Schilling is no stranger to top-tier competition and overcoming long odds.

In 2016, he played an integral role in his high school team pulling off a series of upsets in state tournament play to capture the school’s first and only state title to date. Surrounded by a structure employed by blue collar-type skaters, Schilling was seemingly unstoppable, standing on his head for Wayzata.

It also caught the attention of many Division I coaches, including Air Force coach Frank Serratore, who understood the road Wayzata took and what it accomplished Schilling’s senior year — and he was intrigued. 

The qualifications to play hockey for the Air Force are stringent, and the school does a lot to weed out on its own talented players who might be a better fit elsewhere.

Schilling prepares for a shot in a league game during his high school career in Minnesota. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

Schilling prepares for a shot in a league game during his high school career in Minnesota. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine