I enjoyed writing the story on Caeden Suero and Seth Schneider, because of the extreme contrasts of their relationship from the crosstown football rivalry, to when they're away from the gridiron. During crosstown, they're both tough, intense gladiators, trying to tear each other's heads off. But before and after the football game, they're just a couple of kids having fun trying to get the best of each other at Play Station, a computer game. -- Curt Synness
Although Capital High’s Seth Schneider and Caeden Suero of Helena aren’t exactly best friends, the senior football players get along fine, both on and off the field. And they have mutual respect for each other’s similarly aggressive, hard-nosed style of play.
As the pressures and stress of Crosstown week gradually builds up to Friday night’s annual Bruin-Bengal clash at Vigilante Stadium, two of the contest’s marquee players posed for a photo together Wednesday on the field.
Schneider and Suero discussed everything from Small Fry Football, to PlayStation, to contact on the gridiron. Oh, and they talked a little bit about the upcoming intra-city tilt, also.
“Caeden and I know each other; he’s cool,” said Schneider, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound running back and linebacker for the undefeated Bruins. “We hang out with the same group of guys, and do PlayStation sometimes.”
Suero, a 5-10, 230-pound defensive lineman, said “We talk once in a while, joke around. Seth’s a good kid.”
Schneider currently leads Class AA with 795 yards rushing, 13 total touchdowns (12 rushing, one receiving), and averages of 199 rushing yards a game -- 10.46 yards per carry.
Against Skyview, he rolled for 242 yards on the ground, and scored five touchdowns -- four rushing and one receiving -- while tying two longstanding school records.
His four rushing TDs equaled the Bru-crew’s single game mark he shares with four others: Bruce Robertson (1974), KK Jense (1994), Narles Layne (2003) and Brice Burton (2010). Schneider’s five total scores matches the 2003 record set by Todd Nelson. His 242 yards stands No. 4 on CHS’ all-time list for rushing in a game.
On the other side of the ball, Schneider -- the IR’s 2016 Defensive Player of the Year -- leads the team with five tackles for loss, and ranks in the Top 5 with two tipped passes (tied for first), 23 solo tackles (fourth), 198 defensive points (fifth) and 26 total tackles (tied for fifth).
“Seth is a player that shows up every week,” said CHS coach Kyle Mihelish. “As a coach, you can count on him every week. He’s very dependable. He plays the game the way it’s meant to be played. He’s competitive, takes pride in his performance, and embodies what it means to be a Bruin.
“Seth works hard in the weight room and in the classroom. He’s a good example for future Bruins.”
During Small Fry Football, Schneider’s teams -- UAS (fifth-sixth grades) and LaCasa (seventh-eighth) -- played in three City championship games, winning two of them.
In the weight room, his best lift is a 320-pound clean. As a javelin thrower for Capital’s track and field team, Schneider qualified for the final 10 at the State AA Meet his sophomore season, and last year he placed seventh with a heave of 172 feet. He is on pace to graduate with six varsity letters, three each in football and track.
Schneider said that Suero “is very physical … he likes to hit,” but he couldn’t remember any particular contact on the field in last year’s game, in which CHS prevailed, 3-0.
Suero, however, does recall colliding with his counterpart last year, describing Schneider as “a very hard hitter; you have to know where to tackle him, and be physical with him.”
“Seth is an aggressive player -- somebody you respect on the field,” he added.
In Helena’s three games, Suero leads the defense with 10 quarterback hurries, is tied with Connor Nash for the lead with six tackles for loss and two deflected passes (with three others). He ranks No. 2 with 11 assisted tackles, 78 defensive points and two sacks (tie with Max Mader), as well.
His best game to date took place in the season opener versus C.M. Russell, when he tallied team-highs of six hurries and 36 defensive points.
Suero also started out with Small Fry Football, recounting that his best team was the eighth grade Northwestern squad. A first baseman for the Helena Reps and Senators Legion baseball teams in the summer, the powerful Bengal owns a PR 435-pound squat lift in the weight room.
“Caeden is a tremendous explosive athlete with a great motor,” HHS coach Tony Arnston said. “He has a special personality that keeps all of his teammates upbeat and they love to be around him.”
So, what do our two gridders think the keys for their respective teams are Friday.
“I think it’s really about controlling the line scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” Schneider said. “And to shut down their offense … getting to their quarterback.”
Suero thinks his Bengals need to “stop their running game, and if we have the whole team play together as a team, I think we’ll do all right.”