Schumann wants to send seniors out with win

Kyle Schumann hopes to end his freshman season on a great note on Thanksgiving. CONTRIBUTED

It’s pretty common for a quarterback to be moved to another position when he gets to high school.

It’s not too common for a player to move to quarterback when he gets to the high school level.

Kyle Schumann did just that.

Schumann is a freshman on the George Washington High School football team, and growing up he was a talented running back for Liberty Bell. When he was first working out with the Eagles, coach Stephen “Kyle” Benzio decided he would put the great athlete at quarterback to get him on the field and involved in the offense right away.

It wasn’t something Schumann was looking to do, but a switch he’s very happy he made.

“I was working out in the weight room and he told me he was going to try me at quarterback,” said Schumann, who attends Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush but plays for Washington because his school doesn’t have a football program. “I was a running back all my life. I practiced that and then before the first scrimmage, I found out I was going to be starting.

“I was really nervous. I was a freshman and they put me right in. And we threw a lot. I had a lot of help, but you’re playing against guys who are three or four years older than you. I think I had a lot of nerves the first game, but the older guys really helped me. And my coach really helped me. I got more comfortable every day.”

Schumann had a solid year for Washington in helping the Eagles win three games en route to a Public League 6A playoff run before falling to eventual runner-up Olney in the first round of the tournament.

Schumann has one more chance to shine as a ninth-grader on Thanksgiving morning when the Eagles host Archbishop Ryan in the annual game.

The Raiders, under first-year head coach Chris Lambert, had a rebuilding year. Ryan heads into the rivalry game 1-9, so both teams will be looking to end the season on a good note.

Schumann wants to win because he’s a competitor, but he also has another reason for wanting to emerge victorious on Thanksgiving.

“I’m happy we have another game because I really want to get the seniors a win,” Schumann said. “We don’t have a lot of seniors on the team, we’re a really young team, but the ones we do have are great leaders. They really showed me what it’s like to be a leader and I’m going to use that even next year because I’ll still be young, but I’m a quarterback. I learned all that by watching these guys.”

He also wants to win for bragging rights.

The annual game features players who know each other from the neighborhood, and Schumann played with some of the Ryan players at Liberty Bell. He knows what the Eagles are up against and he feels he’s ready for the challenge.

“They’re a good team and I know about this game,” Schumann said. “It’s a game everyone wants to win. I know those guys, and they’re good. They have some really good players. I want to show everyone we’re a good team, too.”

Schumann has been showing that all season.

But he also admits he still has a lot of work to do.

Playing a new position is challenging, especially when you’re doing it against the top teams the Public League has to offer.

Schumann has always been a great athlete. Not only is he a stellar football player, he plans on playing point guard for the Rush basketball team. But he has officially found his position and he looks forward to growing into a top quarterback in the Public League.

“I’m lucky to have so much help here,” Schumann said. “I’m really happy coach moved me. I was worried I wouldn’t like it, but now I’m working on getting better. If I could play any position, I’d want to play quarterback now. I really like it.”

Schumann is quick to point out how much his coach helped him with his new duties. And he throws out compliments to his teammates like he does spirals to his wideouts. But he also was adamant about talking about those close to him and how much they helped him. Not only have they helped him become a better football player, but a better student, where he maintains great grades in the classroom.

“The two people who have helped me the most are my mom and my pop pop,” Schumann said. “They’re so supportive. I’m lucky to have a lot of people support me, but they don’t miss games. They’re always there for me.”

Just like he’s going to be there on Thanksgiving for his older teammates who want one more win while wearing a Washington uniform.

And for him, it’s his first game of his sophomore season.

“This is our biggest game, we’re working for it,” Schumann said. “I need to get a lot better, but I’m happy I have four years to play football. I’m proud to be the quarterback at Washington and I think we can do well (going forward). But I want to win this game. It’s our last chance. We owe it to the seniors.”