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‘The place I grew up:’ Joe Schobert’s number retired as he comes home to host camp at Waukesha West

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WAUKESHA — Waukesha’s Joe Schobert has been a Wolverine, a Badger and now, a Cleveland Browns’ player. Amid quite the football career, he made a stop back home to give back.

Schobert’s journey in football started at Waukesha West High School.

“I mean, this is the place I grew up. Coach Rux and the Waukesha West staff still here, they were huge in my development as a player and being a good student, and they were able to set me on the right path that I took to Wisconsin and eventually the NFL — and I wanted to give back to the community because a lot of people around town have done things for me in the past, so being in a position to give back, I was definitely going to seize that opportunity,” said Schobert.

Joe Schobert

The opportunity was a youth and high school football camp put on by Schobert alongside some of his former teammates who played with him at UW-Madison. They spared no detail during a look back at Schobert’s college days.

“Almost done with my senior year, and I come back and I look — and written on my shoes in Sharpie is, ‘I will work harder than you, Joe Schobert,’ said Joel Stave, former Badgers’ quarterback.

Now, football has taken him to the NFL. He’s entering his third season with the Cleveland Browns.

“Obviously, you don’t wanna go into the NFL like I have personally on the team with only one win in two years, but there’s nowhere else to go but up. Our team is coming together this off-season. There’s a lot of talent that’s been added. The competition in practice has been great, and defense vs. offense has been outstanding. Just trying to get into those guys’ heads. It’s a great time to be in this organization and it’s gonna be a good season,” said Schobert.

Aside from the Browns’ record, Schobert has quickly made a name for himself. He led Cleveland with 144 tackles and played every snap last season, earning himself a Pro Bowl honor, following in the footsteps of another Wisconsin great.

“Well, there’s a guy who just retired, who lived just up the road, Joe Thomas. Just try to be like him. I think he went to 10 straight Pro Bowls and didn’t miss a snap for 10-and-a-half straight years, so that’s a hard bar to set, but he showed you how to do it the right way, and I don’t expect to be as good as him, but that’s definitely a goal to try and be as good as him, so I’m gonna keep working and try and do stuff like that,” said Schobert.

Until then, making an impact in his community is an important task for Schobert — hoping to show younger generations that no dream is ever too big.

“If I could do it, I mean, there’s a couple high school kids who are helping out with this youth camp who are just as big as I was back in the day, so If I can do it, anybody can do it. If you do things the right way, take care of business and stay healthy, get a little lucky with staying healthy and you can do it,” said Schobert.

Just over 190 kids took part in Schobert’s camp, and raised money for the Waukesha youth football program and the high school.

Another camp is planned for next year.

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