Hoscheit family's run at St. Charles E. coming to a close
Anyone who has watched St. Charles East football games the past 3 seasons has heard public address announcers call his name with regularity -- "tackle made by Joe Hoscheit."
Hoscheit, who was selected to the Class 7A all-state team after earning Upstate Eight Conference River Division Defensive Most Valuable Player honors last fall, certainly made his presence felt for coach Mike Fields' Saints.
The 6-foot, 215-pound middle linebacker/fullback was credited with 94 tackles and 5 sacks while gaining 318 yards with 9 touchdowns and catching 12 passes for 219 yards and a TD.
Hoscheit, a legitimate "legend of the fall," has proved to be a pretty big star during the spring season, too.
While batting in the leadoff position, Hoscheit batted above .400 during his sophomore campaign as the Saints captured their second consecutive Class 4A regional championship.
Moved to the third hole in the batting order as a junior last year, Hoscheit responded in fashion, hitting .412 with a team-leading 29 RBI. The strong right-handed hitter smashed 14 doubles, scored 23 runs and stole 13 bases while compiling a .484 on-base percentage to go with a .608 slugging percentage.
With the Illinois High School Association's switch to a safer BBCOR bat -- and a smaller sweet spot -- last season, home run numbers dwindled throughout the state.
Hoscheit, who helped lead the Saints to their third straight regional title last season, finished with 2 home runs in 2012.
"With the BBCOR bats, it was harder to hit the ball out of the ballpark," said Hoscheit. "It eliminated most of the cheap home runs. I actually like it in a sense because you really have to square the ball up."
Hoscheit, who returns to the diamond for his senior season, certainly is accustomed to winning baseball at St. Charles East, where the Saints have posted a 52-22 record the past 2 years.
"He's more of an athlete this year -- a step above last year," said Saints coach Len Asquini. "He continues to grow and get better. I've already seen it in drills. Joe is a physical presence."
Hoscheit, who was a catcher all the way up through his sophomore season before moving to left field, was back behind the plate late last season but figures to be the Saints' starting left fielder again this spring.
He'll also likely fit into the team's starting pitching plans, along with ace southpaw Nick Huskisson and senior right-hander Matt Starai.
"We plan on using him as a starting pitcher right now," said Asquini.
Upon graduation, Hoscheit will finally be able to focus his attention on one sport after recently accepting a baseball scholarship offer from Northwestern.
"It's tough to give up football but it would be difficult for me to play in the Big Ten (Conference) at my size," said Hoscheit, who plans on majoring in business or economics at Northwestern. "I feel I've got a better chance to play Division I baseball.
"Nothing will replace the feeling of playing (football) on Friday nights," added Hoscheit. "But I love playing baseball just as much. I like going out and playing every day. It's a different feeling playing on a continuous basis."
Asquini feels confident in Hoscheit's abilities at the next level.
"The sky is the limit for him," said the coach. "It will make a huge difference when he starts training specifically for baseball. Who knows where his peak is?"
Hoscheit, an academic all-conference regular, has learned a great deal from having watched his older siblings in action.
His brother, Mike, was a 2-sport standout (football/baseball) at St. Charles East before playing baseball at Butler University, while his sister, Maggie, starred on the Saints' girls soccer squad.
Now a junior at Augustana, Maggie Hoscheit earned all-College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin First Team honors this past season while also being selected to the NCAA Division III Academic All-America team.
"The athletic genes run pretty deep in that family," said St. Charles East assistant baseball coach Mark Foulkes.
"I've always looked up to my brother and sister," said Joe. "I've always wanted to be like them and have admired their want to succeed both in the classroom and on the playing field."
Foulkes served as the Saints' head coach during Mike's varsity playing days in 2007-08.
"I see a lot of similarities between Mike and Joe," said Foulkes. "Joe is a little bigger and stronger but they both hit for power and to all fields, and they both have deceptively good speed.
"The main difference is that Mike was a little quieter than Joe," added Foulkes. "But they're both great kids and they're very coachable -- willing to try anything. With Mike and Joe, it's almost like looking in the mirror.
"Joe works hard and is well-liked by his teammates. He's the model to look at for any kid coming into our program as a great example of a student-athlete."
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