It was always baseball: The story of Anthony Schooley

Anthony Schooley smiles after an out. Schooley is in his final year with the Profs. - Sunday, April 2, 2023. - Photo via Lee Kotzen

He always knew. It was always baseball.

For Rowan infielder Anthony Schooley, it was always somewhat of a family tradition. 

“My dad played men’s league softball when we were really young, so I got to watch him, and then my older brother got to play baseball, so I got to watch him,” Schooley said. “We all grew up with baseball and stuck with it. It was always that for us.”

Schooley is a senior economics major at Rowan. He’s also been a part of Rowan’s baseball team ever since 2022, after playing his first year at Villanova, where he saw time in left field. Schooley, however, has always preferred playing the infield.

“I’ve been playing infield my whole life…definitely infield over the outfield,” Schooley said.

The decision to start his collegiate career at Villanova came down to two things: it was his dream school, and his father and uncle are Villanova alumni.

“I just grew up a very big Villanova basketball fan, so it was always kind of a little bit of a dream of mine,” Schooley said. “And then when I was a sophomore in high school, I was playing a tournament in Georgia, and I was approached by the coach. I said, ‘You know, it’s kinda my dream school so if we can make something happen I would love to.’” 

But Schooley wanted more. For him, winning has always been the goal. 

“I consider myself a pretty competitive kid, whether it’s checkers or chess or a baseball game,” Schooley said. “I really wanted to be a part of something, make an impact somewhere.”

Coming to Rowan wasn’t a difficult transition for him. During his first year with the team, he was selected to the ABCA/Rawlings All-Region 4 Third Team and was named to the First Team last year. More recently, Schooley was named to the All-NJAC (New Jersey Athletic Conference) First Team, which he sees as an honor, not only for him but for his team.

“Taking the selfish aspect of the game away from it and just doing everything for the team helped me get to a point where that was a possibility,” Schooley said. “When it happened it was more me being proud of our team and how far we were able to go. It’s a good personal feeling but it’s definitely a team award.”

After playing high school ball for Cherokee, Schooley noticed a big difference between playing high school baseball and college.

“There’s less emphasis on maybe winning games [in high school],” Schooley said. “In college, obviously the only goal for us is to win games. We take everything one hundred percent seriously and give it all of our effort… when you’re in high school, I feel like you know there’s just a sense of being friends with people and having fun with the guys that you grew up with, and then when you get to college it’s more business and more serious.”

Rowan’s baseball season has only just begun, and the senior infielder is staring down the last few chances to play before he graduates, and says he is “absolutely” feeling confident going into this season. 

Looking back on his career, Schooley has had several proud moments. One of those was the time they won the regional in Lebanon Valley.

“After we got the last out and everyone was running to the center of the field and we dogpiled, it’s just a feeling that I’ve never felt before,” Schooley said. “It’s something that I’ve never had before, something that you don’t want to get rid of.” 

While it looks like it may be the end of one road for Schooley, it could be the beginning of another, as he is looking to other pursuits outside of baseball. 

“I’m just gonna try to enjoy this day by day I know that every practice that we have is just one day closer to the end, so I’m just trying to enjoy as much as I can right now,” Schooley said. “After that, I’m gonna try to get into sales, do something with technology, or in the medical world.”

Facing a world of opportunities, Schooley is still open to continuing his baseball career. For right now, however, he is enjoying this season day by day. 

“That window might be closing for me,” Schooley said. “But if it’s still open I definitely will go through it.” 

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