HASKELL — He is 6,000 miles, one culture, one language and one sport away from his home in the Ukraine.
But for 17-year-old Haskell junior Artem Brendle, the wide open spaces and simple living offered by Texas’ Big Country region has him feeling more at home than he ever dreamed. He’s even playing football, as a reserve linebacker for the Indians and in the process, is providing coach Brian Hodnett and his teammates with anecdotes they will likely keep for a lifetime.
Moved to a Ukrainian orphanage due to family issues at the age of 10, Artem was adopted by Chad and April Brendle of Midland when he was 15. A year later, the family moved to Haskell where Artem quickly stood out and became popular — earning the nickname of “Drago” (of Rocky IV fame) from his schoolmates due his Ukrainian accent.