When kids are growing up they dream of scoring the winning touchdown, or making a game-winning three-pointer, or hitting a walk-off homerun. They run around and celebrate the accomplishment emulating their favorite professional athletes with their friends in the street, on the sandlot, or in the alley where they play until the streetlights come on–and it’s time to go home.
Then reality hits for some as they start playing football competitively for the first time, and coach tells some of them to go over there with the lineman. Even though the kids probably don’t know it at the time, they just forfeited their chance to ever score that game-winning touchdown and be showered with praise by media and fans alike. For some kids that’s a big blow to them and their parents’ egos, but for others they learn to embrace it, and wear it as a badge of honor. They have accepted an invitation into a fraternity like no other. They are one of “God’s Chosen Few”: an OFFENSIVE LINEMEN.
Senior and co-captain Tom Schofield (Mt. Greenwood School/Queen of Martyrs Parish) has accepted that invitation, and for the last two seasons has excelled as much as any offensive lineman in the rugged Chicago Catholic League Blue. He has earned 1st team all-conference honors in both his junior and senior seasons while allowing the Mustangs to rush for well over 6,000 yards in his two years manning the right tackle position. Recently, all Tom and his linemates needed to satisfy them were a few pieces of Palermo’s pizza on a Monday night after a big Catholic League win and maybe a small acknowledgement by a skilled player in the paper on Saturday morning thanking them for their hard work behind the scenes. Even that acknowledgement isn’t necessary as it’s the respect that you earn from the others in your group that inspire you to play on a bad ankle because you want to help the team any way that you can. That’s what Tom Schofield did against Providence in a Class 7A second-round playoff game versus the Celtics. He did it not because he’s looking for any praise, but because it’s about the team and nobody understands that more than an offensive lineman. Oh, and by the way, Tom boasts a 4.67 GPA on a 4.00 scale and is currently enrolled in five AP classes and one honors course. He is also a two-time Catholic League runner-up in wrestling and competes in shot put and discus in track, earning all-conference status in shot.
Tom Schofield is the epitome of a student-athlete. He’s the kind of kid that has made St. Rita what it has been for the last 109 years. He does all the right things without looking for any applause. He’s one of “God’s Chosen Few.”