Matt Mika's friend speaks out after shooting: 'He's a friendly, outgoing guy'

Friend of Matt Mika speaks out

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The Congressional baseball game went on Thursday evening as those injured in Wednesday's shooting in Virginia continue to recover. Among those hurt was Michigan native, Matt Mika, the Director for Government Relations for Tyson Foods. 

Mika was upgraded to serious condition on Thursday afternoon; he signed the ball used for the game's ceremonial first pitch. 

Todd Drenth, a friend of Matt Mika's, now lives in Grand Rapids. The former DC resident got the news of Wednesday's shooting via email.

"When it soaked in, it shook me up quite a bit and it's difficult, it's someone I played ball with," Drenth said.  "To see it's my friend, that's kind of tough, it's a little tougher."

Todd met Matt years ago through a DC Spartan alumni group, a network where Michigan transplants are connected and can join sports teams. Drenth says they played on baseball and football teams together. The two shared a love for sports and the Mitten State.

"On the field, he was an intense, fierce competitor so he's out there to win. Off the field, he's very friendly, outgoing," he said.  "We're playing euchre and drinking Oberon after the game."

Drenth says Mika has always had a passion for sports, which is why he was not surprised he was at the park that day.

"I'm really asking people to pray for him," Drenth said. "I know he's a fighter but it's not something -- he's not going to do it all on his own. He's going to need the love and support."

Mika's family still lives in Michigan. He is a graduate from Adrian College where friends say he played baseball and football. He also attended Western Michigan University. 

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