By: Sam Ingles
Leading the fundraising efforts for Shootout for Soldiers Baltimore is the Zingos 2025 lacrosse club. Founded in 2009, the Zingos program was designed to be a platform whose main purpose is to develop great character within its players and build friendships that will last a lifetime. From humble beginnings of fielding only 9 players on the 2025 team to their current 35 player roster, spread across two teams, Zingos have had much success due to their emphasis on inclusion and companionship. Brandel takes pride in the unity of his players and encourages them to play sports together outside of lacrosse. In addition, Brandel coordinates activities for his players such as WWE events, Halloween Parties, and Chesapeake Bayhawk lacrosse games.
Brandel first heard of Shootout for Soldiers from a speech given by founder Tyler Steinhardt during his time at Boys Latin School of Maryland. Brandel said that he was impressed at how a young man could conceive the idea of such an awesome event and see it through, and even more impressed at how far the event has come in a relatively short amount of time. The Zingos program is no stranger to the impact that the military has on their everyday lives, especially with their proximity to Washington D.C. and the military bases located in that area. With parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors who are both active and retired from the military, the Zingos program has plenty of reasons to celebrate what the military has done for them and what they are still doing. Having participated in last year’s Shootout for Soldiers event, Zingos are hoping that their players will build off their experience and make this event part of their team’s culture.
“We want our athletes to be thankful for everything that both our past and current service members have done for us and still do for us every day. We want to teach our boys the importance of giving back, saying Thank You, and doing what is right all of the time. We want our boys to cheer on the veterans in the “Heroes Game”, make posters for the veterans, start the “USA” chants, and we even want our coaches dressing up in the their best patriotic gear.”
-Thomas Brandel, Zingos 2025 Head Coach