Kendrick Frost: Leading, learning, and growing at West Point

Photo Credit:Army Athletics

Kendrick Frost’s first goal felt like, as he said ” a big relief.” He hopes to keep things rolling from that, and he seemed relived to get that weight off his mind. In a way, Army West Point helped him deal with the adversity of taking into his third season before scoring his first goal. His biggest area of growth during his time as a cadet so far is in “dealing with adversity.”

As Frost also said of anyone’s time as a Cadet, “things don’t always go your way here… you’ve kind of got to learn how to deal with the pain a little bit and push through it.” Keep in mind, Frost did not play as a sophomore and could have easily transferred before officially incurring his service obligation that all third-year cadets incur. The transfer portal would have welcomed the 6’4″ power winger that Frost is. He arguably could be playing more minutes elsewhere this year had he left, given his size and skill at killing penalties,with providing the depth offense that he does.

Despite dealing with adversity, having limited minutes, and having to fight for his spot as a third year cadet, he choose to stay. Frost loves the bonds forged through adversity that this group has. Everyone has dealt with some form of restriction or limitation due to the pandemic. This group is also dealing with its own adversity, but as Frost said of its outlook ” I think we’re pretty fortunate to get back on the ice this Thursday” against Sacred Heart. He said ” we’re all looking forward to that opportunity to wash away the weekend.” He knows that the result does not change what happened at Bentley, but Frost thinks that this group can get on a positive footing before its final full series against RIT before its Holiday break.

Of his linemate, who has been together with him since they were plebes, and who sat out last year with him, Patrick Smyth, Frost said of playing with him ” its been good.” He likes playing with the biggest forward on the team, and appreciates the bond that he and Smyth have. Frost thinks that for him, the game is starting to slow down a bit more. He has adjusted to the college speed, and that adjustment takes time, but it has also allowed him to create more good looks for his linemates, and drive the offense when he is on the ice. In ten games this year he already has one more goal than he did in the past two seasons and needs one more point to equal his career total coming into the year. His one goal masks how productive his line has been from time to time at driving the physicality of play, and at wearing down other team’s skilled groups.

Of coming to West Point, Frost said that West Point saw him when he played for the Syracuse Junior Stars in the NCDC. Zach McKelvie contacted him first. Kendrick loves the family-oriented culture of Army West Point and said of the group he is with “its very similar to how I live my life”. He also credits the leader of the family, Colin Bilek, for setting the example in work ethic for the group on the ice, and he gives Head Coach Brian Riley all due credit for keeping things the same. That is Riley knows how to keep things going when things are going well, and because he knows how to keep the group motivated. Riley expects a lot out of his group, but also Frost knows that the group is all playing for Army West Point.

Playing hockey here is unlike playing for any other team in this sport, as the team is all playing for something much bigger than themselves. Frost is a natural leader, and his qualities of leadership have grown in the 47-month experience through dealing with the adversity of the pandemic. In addition, Frost has grown on the ice through learning from Bilek, playing with Smyth, and being around the big Army Hockey family that he is forever a part of.

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