Professional athletes to lend hand, and Shofield name, to Orland Park artificial turf sports fields
With a name already deeply linked to Orland Park, NFL player Michael Schofield III will see his name on a scoreboard at a village park where future football players will hone their skills.
Schofield and his wife, Kendall Coyne Schofield, an Olympic gold medalist, have bought naming rights for a portion of a redevelopment of Schussler Park in Orland Park, with the couple also agreeing to raise funds for an all-inclusive playground at the park.
The installation of two artificial turf playing fields are part of a multimillion-dollar renovation of Schussler. The 21-acre park, 14609 Poplar Road, has baseball and soccer fields along with a playground, tennis courts and sledding hill.
The park will be the home of Orland Park Pioneer Football, and Michael Schofield, who most recently played with the Bears, is a product of the Pioneer football organization.
He has played nine seasons in the NFL, and graduated from Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park in 2009. He won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos in 2016.
A Palos Heights native, Kendall Coyne Schofield graduated from Sandburg in 2010 and played baseball and softball as a youth. She won a gold medal in 2018 as part of the USA Olympic hockey team.
The couple has agreed to a 20-year, $25,000 partnership that will support the redevelopment of Schussler and calls for a scoreboard next to the new sports fields, identifying them as the Michael Schofield III Sports Complex.
There would also be life-size photos of the Schofields, from youth to adulthood, “inspiring Orland Park youth to dream big,” according to the agreement, approved in May by the Orland Park Village Board.
Under the agreement, the Schofields will, through their Kendall & Michael Schofield Family Foundation, raise money for the all-inclusive playground The foundation was created by the couple in 2019.
Development of the sports complex will show children “you can grow up around here and you can make your dreams come true,” Michael Schofield said.
Coyne Schofield said she hopes the sports complex will help “blossom so many kids’ dreams.”
Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said having Schussler as the dedicated home of the Pioneers organization is an important step, noting the youth sports group has been part of the village for a half-century.
“There’s never been a field that has been dedicated for football and built for football,” he said. “It’s way too long coming.”
Along with two artificial turf fields on the east side of Schussler, the initial phase of redevelopment includes the scoreboard, coaches’ box, bleachers, storage buildings and parking lot improvements.
The Village Board hired V3 Construction, of Woodridge, at a cost of $10.7 million, for park renovations and the village has contracted separately with FieldTurf, for a cost of $1.2 million, for the artificial turf fields, which are expected to be installed in late summer or early fall.
Among V3′s project experience is the renovation, at a cost of $2.5 million, of Orland Park’s John Humphrey Sports Complex adjacent to the village’s Civic Center.
In July 2022, the Schofields took part in the opening of the Kendall Coyne Dream Big Park in the Misty Meadows subdivision in Palos Heights.
That park, as the one at Schussler is intended to be, complies with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and is intended to be all-inclusive.