Coach Schoenfeld makes history

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Photoshop of some of the teams throughout Coach Schoenfeld's career

Last week, the Elder basketball team arose victorious over Northwest making head coach Joe Schoenfeld the winningest coach in Elder Basketball history beating Paul “Hans” Frey’s previous record of 383 wins.  He started in 1992 and continues to add plethora of accomplishments throughout his career. Coach Schoenfeld has put up some banners and cut down some nets with seven GCL titles, seven sectionals, five districts, two regionals, and a State Championship.  Unfortunately, Elder’s playoff run ended last Friday with a loss to Walnut Hills. It is a tremendous honor for any coach to become the winningest coach in the program’s history especially at a school like Elder where winning is a tradition.

In addition, carrying on the winning Elder tradition is Pat Kelsey, Winthrop head Basketball coach and state champion under coach Schoenfeld. I’d like to give a shout out to coach for leading the Eagles to a Big South conference championship and a ticket to the NCAA tournament. I cannot wait to watch the Eagles play again. Rock the Hill!

Coach Schoenfeld and Kelsey celebrate after Coach Kelsey wins the Big South Championship

After speaking with Coach Schoenfeld, he gave me some insight onto what his experience coaching here at Elder has been like.  “Through coaching here I have learned three things that really stick out to me: First, I’ve realized how lucky I am to be here, I get to work with good coachable kids who are used to working hard and being good teammates. Second, it has taught me how to be adaptable, in the sense that every year you have different talent and players to try to build the team around. Third, it has taught me to have the mentality of process over product and the get better everyday attitude.”

“It is a classic example of more is not better, playing under Coach Frey he has taught me a lot about the game and I have just been around a lot longer than he has, but it is an honor around the company of such a legendary coach at Elder and in the state of Ohio,” said Schoenfeld about the honor in achieving the most wins at Elder.

“It takes a talented and hardworking team to go upstate but you have to be lucky to start streaking and continuing on the road to state. Those memories made will last a lifetime. Looking back on it, I have grown a greater appreciation in realizing how special it is and how great of an experience it is. It gives all the players and coaches on a state team a special bond and togetherness. Sports are a great way to build relationships with people,” said Coach about his experiences upstate.

I next talked to Elder senior David Dabbelt about his career with Coach Schoenfeld.

“It has been a great experience playing under such a great coach, he is filled with vast knowledge of the game. He knows how to handle every possible situation and how to push us to be our best every day,” he went on to say that Coach Schoenfeld tells us to be the best player we can be on and off the court he leads by the great  example  he provides for us.”

Another great player from the Schoenfeld era, Freshman basketball coach and 2001 State Runner-Up Phil Bengel shared with me what he has learned from coach.

“I don’t have enough paper to describe how much of an impact Coach has left on my basketball career, but playing under him you really understood your role on the team and learned a lot about the strategy of the game and fundamentals. He also would always make it clear to pay attention at practices to all the drills so you could better understand what was going on around you, he really pushed this so we could apply it to our game to better ourselves and understand more clearly how things should be executed.”

“We were a very unselfish team nobody took credit for our success. In the first three rounds of the tournament, the games were 30-point blowouts. After that we upset Moeller, who we lost to twice in the regular season, and went on to win off of two buzzer beaters in the games following. It was a very exciting run,” Bengel continued. “We were a very good team in the sense that we were more prepared than everybody else. With Coach Schoenfeld, Kelsey, and Austing we knew teams offenses better than they knew their offense.”

Assistant Coach Tim Austing, another player of Schoenfeld’s also added some insight on Joe Schoenfeld. “Coach Schoenfeld is separated from other coaches because he is a smart chest coach in that he knows so much more about the game than everyone else and he has a way of treating his coaches and players in  a way that they will be loyal to him and play tough for him.”

Being alongside many of these wins, I’ve seen how special of a guy Coach is on and off of the court. It is truly amazing how hard he works and all he does for the people around him. Finally, I would like to congratulate Coach Schoenfeld on the great accomplishment and wish him luck in the upcoming years.