Athlete of the Year 

Lane Tech senior, Max Schneider, named CPS male athlete of the year

June 28, 2012

The Chicago Public Schools Interscholastic Sports Program had another outstanding year in 2011-2012. More than 70,000 students participated in the programs: 40,000 at the high school level and 30,000 at the elementary school level. Many of those students accomplished some amazing individual and team achievements.

 

CPS continues to enhance scholarship opportunities and encourage academic success for its student-athletes. As a result of these efforts, more than 100 athletic scholarships have been earned by our seniors this school year. And CPS continues to drive and recognize the excellence of our student-athletes for the accomplishments in the classroom and on the field. (See below for a list of student-athletes who earned academic honors.)

 

One of those students who has excelled for the last four years is Max Schneider.  Max gives new meaning to the phrase “you can do anything when you put your mind to it.” The 19-year-old senior from Lane Tech has been smashing wrestling records in the Public League since his freshman year. But prior to high school, Schneider never wrestled a match in his life.

 

Schneider had been practicing judo for several years. One of his judo coaches who previously wrestled at Lane Tech suggested that Schneider try the sport out. Max approached Lane’s wrestling coach Mark Miedona in the weight room his freshman year and said he would like to join the wrestling team. What did Miedona think when Max said he had no wrestling experience?

 

“Most Public League kids have no wrestling experience prior to high school, so that didn't surprise me,” said Miedona. “What did surprise me was that he said he was ranked #2 in the country in Judo. I refused to believe it at first; I had to do a little research first.  But what a gift!”

 

Schneider quickly proved to doubters that he belonged on the mat when during his freshman year Schneider took down future Olympian Ellis Coleman from Oak-Park River Forest High School. 

 

“At the time I was oblivious to who he was,” said Schneider.  “To me, it was just another opponent in front of me. Looking back it made me think higher of myself because if I could beat someone that big, I could beat a lot of other great wrestlers.”

 

That was just the beginning for Schneider, as he won the state title as a sophomore putting an end to Lane Tech’s 64-year drought. Schneider had to overcome several shoulder injuries during his wrestling career.  One such stint forced him to miss the individual state series as a junior.

 

But Schneider did not let injuries hold him back, and this past February he made a dramatic return to the team quarterfinals and became the first two-time CPS wrestling state champion in 59 years.

 

“It was like the perfect storm and like no match I have ever had,” said Schneider. “I had a lot of problems with injuries and I was relieved that it was all over and that it ended with me being able to bring a state title back to my school.”

 

Schneider received several college scholarship offers and has decided to continue his studies at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo in California. Schneider is originally from California, so having family out there will ease the transition.

 

“I’m nervous about going out there, but I know that I will have a team to help me out,” said Schneider. “I really connected with the coaches and team members. The school is also ranked in the top 20 nationally so it will be exciting to wrestle with them.”

 

Schneider’s goal in life is to be an NCAA All-American or Champion. He also wants to compete in the 2016 Olympics in judo and wrestling. One thing is for sure: Schneider has a bright future ahead of him.

 

Miedona believes Max’s success has not only been great for Lane but for the whole city. He’s told a story that with hard work and determination, anything is possible and achievable.

 

“Max has a great future in store for him” said Miedona.  “He will start by attending Cal Poly on a wrestling scholarship followed by the possibility of an Olympic berth, maybe even in two sports.”

 

For his success on the mat, Max was named CPS Male Athlete of the Year, joining Janee Thompson of Whitney Young who was named CPS Female Athlete of the Year.  CPS would also like to congratulate our state champions, athletes of the year and student-athletes who excelled in the classroom and on the field.

 

Male Athlete of the Year
Max Schneider – Lane Tech
City team and individual champion and two time state individual champion

 

Female Athlete of the Year 
Janee Thompson - Whitney Young
City and State basketball team champion and McDonalds All-American

 

CPS Individual State Champions

  • Max Schneider – Lane Tech, Boys Wrestling, 145 pounds
  • Shamier Little – Lindblom, Class 2A – Girls 100 Hurdles; 300 Hurdles; and 400 Meters
    • Shamier set state records in all 3 events
  • Darvell Harris – Dunbar, Class 3A - Boys 200 Meter Champion
  • Jamal McNeeley - Kelvyn Park, Class 2A Boys 100 Meter Champion

 

The following student-athletes have earned academic honors and have participated in 1 sport:

 

School

Student

Sport

GPA

Lane Tech

Saad Khan

Girls Cross Country

5.20

Lane Tech

Lily Gentner

Girls Cross Country

5.20

Northside College Prep

Jayce Feiger

Chess

5.28

Whitney Young

Olga Wrdoleski

Girls Track and Field

5.17

Lane Tech

Kelley Dugan

Girls Swimming

5.08

Lane Tech

Patryk Chlopecki

Boys Lacrosse

5.02

Morgan Park

Kenneth Jones

Boys Bowling

4.11

Whitney Young

Seth Hogatos

Boys Swimming

4.9

Whitney Young

Michael Bortello

Boys Tennis

4.9

Whitney Young

Susana Zizumbo

Girls Water Polo

4.68

Whitney Young

Katie Omachi

Hip Hop

4.6

Whitney Young

Tom Wesolowski

Boys Volleyball

4.6

Morgan Park

Tyona Golden

Girls Bowling

4.6

Whitney Young

Tom Wesolowski

Boys Volleyball

4.6

Lane Tech

Ian Ryndquist

Wrestling

4.6

Lane Tech

Carrie Lucchesi

Girls Softball

4.6

Whitney Young

Kristine Circenis

Girls Volleyball

4.5

Whitney Young

Rachel Hobert

Girls Soccer

4.4

Simeon

Keefe Ammons

Baseball

4.20

Lane Tech

Bryan Meinken

16-Inch Softball

4.28

Lane Tech

Edin Ejupovic

16 Inch Softball

4.28

Simeon

Jabari Parker

Boys Basketball

3.63

Simeon

Cywettnie Brown

Varsity Football

3.32

Walter Payton

Veronica Foster

Girls Golf

3.91