By Tom Peace
BaltimoreLacrosseNews.com, Posted 6/15/12
During a time when lacrosse players are transitioning from the high school season to the summer recruiting scene, recent Boys’ Latin graduate Tyler Steinhardt created a special event that allowed everyone to take a timeout from the grind to give back.
Shootout for Soldiers was held for 24 hours beginning Thursday morning into Friday at 9 a.m. at Boys’ Latin. The event raised $105,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project and attracted nearly 1,000 lacrosse players of all ages.
The goal of the event originally was to raise over $50,000 for the Project, and to raise education about our troops and what challenges they face when they return home with injuries sustained in war. The event set an unofficial world record as players as young as 10 years old and on to grand masters level played in a friendly game that raised the consciousness of the efforts to support our troops.
“I have two goals this year,” said Steinhardt. “I want to fundraise $50,000. And the second goal is to educate people, and educate them on the men and women returning home from overseas and really get them to understand this stuff and that will create a chain reaction of going on and on.”
Steinhardt first had a goal of raising $10,000 and then amended it to the $50,000 range. Players were asked to donate $20 to play, but many donated more and people donated online. It was estimated that as many as 5,000 people attended the event.
Boys’ Latin doesn’t have lights, so when the sun went down and teams were playing through the night, they were playing under lights that were transported in and were run on by generators.
“BL has never had lights before,” said Steinhardt. “It’s cool in itself to see lights at BL and for the students, it’s a whole different atmosphere all of a sudden.”
Over 40 teams were assembled from all ages and were structured by having the youth level players starting out Thursday morning, then the high school players taking the field during the afternoon, and then the nightshift was comprised of pro and retired players (as some would say the geezers). The teams were split up in two teams, the Stars and the Stripes.
Some big names came out to take part in the event including pro star, Paul Rabil, who won two national championships at Johns Hopkins and plays for the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse and the Edmonton Rush of the National Lacrosse League
The games were fun in nature, and no flags were needed by the refs during two non-stop halves of lacrosse. One of the interesting aspects about the games was that during the high school and pro games they allowed several youth kids to play in the game as well, giving them the thrill of playing with guys that they look up to.
Steinhardt would like to make the event an annual affair.
In the end, the record was set as the first lacrosse event to go 24 hours and plenty of people involved were exhausted; though it was fun and the main goal was to thank our Wounded Warriors.