see us and have a change in their daily routine. I was happy to be a part of it and brighten their day in any way I could.”
Friars coach Chris Gabrielli wasn’t surprised Hinrichs made those visits part of his schedule.
“He’s as involved as anyone else,” Gabrielli said. “As a (two-time) captain and a strong presence on our team, he’s always been all in on those initiatives.
“He realizes he has a responsibility as a blessed student-athlete to give back to the community.”
Hinrichs starred at Bishop Guertin in Nashua and with the New Hampshire Tomahawks club team.
“We saw him play with them (the Tomahawks) and in tryouts with Under Armor,” said Gabrielli. “He always stood out because he was tall, lanky and a very good athlete.
“He has a body type that told you he would grow as he matured physically. He was 175 pounds when he got here and now he’s over 200.”
Fortunately for Hinrichs, his father (Dave) and older brother (Ryan) were big on lacrosse.
“I was lucky to have them,” Hinrichs said. “They started the youth program in Amherst. I was able to see teams when I was too young to be on them. It was a great opportunity to learn the game.
“My dad influenced me and inspired me to take up lacrosse. When I reached the high school level and (coach) Chris Cameron came onto my radar, I knew what Bishop Guertin was all about. Once I decided to go to Bishop Guertin, that’s where my interest in lacrosse took off.”
Hinrichs scored 64 goals and assisted on 43 as a senior. Twice he was voted a scholastic All-American.
At Providence, Hinrichs plays midfield, which may be the sport’s most demanding position.
Through games of April 23, he has posted 14-5-19 totals; for his career he has 42-32-74 totals. In 2019, he was voted All-Big East Second Team.
“Tim’s value to the team goes beyond goals and assists,” Gabrielli said. “Those are tremendous numbers for a midfielder.
“First, he’s a tremendous leader. He’s constantly positive and holds people accountable. Athletically, his speed allows him to do things throughout the course of a game like get that really important clear or ground ball to start transition. He’s one of the best athletes I’ve been around (Gabrielli has been coaching for 20 years).”
Since midfielders must play offense and defense, Hinrichs seldom comes off the field.
“He’s had the most minutes at midfield than any other player over his time with us,” Gabrielli said. “We trust him to stay on the field only until a goal is scored. He’s an old school, two-way midfielder.
“The things he does in the clearing and riding game are invisible things nobody sees in the box score.”
Hinrichs wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I like to do things that are challenging and that translates into my being an athlete as well,” he said. “I think my primary strength is hard work. Ever since I was a freshman, I was put in a position to work incredibly hard to be successful.
“I play a lot of minutes every game. I clear the ball and guard wings. All of those are demanding roles for a player to take on.”
Like his coach, Hinrichs realizes his true value for the Friars.
“Goals and assists aren’t everything I’ve accomplished,” he said. “A lot of what I bring to the table are things like busting my butt to get back on defense, clearing the ball endless times, handling the ball and scenarios where I can use my athleticism and grittiness to come up with the ball.”
What Hinrichs does in the classroom also is impressive.
A finance major, he has a 3.63 GPA and is a Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society member.
“He’s a (USILA) Scholar All-American,” Gabrielli said. “I believe we’ve only had about five or six in the history of the program.
“Overall he’s an amazing person. His teammates and coaches have great respect for him.”