In memoriam

Play for Heart. Play for Patrick.

This page is devoted to Patrick Schoonover.
November 20, 2014

A message from the Schoonover family.

Today will mark four weeks since Patrick’s final goal. The outpouring of love, care and respect towards the Schoonover and Eastview families is amazing. The cards, gifts and sympathetic words of support have humbled and comforted us. Teams, players, coaches and associations throughout the country have reached out to us to let us know they Play For Patrick. We are honored and truly appreciate everything that’s been done on our behalf.

We would also like to thank District 196 for having the foresight to have plans in place for an event like this.  We commend the administrators, teachers and support staff at Eastview, Blackhawk, Falcon Ridge and Thomas Lake Schools for guiding Patrick’s team mates, classmates and friends though the grieving process.

We are fortunate to have a caring and professional education system available to us.We have not finalized our plans for Patrick’s memorial fund.  We do know that we want to focus on education and awareness of heart defects.

We hope families will talk with their Doctors and get the whole family tested, so tragedies like this can be avoided.  We look forward to Patrick continuing his work of helping others for years to come. Have a Merry Christmas and please continue to Play For Patrick!

Mike, Gayle, Abby, Anna, Patrick and Mathew Schoonover
Play for Patrick poem

Poem from Chris Koenig

Eastview High School Athletic Director Matt Percival received the following very powerful poem titled “Play for Patrick” from Chris Koenig. Chris is a Zamboni Driver at the Apple Valley Sports Arena and is also a student at the University of Minnesota. He submitted the poem for one of his classes at the U of M, but was also willing to allow us to share it with the community. Chris said, “I know how difficult a time it is right now for the Eastview community, but I wanted to write about my experience and how inspired I have been by all of you. I'm just hoping it can be an encouragement.”

In Minnesota
joy is always found
at the sound of a puck drop.
Little ones bundled warm wave at Zambonis, entranced
as the stands fill with the same parents
who just came from maintaining their backyard rinks
while the locker rooms can hardly contain the determination
of becoming Zach Parise or Ryan Suter.
But November 14th
For once hands didn’t wave,
backyard rinks were forgotten,
dreams froze
and the only sound being made left bruised rib cages.
I wasn’t there but I’ve learned a lot from this past week.
was different.
The following day, I didn’t expect the Bantam B1 team to show up.
I heard the high school was offering Saturday counseling,
and I figured that’s where they would have been,
finding embraces that take away the pain,
and maybe they were before,
but that night they were at the arena.
Only 24 hours had passed
before they decided to come home.
We locked the doors to make sure
it remained a closed practice for family only.
Every parent stayed that night.
They hugged, they cried, and the boys
they skated.
They skated because they knew there were angelic eyes
with hockey skates laced tight watching over them
expecting nothing else.
They skated the same way armies still fight
for their lost brothers.
Every cannon they unloaded towards the net
echoed like a 21 gun salute to their friend.
This wasn’t a practice;
this was a memorial.
They skated because their bruised rib cages reminded them that
they were the lucky ones.
But that’s just Minnesota for you.
Where there’s a heartbeat there will always be hockey.
We were born toothless and we’re determined to return toothless
with parents who literally have to drag us off the ice
on those sub-zero weekend afternoons
because our one tracked minds are always set on
dangling neighbor kids,
and the thrill of a bar down wicked wrister.
And we know
that those who aren’t as fortunate would only be begging us
to play until they try to drag us off again.
For them.
Eastview has been the proof.
Ohana used to be a slogan,
but seeing all his teammates show up last night
reminded us that Ohana truly means family
and family means nobody gets left behind
or forgotten.
I never knew Patrick,
but when I watch hundreds of shirts being sold,
hear that Hayes arena was packed for a his little brother’s game,
and feel adrenaline pumping in the moments of silence;
I know without a doubt he was a special kid.
I’m guessing he’s the kind of kid looking down saying
Guys, the ice is better up here anyways!
And he’s the kind of kid that is currently changing an entire community.
I’ve seen all the faces that have come into the rink lately,
and I’m sure I’m not the only one who realizes
that whether they’re fans, coaches, or players,
they all say:
we’re ALL IN