Steele Stanwick considers himself to be the luckiest guy in the world.
Stanwick lives and breathes lacrosse, and has managed to earn a good living in the sport he loves.
For the Loyola Blakefield graduate and Roland Park native, it's not a job. It's his life.
He plays professionally for Major League Lacrosse's Ohio Machine, serves as offensive coordinator for the Johns Hopkins University women's lacrosse team, has an endorsement deal with Under Armour and runs camps and clinics as part of Stanwick Lacrosse — a business he started more than three years ago.
"It can be a grind and it can be hectic at times," Stanwick said. "But I don't feel these things are like jobs. They are lot of fun and lacrosse is always on my mind. The Hopkins gig is great. I love working with the women's team. I get to play MLL lacrosse on the weekends and I get to coach players. I feel like I am giving back."
He was the second overall pick in the 2012 MLL draft after a standout career at the University of Virginia, where he was a three-time All-American, finished as school's all-time leading scorer with 269 career points and won the Tewaaraton Award in 2011, given annually to the best college player.
"I'm honored to play in the MLL," he said. "You are playing with the best players in the world every week. It was my goal growing up to play in the MLL. Its been a ton of fun."
The 26-year-old Stanwick is as valuable to the Machine as any player on the 24-player roster, ranking fifth on the team in scoring with 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in nine games.
The four teammates ahead of him have played in all of Ohio's 11 games while Stanwick missed two early-season games because of his Johns Hopkins' coaching duties.
"He quarterbacks our offense," Machine coach Bear Davis said. "He is a very cerebral and it's tough to find a player like him who understands the game at such a high level. There are a lot of great and very smart players in the league, but he has a broader, like a 100-mile scope or overview of what is going on. It's pretty impressive."
As good of a player as Stanwick is, Davis said he is still improving.
"This year, he has been a little bit more of a threat in front of the cage," he explained. "He is very unselfish. He is the type of player who can walk out of a game and have four points. You are like, 'Wow, I didn't realize he had that many points.'"
Stanwick says the last thing he focuses on is statistics. He's eager to help the Machine to another playoff berth.
Ohio lost in the MLL semifinals in each of the past two seasons to Rochester after two rough years.
"I have been there from day one with the organization, and I have seen where we have come from," Stanwick said."The first two years in the league, I think I won a total of three or four games."
The Machine sits in fifth place in a league, where four teams qualify for the playoffs.
For Stanwick, commuting to games from Baltimore to Ohio Dominion University in Columbus can be as much of a challenge as any opponent.
"I have 14 away games every summer," said Stanwick, noting he also travels while recruiting players for Johns Hopkins. "I have come in days of the game and left the night of the game. It really takes a lot of planning. You have to be really good with time-management. I live out of a bag in the summer."
Besides his summer job with the Machine, Stanwick's role with the Blue
Jays keeps him busy breaking down film and helping out with scouting reports under coach Janine Tucker.
Stanwick originally inked an endorsement deal with Under Armour in October of 2012 and recently signed on for another two years.
"I make appearances for them and a lot of times I'm doing marketing stuff," Steele said. "I have gone to the Under Armour All-American games and talked to the players. They're trying to get a familiar face out there to do marketing. I also test some products for them. "
With what amounts to two full-time jobs, Stanwick isn't complaining.
"I have really been lucky," he explained. "The coach (Davis) I play for in Ohio and my boss at Johns Hopkins (Tucker) have worked with me and understand how crazy my schedule can be. Sometimes they look at me like I am crazy with all the stuff I do."