By Ross Forman – Neil Schultz is an aggressive, left-handed shooting defenseman for the co-op Cobras who enjoys puck pursuit in the corners and skating the puck up ice whenever he can.
He savors the physical portion of hockey, plus the speed of the game.
“It isn’t like any other sport out there,” said Schultz, 15, who lives in Hickory Hills and is a sophomore at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School – with No. 12 emblazed on the back of his uniform.
He formerly played for the St. Jude Knights youth program and is now in his second season on the Cobras JV team. In the 2019-20 season, the Cobras JV claimed the Burton Cup in the IHSHL Hayes Suburban League.
“Last season, it took our team a while to come together, but we eventually learned to play as a team and won the championship in our division,” Schultz said. “This season, the team has a lot of talent and I think we will be very successful.
“My personal goals are to apply what I learned last year to get to the next level, and to pass on that knowledge to the freshman joining our team this year.”
Schultz said his favorite hockey memory was the first game he ever played on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, one of his favorite college teams.
“My career highlight has to be winning the championship last year. It was special because it was my first year of high school hockey and it ended on such a high point that it has to be one of my favorite moments,” he said.
Slapshots with … Neil Schultz
Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Favorite NHL Player: Brad Marchand
Favorite Sport (other than hockey): Golf
Favorite Pro Athlete: Brad Marchand
Favorite App: Snapchat
Favorite TV Show: Regular Show
Favorite Pregame Meal: Pasta
Celebrity You’d Most Like To Meet: Keanu Reeves
Best Hockey Advice: “The best hockey tip I have ever received was from my dad – to not watch the puck, but rather, to watch the chest.”
Teammate You Could See One Day As A Coach: Kevin Bailey
Hardest Slapshot on your Team: Joseph Stockwell
Fastest Skater on your Team: Matt Candra
One Pre-game Song: Hardwired by Metallica
Favorite Sports Movie: Remember The Titans
Best High School Jerseys (other than the Cobras): Notre Dame
Ross Forman has written about Illinois high school hockey for more than 15 years and is the only sportswriter to have covered Illinois High School hockey every year during that stretch. He played locally and then at Indiana University before becoming a referee. Ross was a referee for the State Championship game several years ago at the United Center. Contact Ross by email at Rossco814@aol.com.