STEVI’s SPORTACULAR LIFE, by Aaron Ware, LFL360.com
When the city of Seattle is brought up, images of coffee, food trucks and rain are usually evoked. For the past few years though, Seattle football fans have been able to associate the city with something else: power running. While a certain running back who is known for eating Skittles may come to mind for most, LFL fans in Canada and the U.S. will immediately bring up the Seattle Mist’s Stevi Schnoor.
This season, Schnoor is 3rd in the LFL in rushing with 145 yards on 25 carries. Schnoor acknowledges that her power style has benefited her in this effort. “As much as I still try to look for holes (to run through), I do rely a lot on my power to break through tackles.” Schnoor also knows that her success does not come without the efforts of her teammates. “I can definitely attribute being one of the top rushers to having good up-front blockers” she stated.
Schnoor is also a factor on defense. As a linebacker she has accumulated 5.5 tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss. In addition to those numbers, Schnoor has earned the Mist extra possessions with two fumble recoveries.
Growing up in British Columbia, Schnoor enjoyed football, but she was not a “die-hard” fan. “I always loved football, in general” Schnoor said. When the Canadian Footbal League was in town, Schnoor was there watching. On television, she could watch CFL and NFL games. The first team that Schnoor was a fan of was the Chicago Bears. Currently, schnoor says “I’m definitely a Seahawks fan.” When it comes to players she has loved to watch, Schnoor mentioned the names of Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis and Jason Witten.
Though she loved to watch and play for fun, playing in a football league was not something Schnoor saw coming. But, when the opportunity came for her to do so, she, with a push, took advantage of it. “The first year the LFL came to Canada, I had a friend that was going to try out and she messaged me to come try out with her. That’s the only time I’d ever even imagined it (her career) going as far as it has,” Schnoor remembered. “To be able to play in the LFL is more than I ever thought I’d be doing.”
Before Schnoor hit the field for the LFL, she made her impact on the pitch as a Rugby player. Schnoor played the position of inside center for her high school, club (BC United) and even Canada’s National Team. Though the sports have their differences, their similarities made Schnoor’s transition much smoother.
One of those skills that crossed over was the ability to locate holes and gaps. “Seeing the field, being able to be patient and see my gaps are things that I think have as strengths,” she said. As an inside back in rugby, Schnoor’s “game” was to “create holes and gaps for the other players.” After that experience, Schnoor was glad that her football role fell in with it. “I’m just lucky it transfers over to what I’m doing in football, as well.”
Sports played a major part in Schnoor’s educational career. Schnoor said of her schooling experience “I was a student-athlete and was playing every sport possible, known to man in high school.” When it came to the classroom, true to form, Physical Education was Schnoor’s favorite subject.
Not much changed when Schnoor chose to further her education at college. There she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Coaching. “All my classes that I had to take, in my four years, were all geared toward athletes, coaching and sports,”Schnoor said of her classes, “so everything we were learning always came back and was relevant to training or things like that.” The subjects she was studying not only kept her “engaged”, but it also allowed Schnoor to make what she called “decent grades.” She would then go on to get her teaching certificate from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC.
For Schnoor, sports have been with her all of her life. As many players have done, she is passing on her knowledge and experience to others through coaching. For the past eight years, she has coached the senior girl’s rugby team at Gleneagle Secondary School in Coquitlam, BC, her alma mater. Schnoor’s Talons (the team’s nickname) finished 4th in the province of British Columbia this past season.
When she is not playing in a game or coaching, Schnoor will be found, most likely, participating in some other athletic activity. Schnoor says “going to the gym, and stuff like that are part of my hobbies.” Outings with her friends and family also tend to be on the active side. “All of my friends are people that I’ve played rugby with since I was in high school and they’re all very athletic themselves,” Schnoor said. One of the activities that they enjoy doing together is hiking.
Time with her family can include a walk with her mother or the whole family coming out to walk the dog. “Kind of everything I do in my life somewhat relates sports and activity. And it’s not because I have to, but it’s because I really enjoy it as well.”
Schnoor admits that she does not know whether it would even be possible to live without sports being present somewhere. ”When the competitive sports come to an end, I still plan on being active and joining, maybe, some co-ed sports leagues or playing flag. It’s always going to be a part of my life and I can’t imagine my life without it. I just wouldn’t be me.”
When it comes to what she enjoys the most as an athlete, Schnoor mentions two things. The first is the competition. “I’m a super competitive person when it comes down to that stuff. I love the competition. I love to compete and get out there. I just like the ‘show me what you got, this is what I’ve got. Let’s see who comes out at the end’ sort of thing,” she continued, “the whole part of it, the whole part of competition and everything that entails really drives me as an athlete.”
The second part is the relationships that have been established. “Having the teammates, having the coaches and just the relationships I do, on the team, sort of have, is kind of that thing that has kept me going for as long as I have been going. So, I mean, in general, it’s the competition, but, in general, it’s the relationships.”
Schnoor has always had the support she needed throughout her life to help her keep forging ahead. On the field, she has had remarkable coaches. “My coaches have been so amazing! I’ve been super lucky to have such good coaches throughout my rugby and football careers.”
She also has high praise for all of her teammates. “I’ve never had bad teammates or been on a bad team. I’ve always had really good teammates that really played hard for each other. This year is no exception with the Mist team I’m playing on. If it wasn’t for the girls around me and the good coaches on the way, I definitely don’t think I’d be where I am with sports today.”
When things do not go the way she wants on the field, Schnoor has a family at home that loves and supports her all the way. “I, honestly wouldn’t have been able to get as far as I did without my family and friends supporting me, as well. That’s a big thing that drives me. If it wasn’t for them really encouraging me when I come home and I’m upset about practice or something like that, I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today.”