by Scott Boyle
Daniel Hassdenteufel, an exchange student from Germany, attends Monticello High School.
Hassdenteufel, recently completed the football season as a successful field goal and extra point kicker for the Buckaroo football team and was named to the 1A All-State football team as a kicker, surely a first for any exchange student at Monticello High.
An interview with Daniel:
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your homeland, Germany.
A: My name is Daniel Hassdenteufel. (Everybody in America spells it wrong-- don’t even try to pronounce it) I am 16 years young. I am from northern Germany, near Hamburg. My town is not that big, but way bigger than Monticello! About 25,000 people. I have a 14 year old sister, Sarah. My Dad is a Law Enforcement Officer, and my Mom manages a store like Starbucks.
Q: Who is your host family in Monticello?
A: I live with Jeff and Denise Frost and their son Connor. We have gone on a lot of trips. My favorites have been the Grand Canyon, Zion’s, and Phoenix to see the Suns play. It was a dream come true to see an NBA game. Steve Nash is one of my favorite players.
Q: How have you enjoyed your exchange student experience so far?
A: I have enjoyed my exchange student experience so far. Some of my favorite things have been going to the White Canyon “Black Hole” with my host Mom, and being able to play on the Buckaroo football team. (Bucks are the best!) The biggest disappointment is: No Soccer!!!
Q: What is the weirdest thing you’ve noticed about American high school?
A: I think school lunch at American high schools is pretty nasty. At home, in Germany, we don’t have school lunch. We bring our own lunch every day. That way you can bring what you want. One of the most surprising things about America is how friendly the people are. I think we are not so friendly to strangers in Germany!
Q: What do you like the best about American high school?
A: The thing I like best about American High Schools is that you can create your own schedule. That is not possible in Germany – you have to take what they tell you, when they tell you. Also, we do not have the same schedule every day. We have different classes every day. The chill thing about that is you don’t have to do your homework every day – you have a few days to procrastinate!
Q: What has been the most amazing thing about America? Likes and dislikes?
A: One amazing thing about America is that you can drive 4-wheelers, motorcycles, and get a driver’s license at 16 years old. In Germany, you have to be 18 to get any kind of license, and you cannot drive even 4-wheelers without one.
Also, you have to wear a full protective suit with your helmet. Also, a driver’s license costs about $2,000 in Germany. One of the things that is hard for me in America is going to church so often and so long, but I am doing my best!
Q: How about the food? Likes and dislikes?
A: I like brownies, Mountain Dew, Sun Chips, and hamburgers. I like raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing, French-dip sandwiches and sloppy joes. I think American candy is nasty. German chocolate and gummies are hard to beat – you can ask Frosts if you don’t believe me! The German food I miss the most is doener, which a Turkish pocket bread sandwich, and bratwurst.
Q: Did you play sports in high school in Germany?
A: In Germany, there are no high school sports. There are only community teams. I have played soccer three times a week since I was 4 years old. I have also played basketball for the past three years. I know that my soccer skills were a good base for kicking a football. And I’m not even the long distance kicker on my soccer team – my job is mid-range!
Q: Had you ever played American Football before coming to Monticello?
A: I have never played American football – I didn’t even know the rules or how the game works when I came here. In Europe, soccer is more popular than American sports.
Q: How did you happen to start football playing for Monticello High?
A: The Frosts asked if I would like to play football, so I went to watch the first practice to see what it was all about. It was 6:00 in the morning and it was raining. It was so dark I couldn’t see very well, and I stood in the rain and tried to figure out why it is a sport to hurt other people on purpose! I said “I don’t want to do that.”
Four weeks later, Jeff asked me if I would like to try kicking a football. The two of us went up to the football field, and Jeff said I was awesome.
The next day, Jeff took me to the regular afternoon practice and said, “Coach, look at this kid kick!”
Everybody was doing their warm-up stretches. When I kicked the ball, Ryan Bailey yelled, “I want this kid on my team!” I was surprised that everyone was so excited about it. That was pretty fun!
Q: What did you like most about playing football?
A: The best part about playing football was that everyone began to know who I was. I felt proud that I could do such a good job. Everywhere I went people said, “Are you the kicker?” I was able to complete most of my field goals and PAT’s , so I felt that I was a big help to the team.
Football was the start of my social life in America and I enjoyed making friends with the guys on the team. In the Layton Christian game, after the touchdown kick their receiver (#4) got past all of my teammates. In that moment, I remembered that the coach said in practice that if I am the last guy, it’s my job to tackle the kid coming towards me.
I just heard coach’s voice in my head, and then “Bam!” I hit him. I looked up in the stands and everyone was cheering. I kept Layton Christian from scoring and that felt good.
After I played in the first game in Mancos, the cheerleaders would yell my name whenever I went out to kick for the rest of the season. That was fun too! I earned the nickname: “The Germanator” I was able to kick virtually all of the PAT’s for the season, and made several field goals. I actually did all of the kicking except punting.
Q: Your longest field goal was a 49 yarder, which is surely a Monticello record. Any thoughts on that particular kick?
A: In the Duchesne game, we were having a rough time. We had some important players injured. At one point, we had a chance to make a 49 yard field goal. As we were setting up Duchesne people were laughing at such a long attempt. The announcer sounded incredulous.
Then I kicked the ball and it went through the goalposts! Everyone cheered, even the Duchesne fans and players! I was so happy!
Everyone said it is very unusual for a high school kicker to get such a long field goal. We are not sure if it is a record for 1A, but we are pretty sure it is a record for MHS.
Q: What are your thoughts about being named to the All-State football team?
A: Actually, I didn’t know what to think about being named to All-State, because I don’t know what it is, but everyone says it is an honor, so that makes me feel very proud. I just hope I actually get to play in a game because of it! I was sad to see the football season end. It was not something I ever expected to do, and it turned out to be a great experience!
Q: If someone was to visit Germany, what should they do no matter what else happens?
A: If you ever visit Germany, the thing you must do is attend a professional soccer game. My favorite team is Werder Bremen. They are the best, right Hannes? (Hannes is another German exchange student at MHS)
MHS wrestler Aaron Butler wrestled in the Eighth Annual All-Star Classic last week, against the number one wrestler in the nation, Jason Chamberlain of springville. Butler came out on the short end of the stick, 20-4, against Chamberlain, whom he described as the “best ever by far”.
“He is very skilled on his feet,” marveled Butler, “he figures you out and then goes for your weakness.” After a first period that ended with Butler down 2-0, Chamberlain relentlessly attacked, taking Aaron down over and over to score the victory. “He would defend my first shot, then kind of bait me in, stick a leg out or something, and then hit the back of my head, knocking me off balance. When I was off balance he would shoot in and get the take down,” said a now much wiser Butler.
Butler enjoyed the All-Star experience, “It’s a different atmosphere, it’s an invitational, they set up the matches, feed you, have interviews with the big papers. It’s a higher level. There is more pressure, but the pressure comes from your opponent, who you know is good.”
Butler rebounded from the All-Star match to place fourth in the prestigious Rocky Mountain Rumble. Nearly 64 wrestlers competed in each weight in the tournament.
San Juan’s Joseph Begaye also had a rough time in the Classic, losing to Hayden Moss of Jordan, 18-3, at 171 pounds.
Junior High Note
At the recent junior high boys basketball tournament in Monticello, Chad Keith and Bowdrie Black of Kayenta were also named to the all-tournament team.