Michael Schofield, shown at a Sandburg practice in September, was picked up by Detroit and is on the Lions practice squad. Photo by Jeff Vorva
Area Sports Roundup | Sandburg grad, former Bears OL Schofield signs with Lions
By Jeff Vorva
Michael Schofield got the best of both worlds.
On one hand, the former Sandburg and Michigan star offensive lineman wanted to squeeze out one more NFL season – his 10th – in 2023.
When he hadn’t signed with team by August, he worked at Sandburg as a volunteer football coach knowing that if an NFL job opened up, he would have to leave the Eagles.
He was able to coach for the full 10-game season for Sandburg, and on Nov. 14 he got the call and signed up with the Detroit Lions practice squad.
The Lions also signed veterans Bruce Irvin and Kindle Vildor to the practice squad, as they eye an NFC North title and a possible deep run in the playoffs.
“It’s hard to find players as the season goes on that you may need,” Lions coach Dan Campbell told the media. “This gives us some veteran guys that have played some football that we have interest in. And that’s really what it is right now. Let’s see where it is.”
The 6-foot-6, 301-pound Schofield started his career in Denver and, after not playing during his rookie season, was a starter and Super Bowl champion with the Broncos during the 2015-16 season.
Schofield has also had two stints with the Los Angeles Chargers and played with Carolina and Baltimore, and spent part of last year with the Chicago Bears. He has played in 113 NFL games with 86 starts.
Red Stars name president
The Chicago Red Stars’s news ownership group named Karen Leetzow as the team’s president, which is a huge hire from a public relations and image standpoint given the team’s scandals in recent years.
Leetzow served as the chief legal officer of the United States Soccer Federation and oversaw an independent investigation into abuse and sexual misconduct in women’s soccer.
In 2021, investigations took place and Red Stars’ coach Rory Dames was accused of abuse and owner Arnim Whisler was accused of turning a blind eye to the abuse. Dames resigned and Whisler sold the team and it was bought this summer by a group headed by Laura Ricketts.
Keetzow also was the first woman to serve a general counsel for NASCAR.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join Laura Ricketts and her group of accomplished women business and civic leaders in changing the culture of the Chicago Red Stars and to build a championship organization on and off the pitch,” Leetzow said in a news release.
“I look forward to working with every team member in the business and technical staff of the Red Stars to achieve Laura’s goal of creating a championship culture of excellence and accountability.”
Thanksgiving for Stevie
For those who did not get enough of a Thanksgiving feast, there is more to come on Nov. 24.
The Do It Stevie’s Way 219 organization presents the Thanksgiving for Stevie event from 3 to 7 p.m. at Cork & Kerry, 10614 S. Western Ave. in Beverly.
There will be music, food, drinks and raffles. The cost is $50 for adults and $10 for children. Money will go to the DISW219 organization, which hosts a huge high school baseball tournament in the fall and is named for the late Stevie Bajenski, who was a Mount Carmel baseball player who died in 2009.
Much of the money raised goes to scholarships for athletes who excel on the field and in the classroom.
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Pekau encourages discussions between residents and officials
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High 5 Heights retail shop opens in Palos Heights
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Fine, community service for woman who killed man in fatal accident
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State health plan declares racism a public health crisis
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