Breaking a record is a big deal, regardless of the size of the school.
Of course, even at Somonauk, with a smaller enrollment of 260, there is no guarantee everyone hears about it — especially when the record-breaker is as humble and team-oriented as senior Josh Schmitt.
Earlier this year, he broke the Bobcats’ career goal-scoring record of 71 set by Larry Heiden (1999-2002). Did Heiden know his record was broken?
“This summer, Tommy (Skupien) mentioned he was close to beating my all-time points record, so truthfully, I didn’t even know I also had the goals record,” Heiden said. “I figured with all the good teams and players that have gone through after I graduated, someone would have already broken both of them.”
Skupien replaced Heiden in points, but only briefly, because Schmitt overtook his fellow senior teammate.
This weekend, Schmitt broke Shayne Peterson’s single-season goal-scoring record of 42. Peterson played from 2005-09. In the process, Schmitt and Skupien helped Somonauk (17-1, 7-0) claim a third straight Little Ten Conference crown. The Bobcats are the No. 1 seed for the Little Ten Conference Tournament, which begins Monday.
Anything Schmitt does now adds to his single-season mark (43), the career goal total (98) and his all-time points standard (230).
“It’s not about personal stats for me. I prefer to be known for the role I play on a team that we hope will always be remembered,” Schmitt said. “Besides, records are meant to be broken.”
Schmitt’s not-rest-on-any-laurels attitude is demonstrated when he echoes veteran coach Dave Erasmus’ philosophy of “what have you done for me lately” and “no one cares today what you did yesterday or last year.”
“We’re fortunate to have two outstanding players like Josh and Tommy,” Erasmus said. “However, they fill different roles for our team. Josh has come on so strongly because of his skill improvement and confidence level increasing. Plus, Tommy’s ability to get Josh the ball in scoring position has risen. Their skills have grown to complement each other.”
“When I was in middle school, I went to all of Somonauk’s games during their 2006 state run,” Schmitt said of the Bobcats team that took second in Class 1A. “My brother (Jeremy) played at Somonauk, I’ve known Skupien’s older brother, and so many other great players who laid the foundation.
“We just want to follow in their footsteps and add to that success.”
Like those that came before, Schmitt and his teammates have done camps and clinics with younger students.
“Maybe even some kid I’ve helped teach or coach will be the future Bobcat that breaks any record I leave with,” Schmitt said.
The National Honor Society member and varsity letterman for basketball and baseball said his passion for business — “probably major in economics” — means his soccer playing ends this fall.
That adds fuel to the burning desire to ease the sting of a 1-0 supersectional overtime loss last year.
“That defintely was not how the season was supposed to end and we all said we didn’t want to experience that feeling again,” Schmitt said. “Worse yet, we just had a reminder of how we hate that feeling.”