It's no wonder Boys' Latin stars Shack Stanwick and Colin Heacock demanded a lot of attention this season from rival Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference defensive coordinators.
Of the 268 goals the Lakers scored in a 19-1 season that ended with a 10-9 title game loss to Loyola Blakefield, the duo accounted for almost a third of them (84) and dished out 75 assists, meaning the attackmen had a hand in 60 percent of the Lakers' goals.
That prolific production made Stanwick and Heacock the most feared tandem in the league, bar none.
Of course, playing on the same unit made the 2013 Baltimore Messenger co-Players of the Year learn how to work in concert with each other for the good of the team, something they did willingly.
"I just try to make plays," said Heacock, who scored 48 goals and added 24 assists this season. "I try to do whatever I can to help the team win. That's all I care about."
Heacock, who was named the C. Markland Kelly Award winner June 2 as the top prep player in the state, may have had his best two games of the year against defending conference champion Calvert Hall.
With the Cardinals leading, 2-1, late in the first quarter during the regular season, the University of Maryland recruit reeled off three consecutive goals to give the Lakers a lead they would keep in a decisive 13-7 victory.
Moreover, with his team facing a 9-4 halftime deficit against Calvert Hall in a playoff semifinal, Heacock scored two of the first three goals in the second half of what turned out to be a 12-10 Laker comeback win.
Calvert Hall senior midfielder Stephen Kelly said his former Lutherville-Timonium Rec Council teammate improved rapidly during his high school career.
"He has that presence on the field," he said. "And he know how to use his body well to get inside. He really hurt us in those games. I just really respect the kid on and off the field."
"He's just a freak athlete," Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver said about Heacock. "Big, fast, strong, tough. He's been something to watch. He plays hard and works hard, but always with a smile on his face."
Stanwick was also a Cardinal killer. In the first game, he rifled in two goals after Heacock's spree to widen the margin going into halftime.
In the semifinal, he scored two goals in 12 seconds to deadlock the score heading into the fourth quarter. The Johns Hopkins University-bound star then assisted classmate Keegan O'Connor for the go-ahead goal to open the final period.
"It was just awesome to come back like that in that game," said Stanwick, whose highlight-reel stab of a long clearing pass and subsequent one-hop shot past Calvert Hall freshman goalie Joe McSorley at the end of the third period may have been the key play of the game.
"In my opinion, he's the consummate attackman," Shriver said. "He can attack the goal from anywhere."
"Shack is one of the smartest players I've ever played against," said Loyola attackman Devin McNamara. "He's such a complete player and great with both hands."
Shriver added that having Stanwick and Heacock was an embarrassment of riches.
"They made a formidable team," he said. "It's amazing when you look at the numbers they put up."
Unfortunately for both stars, the championship game was an upsetting experience at the hands of the upstart Dons. Stanwick opened the scoring and Heacock totaled all three of his goals in a 6-0 first-quarter burst.
Still, Loyola rallied to win by scoring three times in the final 3:41.
"You have to give Loyola credit to do what they did in a championship game," Stanwick said.
"Loyola played really good defense at the end," Heacock added. "They deserved it."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun