One on One with Kirby Schoenthaler '15
This week I sat down with Kirby Schoenthaler ’15, a wide receiver and kick returner for Dartmouth’s football team. Schoenthaler set a school record for kickoff return yards in a single game against the University of New Hampshire last weekend with 198 and was named the Ivy League special teams player of the week for his performance.
How did it feel to be named Ivy League special teams player of the week?
KS: It was a big honor, but like any award like that, it was a team effort.
How about setting a Dartmouth football record?
KS: There’s such a long history with the Dartmouth football program. So many great players have played here. So it’s a special recognition, but it was a team effort.
What has been the difference maker for you this season?
KS: Just finally being healthy. I struggled with injuries last season, so I’m just glad to be back on the field with the guys and happy to be out there everyday and playing with them.
How does this win over Penn impact the Ivy League as a whole?
KS: Penn is usually one of the top two teams in the league, so this win gives us confidence to know that we can compete with anyone in the Ivy League. The challenge from here on out is to play to our potential for each of the seven remaining games.
Who were the difference makers in the game?
KS: Our defense as a whole played an outstanding game. Troy Donahue [’15] and Brandon Cooper [’17] each had big interceptions at key moments in the game. Our front seven also did a great job of shutting down their running attack.
Can you talk a little bit about your injuries and recovery?
KS: Last year I had a shoulder deal and a freak appendix situation. I just had bad luck. The training staff has been good and the strength and conditioning coaches have worked with me a lot. I knew I was going to be ready for this season, and, this being my senior year, I was just excited to have one last run at it. So far, I’ve been healthy, and I’m hoping to continue making an impact with my teammates.
What are you most looking forward to this season?
KS: Probably just making the most of every opportunity on the field. It’s my last season and with the injuries I’ve had last year, I’ve realized to cherish every opportunity on the field, every practice, every game.
Do you have a favorite NFL or college team other than Dartmouth you’ve always followed?
KS: My dad is from Iowa, so I’m a big Hawkeyes fan.
If you could meet any football player, who would it be and why?
KS: Peyton Manning. He’s obviously a good leader on the field and he seems like he would be a fun guy to hang out with off the field.
Have you always been a receiver?
KS: No, I was a quarterback my whole life until I got to Dartmouth. My freshman year, I switched to receiver and started returning kicks my sophomore year. I wasn’t able to last year because of injuries, but I’m back there again this year. My whole life I’d been a quarterback, so that was a little bit of a transition once I got here, but I’ve enjoyed it so far.
Is that pretty common to switch from quarterback to receiver in college?
KS: Yeah I think that’s probably the easiest transition to make. When people ask me, quarterback to receiver is probably easier than receiver to quarterback, so it was a pretty easy transition and the coaches really helped me along the way.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
KS: Probably that I enjoy watching the NBA more than the NFL. Some guys on the team take exception to that, especially Troy Donahue [’15], who gets really upset whenever I try to bring up the NBA instead of talking about the NFL. I give him a hard time about that, but I enjoy watching the NBA. I’m from Oklahoma, so the Thunder is the only professional sports team we have, so that’s all I really have to hold on to.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.