The many faces of Tyvan Schmidt

SHS senior Tyvan Schmidt and two of his pieces  - Josh Suman, Bellevue Reporter
SHS senior Tyvan Schmidt and two of his pieces
— image credit: Josh Suman, Bellevue Reporter

Tyvan Schmidt is many things and lacrosse player is only one of them.

As one of the leading goal scorers in boys Division II, Schmidt plays the game with a reckless abandon, mostly out of necessity. While other players resemble the traditional hulked-up athlete, Schmidt stands a modest 5’7 and is slightly built. “I’m not the biggest guy, but I’m quick and I’m swift,” Schmidt said. He uses that speed to break away from packs of defenders and keep himself free from the static that larger players attempt to use to keep him away from the net.

But his game-face is just one of the many faces of Tyvan Schmidt.

Sing us a song

It’s a rather unpredictable combination, singing lacrosse player. But Tyvan Schmidt makes it work.

The Sammamish senior said he always enjoyed singing, doing so around the house and for family and friends. So this year, partly at the behest of his mom, Schmidt decided to become a member of the choir.

While the structure and formality of performing in a choir is a new experience, Schmidt said he still genuinely enjoys the opportunity to sing regardless of setting and also appreciates the performing aspect of choir.

Hands-on expression

Schmidt became fascinated with glass blowing, which is offered as a class at Sammamish High School, after seeing the pieces of glasswork his older sister brought home. The fascination quickly became a study and then a full blown passion.

As a student diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Schmidt said he finds it difficult to do his best learning directly from text.

“It’s kind of hard for me to sit down in a classroom and pick up a book and take notes all period long,” Schmidt said. “I’m a more hands-on type of guy.” In glass blowing, Schmidt has found both an outlet for his expression and also a niche that allows him to put what he learns on display. During his time in the glass blowing class at Sammamish, Schmidt has created several works including bowls, vases, decorative ornaments and some that are simply too abstract to be described (and confined) by such parameters.

Check out a full slide show of Tyvan's works here

He has gained inspiration from renowned glass artist and Washington native Dale Chihuly and his artwork has been displayed at SHS. “I never really have a gameplan, I just kind of play it by ear,” Schmidt said of his artistic process.

A true friend

Community service is supposed to build character in young people, give them an opportunity to focus on the lives and hardships others endure on a daily basis to increase their own appreciation for the gifts they have been afforded.

The lesson has really sunk in for Schmidt.

Not only did he complete his own hourly requirement, when a friend found himself in need of more hours, Schmidt decided it just wouldn’t be right for his pal to go it alone. The program was through the Salvation Army and was more or less a daycare program for younger elementary students, most were around age five. “I didn’t think of it as a job or something I had to do, it was just hanging out having fun,” Schmidt said.

Pay it forward

Every athlete was first a young person, someone with no idea about the game and how they could flourish in it. Tyvan Schmidt remembers when he was that young person. He played baseball and football in his youth, following the hordes of kids to the popular, mainstream sports.

Then one day, with the click of a remote control, all of that changed. Schmidt says he was watching television on an uneventful afternoon when something on the screen caught his eye.

It was a lacrosse game.

The quick pace, athletic participants and intricate skills of the game all piqued his interest.

He was hooked.

With baseball still in season, Schmidt reluctantly asked his father if a switch to lacrosse may be in the cards. “He never went back to baseball,” says his mother Tena.

After gaining confidence, friends and many other lessons from the game, Schmidt couldn’t pass on the opportunity to give something back. Since the Sammamish Lacrosse Club has a built-in youth program, Schmidt didn’t have to go far to find a group to mentor. “The best part about coaching kids is having them take what I have to say into consideration and use it later,” he said.

What the future holds

After completing his senior year at SHS, Schmidt said he plans to study archeology at the University of Montana.

The opportunity to get out of the classroom and into the field is the most enticing aspect of the field for Schmidt, who said he looks forward to getting his hands dirty and hopefully unearthing some great finds in the process.

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