Ben Rohder happy to play for Sandburg

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Ben Rohder hadn’t played soccer for Sandburg since his freshman year, instead devoting his time to playing with the Chicago Fire Academy.

With his senior year looming, though, Ben saw one last chance to play with his younger brother, Dan, a sophomore playing on the Eagles varsity this season. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.

“The biggest thing was getting a chance to play with my brother,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity. It’s so much fun. I missed the chance to play with my older brother and I really regret it, so this is a really good time.”

Rohder’s Fire Academy teammate, Kevin Mahoney, also decided to come back to the Eagles for his senior season. Dan Rohder also plays for the Academy, but on a different team because of the age difference.

Sandburg coach Desi Vuillaume is glad to have the three players again wearing blue and white.

“It’s great to have those guys back,” he said. “I definitely think there is a value for kids in playing for their high school.

“Ben is a really skilled player and he adds a lot to our offense.”

Ben Rohder isn’t just making his return to the field in a Sandburg uniform, but his return to the field in general after a scary back injury.

“I fractured a bone in my back,” he said. “I played on it for six months without knowing. Once the doctors found out what happened, I had to sit out four months to make sure it healed right. It was tough sitting out. It’s always tough to miss doing something you love. It feels good to get back into it.”

Rohder, a midfielder, has made an immediate impact, scoring four times in the Eagles’ first seven games, including two in a key win over Lemont. In that game, he sat out the first 25 minutes to rest his back, and still scored twice once he got in.

With the club players returning and attempting to blend in with Sandburg’s returning players from a sectional champion squad in 2013, Rohder sees it all coming together.

“It was a bit tough at first just to get used to playing together,” he said. “We’re starting to jell now.”

Rohder began playing club soccer with the Chicago Magic when he was 4 years old.

“I just have so much fun out there on the field,” he said. “I love that it’s such a team sport. It’s not just individual.”

He hopes to continue playing in college and has been talking to coaches.

For now, though, he’s intent on enjoying his senior year and the chance to play with his brother and classmates.

“It’s a blast playing with these guys,” he said. “It’s been a great senior year so far. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

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