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In his final season, Boys' Latin's Stanwick earns player of the year honors

LacrosseJohns Hopkins University

It's not easy to figure out which of Shack Stanwick's accomplishments in his final season at Boys' Latin were more valuable.

For starters, the attackman scored 46 goals and 76 assists this spring to set the storied program's all-time points record for one season (118) and career (334) while leading the Lakers to a perfect 18-0 season.

It was the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship game, though, that cemented the Johns Hopkins University recruit's legacy, a 17-11 triumph over archival St. Paul's that gave the 2014 Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year his first crown and BL's first since 2006.

There's little doubt that the senior attackman would swap all of his other individual honors — C. Markland Kelly Award as the best player in the state, the Baltimore Sun overall male athlete and boys lacrosse player of the year and Inside Lacrosse No. 1 senior recruit — for the coveted crown.

"Our goal was to get the championship," the Roland Park resident said. "Going undefeated was just the cherry on top. It was so cool to go out undefeated as a senior."

While Stanwick finished his career with what was for him a modest two-goal, two-assist performance, the night was no less glorious for the Lakers, who prevailed despite some nervous moments for their ever-cautious fans after last year's failure to finish.

Still, with Stanwick running the show with his excellent field vision and uncanny knack for finding open teammates, there was not much of a chance they would be denied a second time in succession.

He had a slew of games in which he contributed more scoring than he did in the finale, including a 15-9 triumph over Gilman near the end of the season in which Stanwick led the Lakers with five goals and three assists.

"We wore throwback uniforms," he said, describing the wider holes in the mesh jerseys. "It was in front of a lot of people. Anytime you play at BL in front of a big crowd is really fun."

Noting that Gilman and St. Paul's are the Lakers' fiercest rivals, Stanwick nonetheless said that "there are so many good teams in the league."

The turning point in the season, he added, happened in a 12-5 win over Calvert Hall when top close defender Hugh Mosko was lost to the team with a knee injury.

"The coaches had a long talk with us after the game," he said. "They told us every guy on the team had to step up, even the guys that don't play as much. We took that message to heart."

Part of the plan was for the offense to take pressure off the defense, which was then working on new personnel rotations.

"As an offense, we had to take care of the ball and value each possession," Stanwick said. "We had to make sure we took good shots. If they didn't go in, that was OK as long as we took a good shot."

Stanwick was right in the thick of things by elevating his already superb game, drawing comparisons to the great players for a program that now boats 10 championships in the MIAA and its predecessor, the Maryland Scholastic Association.

"Is he the best of all time? He's absolutely in the conversation," veteran Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver said. "All the Stawicks (he is the last of eight siblings, all of whom were standout players) have been significant. But what sets him apart from his brothers (Tad, Steele and Wells) is he's 6-(feet- 2 (inches), 6-3. He's able to look over the top of defenders to see a lot of things."

Shriver said that his star's improvement this spring was as much about attitude as athleticism.

"The difference in Shack is that he's no longer just a feed-first kind of guy," he said. "We encouraged him to go to the goal more and it just evolved over the (four) years (on the BL varsity). He just had a magnificent year and it was so great that he was able to finish it off as a senior."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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