Hockey team faces trials, tribulations throughout season


Janey Parks/FHS Press

Sophomore Aiden Pournaras skates quickly with his eye on the puck during a game on Dec. 7, 2021.

Hockey is definitely an exciting sport to watch, but for three of the Freedom boys, it is more exciting to play. An exhilarating sport with speed, intensity and aggression, hockey allows them to do what they love. Sophomores Chase Grable and Aiden Pournaras and freshman Noah Fessides play with the Central Valley Warriors. Due to Freedom not having a team for hockey, Fessides, Grable and Pournaras went and joined other school leagues to play. These boys play with many other schools as a cohesive unit, including Central Valley, Riverside, Hopewell, Beaver Falls and New Brighton. Some may find this odd, but to these boys, it is normal for them. Not only do they play during their regular season, but all three boys are on a travel team as well. 

The boys have an upsetting record of 0-11, however, things are looking up as the boys improve throughout their season. 

“We are getting better at making passes and getting the puck out of our zone quicker,” Grable said. 

Their win to losses record may show their game records, however, not their gameplay. 

“Our team does best at passing and moving the puck,” Pournaras said. 

The boys may not be killing it with the scoreboard, but they are perfecting their fundamentals and positive attitudes. 

“We have been spending more time in the offensive zone, which is amazing,” Grable said.

Pournaras, specifically, has gotten three points so far this season, and Grable is an amazing defensive player. With Fessides and Pournaras on offense and Grable on defense, Freedom has the best of both worlds with diversity among the players. 

The boys have been using a different playing style from the beginning of the season due to their track record. During practices, the boys work hard to perfect this. The main points of their new gameplay consist of trying to get the puck out of their zone as quickly as possible and entering the offensive zone in a staggered manner. 

After the loss of seniors that graduated, not only from Freedom but the other schools as well, the boys are trying their hardest to keep up with their competitors. Although they may be falling behind, the boys are keeping their spirits up. Hoping for a win after their most previous game losing 4-11 to Connellsville, the boys prepare for their next game on Jan. 20 when they face Morgantown. 

All three boys have expressed a love for the sport, and whether they win or not, they still keep up on the ice with their competitors. The ice rink is like a second home to these boys, as they devote tons of time and energy to this euphoric sport.