From an early age, football was something Fairview senior Tevye SchuettPelz-Rohl knew was going to keep him on a straight and narrow path through his school years.
In terms of the skill set he's developed over that time, there's nothing narrow to it. In fact, SchuettPelz-Rohl might quietly be one of Colorado's most versatile players on the gridiron.
What does he do? Well, the better question is, what doesn't he do?
Try this on for size — on a very talented and deep Knights squad, SchuettPelz-Rohl has had a game as the team's leading wide receiver, another as the team's leading tackler, and yet several others as the team's leading punter.
But for all that, SchuettPelz-Rohl identifies as a placekicker, and a sure college-bound one at that. As Fairview prepares to play against Pomona in the Class 5A quarterfinals on Friday night, SchuettPelz-Rohl is fifth in the 11-man ranks in kicker scoring having notched 68 points by extra point or field goal.
Don't want to attempt pronouncing his last name? That's OK. Just call him jack of all trades.
"I was always the energetic child and just kind of needed a way to get out the aggression, and I've always loved football," SchuettPelz-Rohl said this week, ahead of Friday's 7 p.m. game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada. "I had a soccer background so I first picked up kicking right away, but I always kind of had good hands, too. I have been playing everything for a pretty long time. It started out just wanting to go out and hit guys, but I just got lucky and ended up getting good at a few things."
It's definitely not uncommon for football players at Fairview to play offense and defense, so their knowledge of the game and head coach Tom McCartney's plan is immense. But even the 25th-year coach said there's a different level entirely to Tevye's grasping of things.
"He's been a tremendous athlete from day one, and he's a self-taught kicker so to have that skill set as early as he had it is amazing," McCartney said. "But he's always played receiver and he's always played defense, it's just to be playing at the highest level that he's playing at now is a testament to his work ethic. He wants to be on the field at all times.
"He might not have even told you, but he's one receiver that knows all four receiver spots for us. He's the one to play the X, the Z, the Y if we're short. He's a student of the game, and on defense there's a lot of things to know and communicate with him being a safety and he doesn't miss a beat."
SchuettPelz-Rohl took to the 'swiss army knife' playing style on Fairview's freshman team, but by the time he was a sophomore he appeared in games as a varsity kicker alongside Matt Basti.
As a junior, though still practicing in all facets of the game, SchuettPelz-Rohl was busy putting together a perfect kicking campaign — 47-for-47 in extra point attempts, 6-for-6 in field goals and leading the state in touchbacks. This year, he's made 50 of 53 PAT's with another six field goals on six attempts, including a last-second game-winner against Mullen.
He has officially found his calling but has been determined to make himself a reliable asset to his teammates on more than just special teams.
"You work hard all through high school, and for me it was just a dream to go play your heart out for your team. To have that chance senior year, do anything you can and know there's 10 guys out there that are going to do anything they can for you, it's an incredible feeling," said SchuettPelz-Rohl, who has Division II schools offering and some Division I interest, as well. "I've just kind of let it all happen. I've always just wanted to know everything so that anyone can ask me for help on some things. It's set me up to be a leader."
His breakout game this year came against Boulder, a five-catch, 141-yard outing with two touchdowns. Just three weeks later against Columbine, SchuettPelz-Rohl registered 12 tackles in the team's only setback of the season. His season totals included 31 catches for 462 yards and 43 total tackles to go along with two interceptions, a caused fumble, two fumble recoveries and a blocked field goal.
He's also boomed nine punts for a 60-yard average — and he just picked up that aspect of the game this year.
Again, what can't he do?
Scoring touchdowns is Fairview's priority against Pomona — it is going to need every point to beat the two-time defending state finalists. But there's no doubt SchuettPelz-Rohl will be an impact player on Friday, even if it comes down to negating the Panthers return game with touchbacks.
"The teams that we're playing right now, everybody has an elite returner if not two back there, and if you can make them go 80 that's a tremendous weapon," McCartney said. "You just don't want to ever see one of those dangerous guys with the ball."