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Glenbrook North's Seth Gideon (far left) gets past Loyola Gold's Nick Schaefer (far right) and Joey Schaefer (second from right) during their game on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Northbrook. Also shown is Glenbrook North's Allexander Merrit (back left). |
Nick and Joey Schaefer are twins who were born one minute apart. The Loyola Gold players are fraternal twins who are also not identical personality-wise.
In spite of that, the pair 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 took a different path to making the Gold team. Nick is a three-year starter and a two-time all-state player. Joey made the Gold team last year but struggled to find playing time on the fourth line. He reached his potential this year when he made all-state and after 48 games lead 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 plays against the best high school teams in Illinois which is a step up from the Maroon team.
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 that 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 is the older brother by a minute but is also the captain of this year’s squad. As a defenseman, he is third on the Ramblers in scoring with 12 goals and 18 assists after 48 games. Nick is the serious, focused leader of the Ramblers while Joey is more care-free.
''I’m more of the [Jonathan] Toews to his [Patrick] Kane,’’ Nick Schaefer said. ''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.’’
''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.’’