Springfield offensive coordinator: Schondelmyer “a student of the game”

SPRINGFIELD — From the press box, Springfield High School offensive coordinator Chris Wallace can see the chip on senior quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer’s shoulder.

The Wildcats signal-caller — who moved to Springfield after three prolific seasons at Division VI Arcanum — has been proving the doubters wrong all season.

The senior quarterback has thrown for 3,530 yards and 37 touchdowns for the Wildcats this fall.

“It’s just his grittiness,” Wallace said. “It’s a credit to his father (Jason Schondelmyer) and his mother (Amy Schondelmyer) the way they’ve raised him to keep him grounded and make sure he’s constantly learning. I think he came in here with a chip on his shoulder. He reads social media, the papers and the people saying, ‘He played (D-VI) but can he play (in D-I).’ I think he wanted to prove to everybody that he could play at this level.”

The senior threw for 173 yards against Fairmont last week and surpassed more than 10,000 yards for his career, joining the likes of former Ohio State quarterback Justin Zwick and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

Despite the Wildcats success on offense this season, Schondelmyer and his teammates know they’ve still got a lot to fix before heading into the next round.

“We turned the ball over too much but we still still got the job done,” he told the News-Sun after last week’s game. “Our first drive was a long drive and our second one, too, but we just turned the ball over and it was in the red zone, which we’ve talked about all year. So we’ve got to clean that up for sure.”

The Wildcats (10-1) face Greater Western Ohio Conference rival Centerville (10-2) in a D-I, Region II semifinal game on Friday night at Northmont’s Premier Health Stadium in Clayton.

“He knows there’s work to be done and that we’ve got a big one coming up,” Wallace said.

The Wildcats offensive coordinator knew right away he had a special player in Schondelmyer and described him as a “student of the game.”

“The first day I met him we pulled up some film and he was calling it where he would’ve thrown it right away before the play started,” Wallace said. “Our offense has been designed that way. We have man beaters, zone beaters and blitz beaters. When I heard him say (where he would go), I knew we were going to be highly efficient.”

The Wildcats got a huge test in their season opener against St. Louis De Smet Jesuit, which came about on short notice after their Week 1 game against Cleveland St. Ignatius was canceled due to inclement weather. Schondelmyer threw four TDs in the game, but also threw three interceptions.

“It took some time catching up with the Division I speed,” Wallace said. “It was a heck of a first game to start off with with the athletes that De Smet Jesuit had out there.”

Schondelmyer has also done a great job of being patient, especially with such a strong group of wide receivers on the outside, Wallace said.

“He’s done a great job of taking what they give him being that he’s got such explosive weapons out there,” Wallace said. “Those guys can run a hitch route and take it for 80 yards. Being a young quarterback and being able to move the ball down the field like that and not being impatient is a really special skill.”

Springfield senior wide receivers Anthony Brown (University of Kentucky commit) and Daylen Bradley each have over 1,000 yards receiving this season, while senior Shawn Thigpen (Bowling Green commit) and juniors Da’Shawn Martin, Duncan Bradley, Jayvin Norman and Devon Williams have all played key roles in the passing game this season.

“It’s a credit to the kids,” Wallace said. “They believe in it. They work at it. They work with each other when I’m not here. They really put the work in the offseason, especially the seniors on the outside. It’s really what made us tick. … They understand that when they get an opportunity, they’ve got to make the most of it.”

Schondelmyer has four scholarship offers -- the University of Dayton, Valparaiso, Ashland and Tiffin University. Wallace, who starred at the University of Toledo in the mid-90s, hopes someone will take a chance on the Wildcats quarterback.

“Wherever he goes and whoever wants him, he’s going to give them 100 percent,” he said.

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