The Millburn Millers (Millburn, N.J.) are 49-10 and have won a state championship since 2015, which is when Richie Schiekofer earned a starting role on the varsity team as a sophomore.
The senior outfielder has provided a spark in the leadoff spot, on the base paths and with his glove, and he is now looking to be that same catalyst for the Terps.
Schiekofer is one of ten players from the class of 2017 to sign his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the University of Maryland.
“I visited as a freshman and loved it from the minute I set foot on campus,” Schiekofer said. “I didn’t really respond to many other schools recruiting me because I had my heart set on Maryland, and when I finally heard from Maryland with an offer I committed immediately.”
Connections to coaches, the new facilities and the school’s academic offerings are the primary factors that Schiekofer said went into his decision. If his high school track record is an indication of things to come, the Terps are getting a true difference maker in Schiekofer.
He made his varsity debut as a sophomore and was immediately thrust into the leadoff spot. The outfielder batted .393 with 39 runs scored, 13 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases. The team went on to win a state championship, and Schiekofer was named Second-Team All-Conference and Third-Team All-Group 4. As a junior, he batted .435 with 36 runs scored, 19 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases. He was named First-Team All-Conference and Third-Team All-Group 4, but Millburn fell just shy of a second consecutive state championship.
“He will not blow you away with his 60 [yard dash] times, but he is a great base runner with more than enough speed to do damage,” Millburn head coach Brian Chapman said. “He hits for average and can drive the ball with power, particularly to the opposite field. He has a tremendous arm and an unbelievable glove. He is a true five-tool player, which is rare for someone who has not yet played his senior season. His best baseball is still ahead of him.”
Chapman actually believes Schiekofer has a sixth tool in his arsenal – leadership.
Schiekofer spent his sophomore year in left field, but Chapman knew his true position was in center. Chapman called Schiekofer into his office for a meeting to discuss the move, but Schiekofer turned it down. One of his close friends, Nick Minter, was a rising senior, and he wanted Minter to be able to spend his senior season in center field.
“He put his hands on my hands and said, ‘Coach, I know I am going to be a centerfielder down the road, but I am going to be fine in left playing next to Nick. If there is a school that doesn’t want me because you have me in left as a junior, then I don’t want that school,’” Chapman recounted. “That is a true leader right there, putting his teammates before himself. Maryland is getting the total package.”
Schiekofer still has one more year of high school baseball and emphasized the fact that his focus is on winning another state championship, but he also has an eye toward the future.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to compete for a national championship,” he said. “[Maryland] has improved steadily over the last few years and I do not think a national championship is that far off. I am looking forward to being a part of the team that finally brings it home.”