Freddie and Frieda find true love
Former mascots to be married Oct. 25
Megan Schmidt '07
Hair matted, dripping with sweat, exhausted — not exactly the ideal shape to be in when meeting your future spouse.
But those were the circumstances that sparked an early connection between 2008-09 Freddie and Frieda Falcon mascots Brendan Carroll and Courtney Hollister. Six years later, they're getting married.
Hollister and Carroll were friendly before they ever suited up as mascots. It would be a years-long journey from freshman dorm buddies to engaged couple, but the bonding experience of being Freddie and Frieda would bring them closer as friends.
“You really see each other at your physical worst after an event, when you step out of that suit,” said Carroll. “I guess we were still able to see the best in each other.”
Carroll, '14, and Hollister, '09, will marry Oct. 25. Officiating the ceremony will be the two friends who also served as 2008-09 Freddie and Frieda mascots, Lizzie (Keller) Friedman and Chris Schiazza.
The couple will tie the knot at Prout Chapel — a spot that Hollister, a former BGSU tour guide, would point out many times to campus visitors, describing the historic chapel as a perfect place to get married.
Carroll and Hollister met during their freshman year, when both lived in Kohl Hall. Back then, they didn't have much in common, Hollister said.
“Brendan was very social, and I was mostly focused on my studies,” she said. “We knew each other and liked each other, but it wasn't until we were the mascots that we really had a lot of common experiences.”
Putting on the Falcon costumes didn't automatically turn the two friends into lovebirds, however.
“We never dated back then,” Carroll said. “Being forced to spend so much time together, though, we formed a much stronger friendship.”
The two stayed in touch after Hollister graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 2009, and Carroll took a few years off from school. They parted ways when Hollister accepted a teaching position at Claymont High School, southeast of Canton, and Carroll moved back to his hometown, Kalamazoo, Mich.
The friends occasionally reunited for alumni events and “beheading” ceremonies, where mascots reveal their identities. After a February 2011 gathering, the two decided to go on their first date. Soon, they were officially a couple.
Distance made their relationship difficult at times, they said.
“We were a six-hour drive apart,” Hollister said. “Sometimes, we'd meet at BGSU because it was sort of a halfway point between us.”
Before long, however, Carroll decided to return to BGSU to complete his bachelor’s degree in geography, and Hollister accepted a new job at Kenton High School, about an hour south of Bowling Green.
In August 2013, they became engaged.
Carroll graduated this spring and Hollister recently began her third year at Kenton, where she teaches freshman and sophomore science and also coaches cheerleading. The couple lives in Findlay, where Carroll works in hotel food and beverage management. Now that he's earned his degree, he's looking for a position in a different field, possibly in mapping or local government, he said.
The couple plans to stay in Findlay for the foreseeable future. Hollister is pursuing a master’s degree in school counseling at BGSU and said that although they’d like to have children someday, parenting is least a few years down the road for them.
“Obviously, we'd love for our children to attend BGSU, too,” she said. “It's kind of a tradition in both of our families.”
All four of Hollister and Carroll's parents are BGSU alumni, too.
In the mean time, Hollister's working on making a Falcon fan out of her 2-year-old niece, Mila.
“She can already say the BGSU chant and she can recognize a photo of Freddie and Frieda,” she said.