Boys' Latin School's Tyler Steinhardt is always involved in fundraising. If he isn't having a dodge ball tournament to raise money for a child with cancer, then he is organizing a special help group on another high school campus or coaching lacrosse in Uganda.
For his next project, Steinhardt, 18, has organized the Shootout for Soldiers, a 24-hour lacrosse game to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project or wounded American soldiers.
Initially, there were some snags, but now head coaches Bobby Shriver of Boys' Latin and Calvert Hall's Bryan Kelly have gotten involved.
And some of the players who might participate are North Carolina midfielder R.G. Keenan and Johns Hopkins attackmen Wells Stanwick and Chris Boland.
The event is planned for June 14 from 9 a.m. to 9 a.m. on June 15 at Boys' Latin. All ages are welcome and there are individual and team slots available.
"Certainly, supporting wounded vets is as noble a cause as anyone could get into," Shriver said. "Doing it with the game of lacrosse that so many in this community love only adds to the event. And Tyler is just a wonderful kid who is always doing wonderful stuff around here."
Steinhardt is the kid who doesn't have much athletic talent, but a huge heart. He could only play two years of lacrosse at Boys' Latin because he wasn't good enough.
He played on the team's varsity basketball team in the winter, but spent more time cheering and giving high fives off the bench then shooting jumpers in games.
You get the picture.
He is a sports nerd who has to get his early morning fix of ESPN with his coffee and orange juice.
But that's just a small snapshot.
The kids love him at Boys' Latin (Full disclosure: My son graduated from there in 2010). Steinhardt has a 4.1 grade point average, exudes confidence and can hold a conversation on any level. He'll be attending American University in the fall in the highly competitive Global Scholarship developmental program, and three years ago he founded ACT (Achieving Change Together) at Boys' Latin, a 40-member group he is trying to spread to other high schools.
Steinhardt has always had a fondness for lacrosse, and last summer spent two weeks in Uganda. That was unique, so much in fact that Steinhardt is heading back for another five weeks this summer.
"I helped start the Uganda national team," Steinhardt said. "Actually, we got to the national championship game and I was the Uganda coach of the year. It was the best time in my life.
"My parents were totally against it from the start. East Africa is not the safest of places. I kept pushing and they finally relented. It was a great experience for a number of reasons. First, you get a renewed look on life. You realize how lucky and fortunate you are to have what you have here, and second, it was the most fun I ever had. We just didn't help in lacrosse, but getting those people food, establishing schools, getting teachers paid and helping in their villages."
The kid loves projects, especially if he can help someone else. So when ACT started looking for a new project months ago, Steinhardt started looking at videos and through magazines.
The group actually stumbled upon the video of the Wounded Warrior Project and how veterans struggled when they returned home.
Steinhardt also said he noticed that the longest lacrosse game ever played lasted 13 hours and 29 minutes. There was an instant connection.
"Often times there are walks, runs and events for other charities, but not much for wounded American soldiers," Steinhardt said. "Our club decided we needed to do something, we needed to act.
"I went to coach Thomas [Michael Thomas, Athletic Director] and he said let's go crush the record. "We needed lights, and we kept pushing for them, and we just got the OK to bring them in three days ago."
Teams or individuals can sign up online at http://www.shootoutforsoldiers.com/register with all proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project.
According to Steinhart, there have already been 45- to 55-year-old fathers who have signed up for blocks of time. There will only be two teams, Stars and Stripes, and participants will play in an allotted time slot for four of the 96 quarters against other volunteers roughly their same age and skill level.
"Our initial goal is $10,000 and that's lofty," Steinhardt said. "But if we get the support we need, we can crush that. I believe in sports and that they have immense potential to do good work. This is not a BL thing, but a Baltimore schools thing. The biggest thing I can stress is that I want the guys, the parents, the players from Calvert Hall, Gilman, St. Paul's and all schools to come out and play. We need their support and so do the wounded veterans.
"If they do, then the sky is the limit for this event's potential. Right now, I feel really good about it. I believe it's the right thing to do, and we're committed."
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