Frister takes hockey talents to Europe

Josh Henry, Design Editor

Freshman Andrew Frister traveled to Switzerland in mid March to play ice hockey with the Piedmont Predators travel team in a six day tournament. The team finished in third place out of eight teams. Frister has led his team in goal scoring the last two seasons, and in overall point scoring for the last three.
While in Switzerland, Frister stayed in the town of Aarau, which is about 30 minutes outside of Zurich (the largest city in Switzerland). While in Aarau, Frister stayed with the Leurenburgers, his host family for the duration of the tournament.
“It was actually really hard to communicate with them,” Frister said. “They only spoke very broken English. But they were really nice. They tried really hard to accommodate us. For instance they bought us bacon, which they wouldn’t normally have.”
Although it was a short trip, Frister toured the country and learned about some of the differences between the U.S. and European culture.
“I liked how everyone [in Switzerland] had small houses,” Frister said. “It is a really different lifestyle from that in the U.S. It was really nice to stay out in the countryside and get away from all the big cities. There was also a lot less fast food. The only thing I regret was not being able to go skiing. One thing I will remember is downtown Zurich. Everyone had their own little shops, and it was just cool to see all of their culture.”
Frister got into hockey in 2007 and described it as love at first sight.
“I just watched one game,” Frister said. “I instantly wanted to do that. All the hitting and the action was just exciting.”
Hockey is not exactly a finesse sport. The typical physicality of ice hockey frequently causes players of the sport to lose teeth; concussions have also become a major safety issue.
“I’m smaller, so I definitely try not to get hit as much as the other guys,” Frister said. “When you get hit, it causes you to slide around, and it can take you completely out of a play.”
Frister may be a freshman, but he already has plans to play hockey in college and hopefully beyond.
“I have learned to be a more independent person from playing hockey,” Frister said. “Most guys who play are much bigger than me, and they try to hit me as hard as they can. Playing against guys like that has really taught me to stand up for myself.”