Spencer Schons has had many influences throughout his hockey career. However, when asked who helped him the most, Schons has two answers that immediately come to mind. The freshman can trace his love and dedication to hockey back to his father as well as his junior hockey team, the Northern Cyclones.
The Westlake native was on the ice before he was in kindergarten, thanks to his father. Schons’ dad grew up in Minnesota and played hockey all throughout his youth. Although his dad was never a serious hockey player, he couldn’t wait to get his son in skates.
From the first time he skated onto the ice, Schons fell in love with the sport. Hockey became his passion.
“I loved it and never wanted to stop,” Schons said. “I just kept going, kind of just picked it up and never put it back down.”
Schons’ dad was the first person to instill a sense of dedication into him. His dad was there to take him to early morning practices and pushed him to reach his full potential as a player. Schons’ father is a hard worker, and that quality rubbed off on his son.
The two still keep in close contact despite Schons living away from home for much of the year. His father calls him about once a week to catch up and discuss which aspect of his game Schons is working on at that moment.
“He's always pushing me,” Schons said. “It pisses me off sometimes. We get in fights and stuff, but he's definitely been there to make sure I'm always working hard and never slacking off.”
But Schons didn’t just acquire his sense of dedication from his father. He honed that devotion to the sport during his time with the Cyclones.
Schons compared his time playing for the Cyclones in Hudson, New Hampshire, to a job. If he wasn’t up to snuff, he didn’t get to play.
But the defenseman didn’t want to end up as a player who sat on the bench for the entire season. He enjoys hockey too much to be on the bench. Despite spending just one season with the Cyclones, he worked on his skills tirelessly. Schons played 21 games by the end of the 2020-21 season and crafted himself into a worthy defensive player.
“I would say they made me into the man I (am) today,” Schons said. “They're very hard. They treat their players with a lot of respect, but they also made us work hard every day.”
Schons ended his time with the Cyclones after one season and made the jump to collegiate hockey. But when he arrived at Ohio, he found himself in the same position he had been in the year before. Schons was a rookie once again, and he was surrounded by upperclassmen with more experience.
However, he was no stranger to needing to stand out. Schons used what he learned during his stint with the Cyclones to carve himself a niche in Ohio’s roster.
“I had to work hard every single day, coming to training camp ready to go and earn my spot,” Schons said. “I think just learning that from last year translated into this year and really helped put me in the position that I am right now.”
His hard work paid off. Schons has played in 15 games for the Bobcats this season, the most of any freshmen on the roster. In addition, he has amassed 10 points from two goals and eight assists. To Schons, his performance has been his biggest reward this season. He enjoys seeing the blood, sweat and tears he pours into his craft become tangible points for the Bobcats.
“I come ready to work every day,” Schons said. “I take it all so seriously, and it just feels good to be kind of one of those guys who's constantly in the lineup and consistently playing and having a good impact on the team.”
Schons is in a good spot. He’s still a freshman, and he has ample time to grow while at Ohio. Despite being one of the younger players on the roster, Schons can’t wait for next year. He wants to pass the skills and knowledge he’s gathered from his influences down to the Bobcats that come after him.
“Everything that I have or that I do well, I want the same for the next guy behind me,” Schons said.