The Ladue boys’ soccer team has been on the rise over the past few years as they were 10 minutes away from winning the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3 title a year ago. Senior Eli Tenenbaum was a part of that team last year and has led the team this season in hopes of making a return appearance in the state final four.

Tenenbaum is a mainstay in the defensive back for the Rams again this year as he has aided Ladue to a 13-7 mark this season. The senior has scored a pair of goals and has added an assist on the season, but his main priority is to help limit offensive attacks by opposing teams.

Tenenbaum and the returning players from Ladue are playing with a chip on their shoulders after losing in the title game last year to Fort Zumwalt South 2-1. That has fueled him and his teammates for this season as the goal is to return to WorldWide Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo., in November.

“Having a chip on our shoulders is a perfect way to say it,” stated Tenenbaum. “Most of us that played on that team believe that we should have a ring on our fingers right now and we are lucky to have another chance at it. It started in the summer, and we are working hard all year. We want another chance at the final four and winning the state title.”

Photo Credit – Ladue High School Soccer


As a junior last season, Tenenbaum was the leader of the backline that was outstanding. He knew that he needed to be more vocal this year in that leadership role. That is something that the seniors last season impressed upon him.

“The strength of our seniors last year was their talking,” said Tenenbaum. “I am not the loudest guy on the field, but people see my actions. One of the things that I am learning to do is to talk more; that is one of the things the seniors taught me last year. Between Johann Schuldt and myself in the back, we have been working at being more talkative as the center backs. It is a different dynamic without those seniors this year and people have counted us out, but we want to prove them wrong.”

Playing in the backline on the soccer field can be difficult at times because they do not get the offensive stats that other players have the chance to get. They are the ones that ensure that other teams do not score. Tenenbaum has embraced his position on the pitch and knows how important it is.

“As a freshman, I started as a midfielder and then the coach moved me to a wing-back,” stated Tenenbaum. “At first, I looked at it as a less important spot, but I have fallen in love with it. I like the pride we take in it and being a part of stopping the attack there and knowing that I could make one-on-one stops were good. That is where I began to love defense and being the last guy back there and the first guy to start the offense.”

Being on the backline of the soccer field involves so many people, including the goalkeepers. Tenenbaum has the chance to work with one of the top keepers in the area in Jared Settler and he knows how important communication is between himself and Settler.

“It is pretty comforting having him back there for us,” said Tenenbaum. “We have both him and Adam Friedman back there and knowing that they are back there to make a big save is huge for us.”

Even though he plays in the back, Tenenbaum has the chance to watch one of the top scorers in the area Dailyn Tate do his thing. Tate has scored 16 goals on the season and has been the offensive leader for the Rams. Having Tate up front makes things a bit easier for Tenenbaum and his defense.

“It is awesome, and it plays into the fact that we are never out of a game,” said Tenenbaum. “We have guys like Tate at the top that are dynamic goal scorers. We had a game earlier this year, we fell behind early in the contest, and right after the goal, Schuldt found Dailyn and he scored to tie the match. The idea that we really are never out of a game was proved to us right there.”

Tenenbaum started playing soccer at a young age and quickly knew that juggling everything when it came to academics and his play on the field was going to be very important.

“That all started with my parents as they always impressed on me that school comes first,” said Tenenbaum. “They have always told me to do my best. I don’t like to quit things either, so when I start things, I always want to get them finished. Even if I have a lot of homework, I know that I can do it. I just make sure that I find the time to do it.”

Tenenbaum is looking to continue his academic career in the medical field as he wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps.

“My mom is a surgeon at Washington University, so I have always seen her as a very hard-working person,” stated Tenenbaum. “That is the profession that I want to pursue because I have always been interested in that.”

Congratulations to Eli Tenenbaum from Ladue on being named this week’s HSSC/Scoops with Danny Mad Student-Athlete of the Week and we wish him and the Rams soccer team the best in the upcoming district tournament.

Jim Powers
Jim Powers

Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan