By Nelson Coffin, Baltimore Sun Media Group
May 3, 2013
A few hours after proclaiming Mark Warns Jr. to be Boys' Latin's No. 1 fan at a ceremony in the school's Smith Alumni House, the Lakers lacrosse team made sure it will also remain No. 1 in the Baltimore Sun poll by beating Loyola Blakefield, 13-8, Friday afternoon to remain unbeaten.
Warns Jr., 27, who lives near the Boys' Latin campus, has become an integral part of the school community and is known for his sunny disposition and love of the Lakers.
He was first affected by urea cycle deficiency disorder, a rare genetic malfunction caused by the lack of an enzyme in the urea cycle — which removes ammonia from the bloodstream — when he was 10 months old.
"He went into a coma and suffered brain damage," said his mother, Lynne, a Friends Middle School administrator.
These days, Warns looks healthy and acts like a vibrant middle-school aged student — which is about the academic and social level he has reached.
"We embrace him fully, like any other classmate," said senior reserve attackman Jake Walsh, who appears to have a special bond with Warns.
The Lakers (18-0, 8-0 league) did not disappoint their No. 1 fan against the No. 7 Dons (3-5, 10-7), turning in what coach Bob Shriver termed a "workman-like" performance against a team clinging to the final playoff berth in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs that begin next week.
One major exception for Boys' Latin was Colin Chell, whose four of a career-high five goals were assisted by fellow junior classmate Shack Stanwick.
Playing on attack unit with the highly regarded Stanwick, who will join his brother, Wells, at Johns Hopkins for the 2015 season, and Maryland-bound Colin Heacock, it's understandable how Chell sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.
"Believe it or not, we've been kind of waiting for Colin to have a breakout game like this," Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver said. "He's such a hard worker, but he's so quiet, sometimes you wonder if he has a pulse. Obviously, he does."
As Loyola found out, Chell also has a shot.
"If you fall asleep on him," Shriver said, "he'll get open."
Chell did just that, scoring the Lakers' first, fourth, seventh and eighth goals on three Stanwick feeds and a put-back of a rare rebound given up by red-hot Loyola sophomore goalie Acie Newton (14 saves).
"Shack's more of a feeder, Colin's a dodger and I'm the off-ball guy," Chell said. "It's awesome playing with those guys."
Boys' Latin led, 8-3, at halftime and used a pair of goals by junior midfielder Keegan O'Connor and one from sophomore attackman Devin Shewell to build an 11-3 advantage midway through the third quarter.
Loyola never came closer than five goals the rest of the way.
Goals: L-Llewellyn 3, Lombardo 2, Jackson 1, Roesner 1, Riehl 1 BL-Chell 5, Pridemore 1, Stanwick 2, O'Connor 3, Shewell 1, Bruno 1
Assists: L-MacNamara 4, Nordbrook 1 BL-Stanwick 5, Heacock 1, Moreland 1, Moyer 1
Saves: L-Newton 14 BL-Knight 5, Caplin 1
Half: BL, 8-3