State College

‘It’s a tragedy.’ Erie high school mourns teen who died in State College

An Erie high school is mourning a 17-year-old hockey player who died Saturday night in State College.

John “Jack” Schoenig was a senior hockey player at Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie. The school had prayer services Monday, brought in counselors and dogs from an animal-assisted crisis response group, Cathedral Prep President Scott Jabo said.

“This is the first time many of our students have experienced death — or it reopens old wounds,” Jabo said. “Some students don’t know how to feel; they don’t know how to deal with these raw emotions.”

State College police and Centre LifeLink EMS were called to 522 W. College Ave. at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, the department said, and found Schoenig in full cardiac arrest.

Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead the scene. There was no signs of trauma and several others were present when he had become unconscious, police said.

The Centre County coroner’s office completed an autopsy Monday evening and results will be available in approximately six weeks, Deputy Coroner Debra Smeal said in a news release. Police have not released any additional details, but the case remains under investigation.

The Ramblers were scheduled to play Pine-Richland High School on Monday, but the game was postponed. The team “wasn’t in the right frame of mind” to play, Jabo said.

“Please keep the Rambler hockey teams, coaches and families in your prayers as they lost a teammate, friend and most of all a brother,” the team wrote Sunday in a Facebook post.

Conversations about how the team may honor Schoenig have not occurred, though Jabo said they are “likely” to happen as the community works through the grieving process.

Jabo knew Schoenig personally and described him as friendly, popular and likable.

“He treated everyone with respect, which makes this all the tougher. It’s a tragedy,” Jabo said. “We want to keep his memory alive in our hearts.”

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.