Varsity Spring All-metro

June 06, 2007

BOYS LACROSSE

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Steele Stanwick

Loyola

The versatile junior scored 37 goals and assisted on 35 to lead the Dons through a 12-game winning streak that culminated with a 10-6 victory over defending champion and then-No. 1 Boys' Latin for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title. Stanwick's season totals surpassed those of last season, when he had 35 goals and 17 assists. Coach Jack Crawford called Stanwick "one of the best natural lacrosse players I've ever coached. Steele's physical abilities and skill level are obvious to anyone who watches him. But the most impressive thing about him is how focused he is on the field and how well he understands the flow and movement of the game." That focus was apparent over the Dons' last three victories of the season - over St. Paul's, Gilman and Boys' Latin - during which Stanwick totaled 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) to help the top-ranked Dons (13-2) overcome deficits in each game. With the Dons down 4-1 in the final regular-season game against St. Paul's, Stanwick orchestrated a 5-0 Loyola run to finish with two goals and five assists in a 9-6 win. He had five assists in an 11-5 win over Gilman in the semifinals. In the championship game, Stanwick sparked a streak of seven straight Loyola goals after the Lakers led, 1-0. "There are a lot of physically talented players, but very few who can play completely under control. And there's a complete absence of any panic or nervousness in Steele's play," said Crawford, who has coached players such as Ryan Curtis, Matt Ward and Peter Lamade at Landon of Bethesda. "They say Bart Starr really became a great quarterback when the game slowed down for him and he learned to play and see a football game under control. Steele has that ability by his very nature, and it's his greatest strength."

COACH OF THE YEAR

Jack Crawford

Loyola

With his team being ousted in last year's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference quarterfinals after reaching the semifinals three straight years, the fifth-year coach learned to "really appreciate [winning a title] because things don't always go your way." Crawford's top-ranked Dons (13-2) finally broke through for the program's first MIAA title since 2001, dethroning then-No. 1 Boys' Latin, 10-6, to avenge their last defeat, a 9-8 setback. "I've never had a team that has had to work as hard as this one did to get to this level of play, and to beat a team like Boys' Latin in a championship game is really something else," Crawford said moments after a win that ended the Lakers' nine-game winning streak and another streak of 23 straight wins against the MIAA A Conference. Loyola had suffered three straight championship losses to Boys' Latin and is 4-4 against the Lakers in title games. A former assistant to Landon's highly regarded Rob Bordley, Crawford called the title game "clearly the biggest win of my career." "Frankly, I'm numb right now," added Crawford, who has a 90-25 career record and whose assistants are Joe McFadden, Tim Sullivan, Chris Malone and Pat Kelly. "After being disappointed at last year's outcome, I think you have to get that stigma off your back, that monkey."

FIRST TEAM

Joseph Bonanni

St. Mary's

A starter since his freshman season, the junior defender was perhaps the Saints' top player. Bonanni, who has orally committed to Ohio State, was assigned the opposition's best offensive player.

"Joe's the best defender on a team that didn't allow anyone to score more than nine goals on us in any one game," said coach Matt Hogan, whose Saints reached the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinals.

"He's nasty," said Loyola midfielder Tim Donovan, whose teammate, Steele Stanwick, added, "He's very good. In fact, I think he held me to my lowest point total of the year."

Chris Clements

St. Paul's

The senior midfielder was the team captain on the MIAA A Conference quarterfinalists, scoring 45 goals, a single-season school record for midfielders, to go with nine assists. Clements, who is bound for the University of Virginia, also dug up 101 ground balls and has more than 200 for his career.

Called "flat out the best athlete in the league" by his coach, Rick Brocato, Clements scored four goals in a game four times, and three goals in a game six times. Clements' goals were a team-high, and his total points (54) were tied with two others for the team lead.

Tim Donovan

Loyola

A 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior midfielder who is bound for Johns' Hopkins scored 23 goals and assisted on 12, Donovan is "physically the type of player we're seeing more frequently at the Division I level," said Jack Crawford, who coached the Dons to the MIAA A Conference title.

Donovan, whose 40-yard dash time is 4.7 seconds, "has the size of a tight end or linebacker and the speed of a wide receiver who can single-handedly change a game," said Brian Abbott, who coached Donovan during the Dons' march to last fall's MIAA A Conference football title.

Nick Elsmo

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