Dan Feeney and Michael Schofield are part of a fraternity of local players who have realized their dream of making it to the NFL.
Other active NFL players include Minnesota Vikings receiver Laquon Treadwell, a Crete-Monee graduate, and Detroit Lions receiver Kenny Golladay, a St. Rita grad.
But playing in the NFL is only part of what makes the journey of Feeney and Schofield so unique.Both graduated from Sandburg — Schofield in 2009, Feeney in 2012. They grew up in Orland Park, where Schofield’s father, Mike, is a fire chief.
What if I told you Schofield and Feeney play on the same team, the Los Angeles Chargers?Schofield, 28, and Feeney, 24, start together on the offensive line. The 6-foot-6, 301-pound Schofield plays right guard, while the 6-4, 310-pound Feeney plays left guard.
Before a nationally televised Sunday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Schofield approached Feeney with an idea.
“I said to him, ‘How many high schools have two guys in the NFL, much less two who play on the same NFL team and on the same line?’” Schofield recalled. “We agreed that when we were going to tape our parts for NBC saying our name and college, we were going to say our high school instead.”
I happened to be watching that Dec. 2 game when Schofield and Feeney proudly said “Sandburg” instead of their colleges.It was a super-cool moment. A sincere display of gratitude to the high school that set them on a path to the NFL.
“Sandburg is a great place,” Schofield said. “It was a huge part in preparing me academically and athletically for life after high school. We had to do it this one time.”“I had great coaches and teachers at Sandburg,” Feeney said. “It set the foundation for me.”
“They couldn’t believe it,” Schofield said. “The same team is crazy enough, but starting on the same line makes it even crazier.”
Schofield was a senior when Feeney was a freshman. Feeney, however, knew about the Eagles’ star senior who was attracting interest from major Division I colleges.
“I think everyone in the school knew about Mike,” Feeney said. “A big, strong kid who was getting recruited by schools throughout the country.”
A few years later, Feeney would be the one receiving similar interest.Schofield picked Michigan. Feeney chose Indiana.There’s another connection. Both were selected in the third round of the NFL draft. The Denver Broncos took Schofield in 2014, while the Chargers grabbed Feeney in 2017.
Schofield, who’s married to U.S. Olympic women’s hockey player Kendall Coyne, won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2016 before being cut.They would like to share another achievement, and that’s winning a Super Bowl.
“How incredible would that be?” Feeney said. “To be able to share that with Dan, two kids from Sandburg, would be really special.”
Really special, indeed.