Brian Van Deusen, head coach of the River Hill (Clarksville, Md.) varsity football team, has been named Ravens High School Coach of the Week for the eighth week of the 2009 season. Presented by Toyota, this is the 13th year of the Ravens' award program.
Van Deusen earned his fourth nod as Ravens High School Coach of the Week after his team emerged victorious against Atholton in a battle of 8-0 teams Friday (10/30). The Hawks, down 14-7 at halftime, started the third quarter on a mission and scored touchdowns on each of its third-quarter possessions to take the lead. A second-half shutout of the Raiders helped River Hill to a 35-14 victory, capturing its seventh straight Howard County title and extending its winning streak to 37 games.
The Hawks' defense had a monster second half, holding the Raiders to only 38 total yards, a different story from the 197 gained against River Hill in the first 24 minutes.
"The big thing was not giving up the big play," Van Deusen said about the change in his team's play. "The first-half score was deceiving. The Raiders had two big touchdown plays before halftime, but we were still calm. The biggest adjustment was on coverage – to improve our pass coverage. Give them credit in the first half, but we were able to turn it around in the second half."
Van Deusen's team has not lost a regular season game since a 15-14 Long Reach High victory on Oct. 25, 2005. River Hill looks to earn its third state championship in as many years, and the team's 9-0 start is a great sign of what is to come.
Van Deusen, in his tenth year as head coach at River Hill, last earned the Ravens High School Coach of the Week honor in his final regular season game of 2007, cementing another 10-0 undefeated season. He also teaches mathematics at the school.
"It's a great recognition," the honoree acknowledged. "We accept this for the whole coaching staff. I have two other assistants that do a great job. This shows that the hard work that the kids and coaches do is paying off. It was certainly a big game for us and secures the top seed. It's exciting and a big win, and we're looking to close out the regular season on top this week."
Each week during the season, the Ravens honor a high school coach who has made a significant impact on his athletes. Each of the season's weekly winners will be present at the Ravens–Lions home game on Dec. 13, for the naming of the Ravens' High School Coach of the Year.
A panel of area high school experts selects the coach of the week. The recipients receive:
- A $2,000 donation to the school's football program
- An award certificate signed by Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
- A specially-designed hat
2009 Ravens HS Coach of the Week Recipients
Week 1: Corey Johnson, Patterson
Week 2: James McCormick, North Caroline
Week 3: Kyle Schmitt, Atholton
Week 4: Lawrence Smith, Dunbar
Week 5: Donald Davis, Calvert Hall
Week 6: Mark Junker, Chesapeake
Week 7: Rick Conner, Linganore
Week 8: Brian Van Deusen, River Hill