Boys soccer: Eli Schoffstall brings family full circle at Fremd
For any parent, getting one of your children into the ranks of being an elite athlete has to be considered an amazing accomplishment.
So for more than one of your children to reach that level pretty much defies all logic.
Well, then, what about two from a family, or three having this type of success -- or, perhaps even four?
If you're the Schoffstall family, you've built yourself quite a soccer legacy with four boys that have made a significant imprint on soccer at Fremd High School.
Son No. 4 is Eli and this four-year star has been named Captain of the 2021 Daily Herald All-Area Boys Soccer Team for the Northwest suburbs, two years after his sibling (Jake) was anointed the same honor following his magnificent season in 2019.
"It has been a real pleasure coaching all four of the Schoffstall brothers," said Fremd coach Steve Keller. "They are tremendous athletes, competitors, and winners, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have been able to coach such a talented group of boys from the same family.
"They each brought their own unique attributes to the game. The thing that stands out is the intensity, desire, and willingness to put their body on the line, and the competitive edge they all possess."
Zach Schoffstall was the first to wear the Vikings' shirt in 2012, and would play two seasons with Luke (2013-2014) with both going on to Carthage College to continue to their soccer careers.
Jake would come aboard in 2017, and play two years with Eli. They were each named All-State, and Daily Herald All-Area captains when seniors.
"Jake is easily the most competitive of the four of us, and I feel that I'm a solid No. 2 behind him but you can imagine what it's like whenever we play any type of game in and around our house," jokes Eli, who like Jake is a two-time MSL West POY, with each earning a spot on the TopDrawer.com All-American Watch list, while also earning all-MSL honors on the hardcourt as the Vikings' shooting guard.
Bursting onto the prep scene as a talented freshman, Eli Schoffstall would immediately impress Keller.
"(His) soccer skill, and athleticism stood out right away. He was so much further along than most freshmen, but he became an instant contributor because of his tactical intelligence, ability to read the game, while having all the intangibles to compete, win, and succeed," says Keller.
"The bigger the game, or stage is when he rises to the occasion. He loves the competition, and it's in those pressure-packed situations is when he elevates his game. He wants the ball on his feet when the game is on the line. He relishes those moments, and has delivered when we've needed him to."
How apropos Keller's comments would be when Schoffstall scored in three straight postseason games -- the third in brilliant and dramatic fashion when delivered his 78th-minute game winner over Oak Park-River Forest to help the Vikings advance into the Class 3A state tournament this weekend at Hoffman Estates.
This goal would give Schoffstall 12 on the year heading into the final weekend of the season, and 36 in his career, giving the Schoffstall boys nearly 110 goals combined.
"If we can win state, then I'll be one-up on all of my brothers," says Eli, looking to get the edge on his three siblings.
A scouting report on Eli might read like this:
Terrific awareness of what's all around him, strong on the ball, able to draw fouls while displaying exceptional passing range, versatile, a relentless defender, immense energy, an endless work rate, an exceptional ball winner, especially in the air, a tenacious and committed team player, and the driving force behind the Vikings' attack.
"Eli has been our heart and soul. He does what is asked of him, and leads both vocally and by example and he comes up big for us when we need it the most," said Keller.
"He is one of Fremd's all-time best."
The ALL-AREA TEAM
Name School Year Position
Kevin Abad Maine West Sr MF-F
Ryan Chang Barrington Sr D
Shant Demirjian Buffalo Grove Sr D
Jeremiah Gascho Barrington Sr MF
Simon Hemenway Hersey Sr MF
Stefan Iricanin Maine South Sr MF
Mathew Klujian Barrington Jr D
Alejandro Rider-Leiner Prospect Sr GK
Gage Lockley Rolling Meadows Sr MF
Pablo Mancha Leyden Sr F
Patrick Mikina Elk Grove Jr F
Ryan Novak Prospect Sr D-F
Aidan O'Brien Rolling Meadows Sr D
Ramon Orozco Rolling Meadows Sr GK
*Eli Schoffstall Fremd Sr F
Beck Smolak Fremd Sr D
Caden Statz Fremd Jr D-MF
Adrian Szumski Hersey Sr F
Demitri Vlahos Fremd, Sr MF
Kyle Wanca Barrington Sr D
Honorable mentionJared Aguirre (Elk Grove, So, D), Danny Alfaro (Buffalo Grove, So, D-MF), Geovanny Andino (St. Viator, Sr, GK), Luke Bieda (Rolling Meadows, Sr, D), Carson Belcher (Conant, Jr, F), Luke Bieda (Rolling Meadows, Sr, D), Adrian Blonski (Fremd, Sr, D), Nicholas Chavez (Maine West, Jr, MF), Matheus DeCarvalho (Hoffman Estates, Sr, D), Chris Domian (Maine East, So, D), Wilson Espino (Rolling Meadows, Jr, MF), Aaron Garcia (Palatine, Sr, MF), Conor Giroux (St. Viator, Jr, MF), John Glasstetter (St. Viator, Jr, F-MF), Arthur Glinkin (Wheeling, Sr, MF), David Gomez (Barrington, Sr, MF), Chris Gonzalez (Elk Grove, Jr, MF), Jose Gutierrez (Maine East, Sr, D), Carson Hagler (Conant, Jr, MF), Andrew Hamilton (Hersey, Sr, D), Chris Hernandez (Leyden, Sr, F), Aidan Miller-Hisgen (Schaumburg, Sr, MF), Ari Kemperas (Prospect, Sr, D), Connor Kurzynski (Hoffman Estates, Jr, MF), Anthony Limber (Buffalo Grove, Sr, D), Jonathan Li (Barrington, Sr, MF), Steven Lopez (Prospect, Sr, MF), Aidan Medina (Elk Grove, So, D)
Giovanni Mendez (Maine West, Sr, D), Jack Peterson (Barrington, Jr, F), Robby Remian (Fremd, Jr, GK), Liam Rhattigan (Palatine, Jr, D), Fabian Rodriguez (Leyden, Fr, D), Braden Roos (Fremd, Sr, D), Peter Ryt (Maine West, Jr, D), Joe Salemi (Rolling Meadows, Sr, MF), Ryan Sapiente (Fremd, Sr, MF-D), Charlie Shiffman (Hersey, Jr, D), Gabe Silva (Schaumburg, So, MF), David Skorupa (Maine South, Sr, MF), Javier Solis (Leyden, Sr, F), Mason Trinco (Hoffman Estates, Sr, GK), Owen Walsh (Prospect, Sr, F), Brandon Wozniak (Fremd, Sr, D).