Schaefer twins lead Ramblers
Loyola's Joey Schaefer (19) tries to clear a puck away from the front of the net while New Trier's Jesse Arnold (21) attempts a shot on goal during Saturday's Hockey City Classic game at Soldier Field. New Trier defeated Loyola 3-1. | Michael Jarecki ~
Updated: March 15, 2013 1:03PM
Nick and Joey Schaefer are fraternal twins who were born one minute apart and share a telepathy that has helped each other’s hockey game.
“We can definitely read each other’s thoughts,” Nick Schaefer said. “I can make passes that I couldn’t make with anyone else. It’s easier to make that quick pass without even thinking because you know he’s going to be there on the other end.”
“It shows up in practice and games,” Joey Schaefer said. “We know where each other are at all times. ... There are some circumstances where he will be the only player that I will pass to because I trust him the most.”
The senior brothers, who live in Deerfield, took a different path to making the Gold team. Nick Schaefer is a three-year starter and a two-time all-state player. Joey Schaefer made the Gold team last year but struggled to find playing time on the fourth line. He showed his potential this year when he made all-state. Through 48 games, Joey Schaefer leads the Ramblers with 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points.
“It helped a lot to have him on Gold when I made it,” Joey Schaefer said. “He’s really a teacher to me and to have him there a year before I was, was great. ... He could tell me about every team and the tendencies of different players and how to play against them. I try to take in everything he says because it has matured me as a player and as an individual.”
Joey’s role on the fourth line last season was to adapt to the speed of the game after having played for the Loyola Maroon team the season before. The Gold team is a step up from the Maroon team and plays against the best high school teams in Illinois. Additionally, Ramblers coach DJ LaVarre played him at every position but goalie to give him a full understanding of everyone’s roles on the ice. This season, Joey has excelled playing exclusively as a first-line forward.
“DJ put me in situations like playing defense, playing center and playing wing,” Joey Schaefer said. “DJ definitely knew what he was doing with me and it definitely helped me this year. If I would’ve gotten (more) playing time last year, I don’t think I would’ve been the player that I am this year.”
“Last year Joey was learning the ropes and adapting to being on the Gold team and finding his role,” LaVarre said. “This year he has had a bust-out season. ... He’s taken full advantage of the opportunity that’s been given to him. He’s done above and beyond what all of us thought he could do.”
Nick Schaefer is the older brother by a minute and the captain of this year’s squad. As a defenseman, he is third on the Ramblers in scoring with 12 goals and 18 assist. Nick Schaefer is the serious, focused leader of the Ramblers while Joey Schaefer is more carefree.
“He likes to goof around a little too much to my liking, but when you grow up with that, you’re used to it. So, it really doesn’t matter,” Nick Schaefer said.
“We are very different people,” Joey Schaefer said. “I think when it comes to leading, he is real serious, but he is also funny off the ice. When the game or practice starts, he is locked in where I’m still finding my groove.”