Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Persistence Yields Team on the Ice for Frazier

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Persistence Yields Team on the Ice for Frazier

Article excerpt

Frazier has a varsity hockey team for the first time this season, and a lot of the thanks for its existence goes to the players at the school who refused to let setbacks stop them.

Frazier's Nicholas Farrell was one of the leaders of the movement. He said at first, he and his classmate, Ed Kibe, got 40 students to sign a petition to play hockey, only to have most of those students renege on that promise. So Farrell and others went to various schools to see if they would agree to a "co-op" with Frazier to field a team, only to be turned down multiple times.

But after multiple months of putting in the effort, and finally getting enough schools to agree to play with Frazier, the Commodores were given the go-ahead to start their hockey program.

"It was crazy," Farrell said. "We were probably trying for the past year and kept getting declined.

"We found out about midway through the summer we'd have a team. Now we just had to schedule ice time and find a coach."

Matt Olbrys, who played amateur hockey in the area in the late 1990s and played at Duquesne University for one season in 2000-01, ended up being that coach.

Olbrys and Farrell's father had a mutual friend, and through her he was told about the opening.

Pretty soon, he was trying to get a group of kids from five different schools to try and jell together.

The Frazier varsity team is made up of players from Frazier, South Allegheny, Belle Vernon, Uniontown and McKeesport high schools. Most of the players had no prior PIHL varsity experience.

"It's been a little rough," Farrell said. "We hadn't played together at all and had to learn how to work as a team."

Farrell did have prior experience playing with one of his teammates and it has paid off.

Brian Gregg from South Allegheny played with Farrell on an amateur team when they were in grade school. Now 10 years later, they have been reunited and are the top two scorers for Frazier.

"It's been great playing with him again," Gregg said. "I've been trying to play with him again for a while."

Gregg scored the team's first goal of the season in the opener against defending Chiefs Cup champion Indiana.

The Commodores lost that game, but have won three contests this season. …

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