Glory Days


I wanted to give a shout out to my High School Alma Mater, the Schaumburg Saxons Football Team as they prepare for their final few regular season games (thanks again Mom and Dad for sending us to Schaumburg High…. The Von Schaumburg joke never, ever gets old. Ever. Blasphemy). As some of you are aware, next Friday night’s home game against Palatine has been touted as “Fight Like A Champion Night,” with t-shirt, bracelet and raffle proceeds going to the medical trust fund that’s been set up for me (look at the Fundraising section for more details). I am incredibly humbled and honored to be a small part of this amazing Schaumburg football season. They are currently state ranked, undefeated and off to the best start since…… our undefeated season my Senior year. They have adopted the motto “Fight Like a Champion” for their season, and I can’t even begin to explain the gamut of emotions Lindsay and I had when we were shocked watching various news outlets picking up this story, with the influence of Coach Mark Stilling (see a couple of stories on the below links – they were actually on the front pages of each respective websites/papers). None of this would have been possible without the time consuming contributions of Coach Stilling, his awesome wife Mrs. Jami Stilling, their football staff (some of my old coaches – STEEL MILL BABY – that’s for you Coach Sloan), the Art and English departments, Student Council, SHS VIPs, SuperFans, along with so many others. I had to tell Coach Still a couple weeks ago, bro, stop worrying about this event and go watch more Barrington film. I am telling you, this ALS thing ain't bad at all. I’m living the dream attending all these awesome events. People are just so darn nice, it is incredible to see firsthand this amazing side of humanity. schaumburg-saxons

While it all starts with player of the year nominee and the Area’s leading rusher, QB Stacey Smith (dude is just plain sick), they also boast one of the state’s best offensive lines, led by 9 year Varsity starter Matt Zolper (I guess it only seems like he’s been starting for 9 years). Alex Piotrowski, Matt Stopka, Justin Sanchez and Michael Bruno round out the line while RB’s Justice Macneal-Young (The Area’s 2nd leading rusher), Ryan Tuma and Luke Gruszka are key contributors to the state’s best rushing attack. The aerial assault is manned by Bryce Carles and Tyler Watson.

The Defense is anchored by seniors Michael Fan, Ryan Woloszyk, Blake Wittkamp and Connor Lapinski. Tough group of “don’t (mess) with us” guys. The secondary is led by hard-hitting safeties Woloszyk, Eddie Kelly and Sadarriss Patterson (side note: When Schuman and I bragged to the girls about formerly starring on the “Secondary Team,” we got that look like, “oh, you weren’t even on the regular team… you were on the secondary team?!” Sigh.). These guys are knocking people around and are fun to watch.

It’s amazing how much better our old high school teams get as the years go on…. I was shocked to realize we even lost 4 games total in my 4 seasons there. In my head, It felt more like a record of 243-0. Kind of like when my Dad told me about his 3 mile suicide trek uphill both ways, in a blizzard to grade school each day. Even as a 7 year old, I comprehended the basic physics behind uphill one way, downhill the way back. Silly parents. But that’s what we all do as the years go by, disparage how tough we had it and inflate our ‘glory days,’ ala Bruce Springsteen. And that is why it has been so much fun to follow these young men building memories that they’ll brag about to their future college friends, co-workers, wives….. hell, anyone that can stand to listen to the stories (they dwindle as the years go by!). There’s not a week that goes by that I don’t remember the joyous experiences we had making a deep playoff run to the State Championship game and the incredible bond of lifetime friendships we made. It also instilled a competitive edge and leadership quality that allowed me to become a successful young professional. I refuse to lose at anything I do, I just hate it more than anything, and that all can be traced back to the attitude that sports, teamwork and winning instilled in me. And so while I am very honored and humbled to partake in this fundraising event next Friday….. I will be fine, don’t worry about me….. it is really all about supporting this team full of character, pride and leadership that never gives in. To anything. Ever. They do things the right way and our community should be proud.

I also look forward to seeing many of you next Friday. After the game, good old Village Tavern Grill (where us boys became men…. So many great memories there) will be hosting a fundraiser where 20% of everyone’s bill THE ENTIRE DAY will go to the medical trust fund. So please join us at Village Tavern after the game or pick up some lunch there earlier…. Here is a link to their restaurant website. You just need to show the flyer being passed around or pull up this invite on your smart phone and 20% will go to the fund. Just let the employees at VGT know when you receive your check. It's glorious that my biggest decision on Friday will be whether to order 13 or 14 famous chicken tender orders to-go. A special thanks to Village Tavern and to Mrs. Stilling, who relentlessly contacted various restaurants and set all of this up at Village Tavern. Could not have chosen a better place.

Thanks again for all your support. God bless.