Scheduling conflicts prevented Merced High School coach Rob Scheidt from coaching summer football all-star games the last few years.
That wasn’t the case this summer.
This year Scheidt and his staff was able to sandwich the Central California Lions Classic on June 14 and tonight’s 29th annual North/South Rotary All-Star Game around the Bears’ annual trip to Berkeley for the Cal football camp, which took place last weekend.
While taking on both games has made for a hectic month for Scheidt, he said he’s enjoyed getting to know new players. The decision to coach both games was made easier with the opportunity to coach his son, Sam, a couple more times.
“Obviously I get to participate in his last two games he’s playing in high school,” Rob said. “We didn’t just want to coach for Sam. It’s our senior class, too. We felt really close to this group and they gave us a lot. We wanted to give back to them to make sure they had a great experience.”
Kickoff is scheduled for tonight at 7:45 at Veterans Stadium on the Golden Valley campus.
Scheidt will coach a North team loaded with talent, including Central Valley running back Ja’Quan Gardner, who rushed for 2,467 yards and 27 touchdowns and Merced receiver Travante Richard, who was the Central California Conference MVP after catching 10 touchdowns.
Both Gardner and Richard played for Scheidt in the Lions game that ended in a 21-21 tie. Sam Scheidt was named the top linebacker in the game.
Sam Scheidt will next play for Wheaton College in Illinios.
“I’m stoked,” Sam said. “I get to play football and go to a great school. It’s a high academic school and they have a good football program. This is kind of one last hurrah. It’s good for me because I have a leg up on everybody else because I know what we’re doing.”
The father-coaching-son experience is usually something both parties look forward to and that was no different with the Scheidts. Sam grew up around the Bears program. He was a team ball boy and rooted from the sidelines at just about every game – just like Sam’s younger brother, Seth, 10, does now.
Rob Scheidt has always made Merced players part of his family.
“I’ve been fortunate,” Rob Scheidt said. “My wife has been unbelievable to allow me to do something I’m passionate about. I’ve always felt it’s important to have my family be a part of it. Seth is out here. Georgia (Scheidt’s daughter) is at all the games. Sam grew up bleeding black and orange and always wanting to be a part of it.”
Sam Scheidt earned his time on the field. When Merced was hit with injuries, he was moved up to varsity his sophomore year and held his own. He was an all-CCC linebacker his junior year and last year recorded a team-high 94 tackles and three interceptions to help lead the Bears to a CCC championship.
“I had never won a CCC title,” Sam Scheidt said. “To do it my last year and with my dad that was pretty special.”
If there was one challenge playing for his dad, Sam said it was that more was expected of him.
“I think there was a different expected standard of play,” Sam Scheidt said. “I know I’m expected to know everything and know what to do. I have responsibilities. I felt there was a different standard for me, but I think that was a good thing. The other good thing is I got to spend more time with him. Being a coach, you have to spend a lot of time away from your family. I’ve been blessed to have these four years with him.”
Rob Scheidt said if he didn’t enjoy coaching his son he wouldn’t have signed up to coach him in two all-star games.
“There really wasn’t too many challenges,” Rob Scheidt said. “The main reason is he’s such a great kid. He’s respectful. Coaching him was a positive experience. As for being too hard on him, too critical, or not giving him enough praise, I hope I didn’t do any of those things. One thing that helped is I had a great example with my dad coaching me.”
Tom Scheidt compiled a 101-36-2 record in his 12 years as the head football coach at Dos Palos. Both his sons Rob and Rick played for him. Since retiring as principal at Merced High, Tom has periodically assisted Robon.
The question is will Rob, 43, still be around to coach Seth in six or seven years?
“Seth wants me to be around,” Scheidt said. “That’s the plan and the school has done things to help extend my career.”