Brookstone Duo: Underdogs No More

Jack Schondelmayer’s SR film

Walter Blanchard’s JR film

We wrote at the beginning of the season that Brookstone could prove to be the underdogs of Class A Private. Going into Week 7, they are 4-1 and currently ranked #9 in the classification. They have exceeded expectations, even our own, but that has been the theme for the Cougars the last few seasons.

Every year they pull off a few surprise wins, so why not have that trend extend over an entire season? Right now, Brookstone is 4-1, and coming off an upset win over the #5 team (at the time) in Whitefield Academy where they won 29-28.

The pivotal play in the game? A hook and ladder down the left sideline. Off the initial pass, it looked doomed for an interception, but somehow the ball slipped through the hands of the Whitefield defender and straight towards Walter Blanchard. From there, the junior quickly lateraled to senior Jack Schondelmayer who was trailing on the sideline. The Whitefield Acd. defense was in disarray, and while most collapsed on Blanchard, Schondelmayer was accelerating down the sideline with the football in hand for the score.

The play earned the #1 spot in our Weekly Top 10, in large part to the Brookstone community who voted well over 1000 times in just 24 hours. The play was executed extremely well, and the precision says a lot about the preparation the Cougars did the week leading up.

“During that week leading up to the game, we installed it and drilled it over and over until we got the timing down just right. We drilled a lot but pretty much got it right away because we understand each other’s speed and ability, so it was a little easier for us to pick up on it than probably some others,” Blanchard said.

Timing is everything for the Brookstone offense, and their execution was on full display the entire game against a Whitefield defense that has multiple FBS athletes suited up. For Brookstone, getting a win over a top 5 ranked opponent could be an inflection point for the 2021 season.

“It’s the boost we needed. It solidified our legitimacy as a team who can compete against ranked teams and come out on top,” Blanchard said.

Their aspirations go beyond just winning against ranked teams. Senior Jack Schondelmayer believes the team can make a deep run into the playoffs.

“Our main goal is the win a state championship, but ultimately we hope to make a deep run in the playoffs this year.” The senior continued, “We have had solid seasons in the recent past, but we need a breakout year to create some respect around the state and put Brookstone up there as a yearly contender. We feel like this is the year to do it, and we know that we can compete with any Class A Private team in the state.”

Between Blanchard and Schondelmayer neither have planned visits to any colleges just yet. Both athletes are looking to play at the next level in a high-academic environment that is also competitive in football.

For future accolades, they are setting themselves up nicely to make our All-State team at the end of the year. Schondelmayer, a senior, made the team last year with his dynamic play on both sides of the football. His recruitment is more pressing than Blanchard’s, who has another year to make a decision.

Both athletes present a dynamic skill level with excellent quickness, football instincts, and a general feel for the game. Schondelmayer is primarily a slot on offense and the backbone of the Brookstone secondary while Blanchard has been the primary target at receiver, capable of making momentum-swinging catches that can break the game open.

They are essential parts of Brookstone’s spread option attack and their high IQ allows for them to execute plays like last Friday’s hook and ladder with precision. Their versatility will continue to be tested with opponents like Landmark Christian, Trinity Christian, and Pacelli all looming on the horizon.

With the win last Friday, it’s proven that no team of any ranking should expect to just roll their helmets onto the field against the Cougars without a battle to the final second. Of course, a lot can happen for the remainder of the season, especially on the recruiting front for Schondelmayer and Blanchard, so be sure to follow @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to hear the latest on the Brookstone duo and the rest of the players across the state of Georgia.


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