As William Shakespeare once penned, "What's In a Name?" Well, if it's the surname Stanwick there has to be a lacrosse gene in it.
Mention the name Stanwick in lacrosse circles and heads turn. Sheehan, Wick, Coco, Tad and Steele, the first five of the eight Stanwick siblings, played lacrosse at private high schools in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and Interscholastic Maryland Athletic Association conferences, both considered hotbeds in the lacrosse world. All five then went on to stellar careers at nationall ranked Division I programs, with four of them earning All-American honors and playing in the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four.
The next two branches hanging from the Stanwick family tree go by the names of
and Covie Stanwick
, seniors at Boys Latin (Baltimore)
(MIAA) and Notre Dame Prep (Towson)
(IAAM), respectively. The siblings, who are not twins, knew they had big shoes to fill as they followed in the footsteps of their older three sisters and two brothers, who all helped lead their high school teams to conference championships and national rankings.
"There is some pressure," Wells, who is the second Stanwick to play for Boys' Latin following in the footsteps of brother Tad, said when asked what it's like having to live up to the family lacrosse tradition. "But all of my brothers and sisters want each of us to do our best so it's nice to have them."
Wells is living up to the family name quite nicely, having already scored 10 goals and dished out 18 assists to help Boys' Latin off to a 4-0 start.
"Wells is a complete attackman capable of both attacking the goal for himself and feeding his teammates," Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver said. "His stick skills are excellent and it allows him to be effective from ‘both sides of the plate' so to speak. In other words, he's great with his left and right hand - his natural one. He is a leader, one of our captains, and a hard working competitor."
The oldest brother Tad, currently an assistant coach at Boys' Latin, played collegiately at Rutgers University, while Steele, who is the lone Stanwick male to attend Loyola Blakefield, is a junior at the University of Virginia. Wells has chosen not to follow in the footsteps of either brother at the college level and instead has committed to play at nearby Johns Hopkins University.
"I chose Hopkins because I wanted a different path than my brothers for college," Wells said. "And my cousin (Garrett Stanwick, 2005-08) played there too."
Covie, a member of the U.S. Under-19 team, is the fourth Stanwick sister to play for Notre Dame Prep. While it might seem as if it would be intimidating to try and fill not just one pair of shoes, but three, she says she never looked at it that way.
"It was not difficult following in my sisters' footsteps at Notre Dame," said Covie, who is the No. 1-ranked senior in the nation according to Inside Lacrosse. "I knew that they had all had great careers here and that was something that I always just looked up to. I have always tried to get their advice and use it to help me and hopefully allow me to become a player like all three of my sisters."
Notre Dame Prep coach Mary Bartel has now coached all four Stanwick girls and says Covie, who entered this season with 76 goals and 58 assists, is every bit as talented as her sisters.
"Covie Stanwick is one of the most talented lacrosse players I have ever had the pleasure of coaching," Bartel said of the youngest Stanwick sister. "She can finish, feed and connect. She does it all. Most importantly, Covie is a team player and does a terrific job of using the talent surrounding her."
The three older Stanwick girls all continued their careers at Georgetown University, and so many expected Covie would also become a Hoya. Instead, she has decided to take the path less chosen, or in the Stanwick family, never chosen, and has committed to play at Boston College next year.
"I decided to go to Boston College because I think that it is such a great opportunity," she said. "Boston is a great place and the program is on the rise. I think it will be a great experience to try and help Boston College to become a championship contender. It just seemed to be the perfect place for me."
And what about the youngest Stanwick? Shack is only a freshman but already starting on the Boys' Latin varsity team. He has five goals and eight assists in the Lakers' first four games.
Obviously the lacrosse gene is in his name too.Jon Buzby is the sports columnist for the Newark Post, a freelance writer, and on the broadcast team for the 1290AM The Ticket High School Football and Basketball Games of the Week. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.