Schumachers reflect on coaching legend

WOODSFIELD — When you think of football in Monroe County the first name that pops into one’s head is Jay Circosta.

That is a no-brainer as he has done a Hall-of-Fame job of coaching prep gridders for a half century prior to his retirement last month.

The second name that would surface in Monroe County football lore would undoubtedly be Schumacher.

Five Schumacher brothers have graced either the Woodsfield High or Monroe Central football rosters. All five scripted all-state resumes under Circosta’s magical tutelage.

The Schumacher quintet is comprised of Andy, Greg, Steve, Luke and Johnny.

The Schumachers excelled on the Monroe County gridiron from 1981-98. That is an amazing 18-year run of brotherly football talent.

1. Andy Schumacher: Played from 1981-84. His Redskin teams compiled a 22-17-1 record. He played in the 1985 OVAC All-Star Game. The first-team all-Ohioan went on to star at West Liberty. Andy’s son, Marcus, represented Monroe Central in the 2011 OVAC All-Star Game and also played for the Hilltoppers.

“Jay had a lot of good years. I still get a kick out of how intense he was, not just on game day but all week,” Andy said. “If we lost a game it was a brutal week of school. His intensity and passion were top notch. He lived and breathed football.

“Coming off the farm, we were always in shape. Mom and dad had a lot to do with that,” he added. “If you are willing to work hard you can achieve a lot and Coach was with us. He loved hard workers.”

2. Greg Schumacher: He played for Circosta from 1984-87. His Woodsfield teams went 14-26. He earned first-team all-state honors, played in the 1988 OVAC All-Star Game and played at West Liberty.

“I also coached for 17 years with Jay. So I have perspective as both a player and coach. Neither was tough. Jay was fair and pushed kids,” Greg said. “His mental preparation was a thing I never saw before. He was very good with X’s and O’s but his memory and attention to detail was unmatched. I liken him to Coach Jim Tressel.

“I saw how much time he put in. His work ethic was second to none,” he added. “Jay told me if a coach makes the difference in one player’s life you did a great job. Just imagine how many lives he has impacted.”

The second in line of great Schumacher-playing brothers also reflects fondly on his family’s gridiron resume.

“There is a sense of great pride. Our parents deserve all the credit. They instilled the morals and values of life and how to treat others,” Greg noted. “It was an honor to play for Jay, and to have Schumacher brothers playing 18 consecutive yeras for him is something I think is pretty unique and special.”

3. Steve “Moose” Schumacher: He played from 1988-91, helping the Redskins to a 33-7 record. He was a member of Woodsfield?s third unbeaten team in 1991. He was first-team all-state and played in the 1992 OVAC All-Star Game. In addition, Moose was the 1991 state wrestling champion and state runnerup in 1992.

4. Luke Schumacher: He played from 1992-95, going 35-3, encompassing two schools, both tasting perfection. He was on two unbeaten teams — the 1993 Woodsfield squad, which was also the school’s final year of existence, and the 1995 Monroe Central team. The first-team all-stater played in the 1996 OVAC All-Star Game. He went on to play for Jim Tressel at Youngstown State, helping the Penguins win the 1997 national championship.

5. Johnny Schumacher: Played for Monroe Central from 1995-98 with the Seminoles amassing a 35-5 mark during that span, including the undefeated 1995 squad. The first-team all-stater went on to play at Youngstown State, helping the Penguins to a national runner-up finish in 1999.

“I was lucky to play for him. We were always afraid he was going to leave and go to another school. We knew he was a great coach and he had opportunities elsewhere,” John said. “He is the best motivator I have ever been around, even at Youngstown State. His pre-game speeches were legendary as well as the pre-game prayer.

“Being able to play for a legend is a great thing. He was a father-figure to his players,” he added. “We would run through a wall for him.”

John felt no pressure having four brothers star before him while playing for Circosta.

“I thought it was pretty sweet. It was really special my freshman year being able to play with Luke. I took something from each one of my brothers to help make me better,” he added. The Schumacher football umbrella also includes Lance LaFollette. He is married to Angie Schumacher, sister to the quintet of standout gridders. LaFollette starred at Woodsfield from 1975-78, helping lead the Redskins to a 30-9 mark. He played in the 1979 OVAC All-Star Game and went on to perform at West Liberty.

“The Schumachers were all great players and tough kids,” Circosta said.


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