Senior Teorsky helps Freeport boys soccer to think big
The double-takes come constantly when people pass Stevie Teorsky: “Everywhere I go, a glance and then back,” the Freeport senior said.
Some of Freeport’s football players still ask him to join the team, even as it interferes with his chosen sport of soccer, and the Yellowjackets’ basketball team also is putting on a recruitment effort even though he never has played the sport at an organized level.
It’s all a part of life for the 6-foot-7, 250-pound Teorsky, who looks like a linebacker but quarterbacks the Freeport boys soccer team’s defense from his center back position. The four-year starter and his fellow seniors have a chance to go out as the winningest class in Yellowjackets soccer history.
“You always have the attention of many people, you know: ‘How tall are you?’ ” Teorsky said. “Everywhere I go it’s constant. Everyone (says) you must hate it, but you kind of learn to live with it and get on. It’s definitely different being able to see over everyone wherever you are.”
Teorsky was born big: 10 pounds, 10 ounces and 23 inches long, and he reached 6 feet by the time he was entering seventh grade.
The youngest of five, four of whom are boys, Teorsky’s height comes from his mother’s side of the family, as his uncles check in at the 6-5 or 6-6 range.
“When he was born, he came out with his head up, and he’s always been off the growth charts,” said his father, Dave Teorsky, Freeport’s coach, who rises to the height of 6 feet. “You look back at any class pictures from preschool right on up, and he’s head and shoulders above. We were at the spirit night parade (last week), and as we had everyone lined up parading into the stadium, you see Steve up above.
“I don’t know if he’s done growing yet. I swear sometimes he leaves the room, comes back and I think he looks bigger.”
A soccer player since the Under-6 division and a player for Northern Steel Soccer since before his 10th birthday, Teorsky often played at higher age levels -- frequently with his brother Patrick, two years his elder.
The size helped Teorsky play against older -- not necessarily bigger -- kids, and the experience helped him develop the soccer skills he still showcases. Teorsky is light on his size-15 feet, stopping attacks into the Freeport zone with agility as well as size.
“I was in club level for a long time, ever since I’ve been little,” Teorsky said. “I’ve always been bigger, but even before I got the monstrosity size (I was playing club).
“A big thing at a young age in that kind of level is quick feet and foot skills, and that just helps develop that quickness. And obviously, agility training, like ladders in preseason, everything’s a big part of the game as well.”
While Teorsky has played defensive center midfield and also makes forays into the offensive zones for corner kicks and the like, he feels most comfortable thwarting opponents’ attacks.
“I really appreciate his view of the field from the center back position, and he’s a great communicator while on the field,” Dave Teorsky said. “Those two things together are just the perfect match for him to play center back: his communication and his vision. He’s like a quarterback.”
Some of his growing-up soccer experiences also taught Teorsky to play within himself, or, as his father put it, “as gentle as a lamb.”
“My wife and I call it the ‘big kid syndrome,’ ” Dave Teorsky said. “When he would play youth soccer and with that obvious size, first of all, you’re on the sidelines and you hear the parents (saying), ‘They’ve got to check his card! Is he the right age?’ It makes you want to turn around and say (something). But kids would bounce off of him, and he would get called for a foul. As a result, he’s conditioned himself to play very contained because he knows he draws that attention, right or wrong.”
Teorsky is fine with the individual attention, but he’s focusing on team success. Freeport won a section title in 2016 and qualified again for the WPIAL playoffs last season, but both times, the Yellowjackets bowed out in their first postseason game.
Eight wins would make Teorsky and his fellow seniors the winningest class in school history, but they’re searching for enough wins to claim another section title and make a deep run into the playoffs.
“It’s kind of crazy, you know, coming in as a freshman, and it just flies by,” Teorsky said. “The seniors tell you (to) enjoy it while it lasts. It’s going to be gone before you know it, and here we are, start of the senior year and it is here. I’m sure it’s going to be over in a blink of an eye, but you’ve got to enjoy it while it’s here.”