Kyle Schmitt, head coach of the Atholton (Columbia, Md.) varsity football team, has been named Ravens High School Coach of the Week for the fourth week of the 2010 NFL season. Presented by Toyota, this is the 14th year of the Ravens' award program.
The Raiders broke a 13-game losing streak to county rival River Hill (Clarksville, Md.) on Friday (10/1) night with a 10-0 victory – the first shutout suffered by the Hawks since 2001.
But even more stunning was the fact that Schmitt's squad handed The Baltimore Sun's No. 3-ranked team – which knocked Atholton out of the regional championship last season – its first defeat in 49 consecutive Howard County games.
"It was a tremendous win," Schmitt admitted, "not only because of who we beat or the streaks we broke, but because of where we were in the season. It puts us right back in the middle of it."
After a loss to Howard last week, the Raiders found themselves at 2-2 and falling out of the county title race. Still, Schmitt looked at Friday's seemingly impossible matchup as a window of opportunity.
"I told the guys last week that there was no one we would rather play than River Hill," Schmitt said. "We led them last year at halftime, so we were over the whole mystique surrounding them. We knew we could hang with them."
Atholton, now 3-2, jumped ahead early when junior QB Bryan McMahon scored the game's lone touchdown on the opening drive – a 6-yard scramble into the end zone. The only other points came from a 25-yard K Brett Hass field goal with 15 seconds left in the first half.
It was the Raider defense which then paved the way for the win, forcing three turnovers from a usually potent River Hill offense.
"Our defensive coordinator Jared Albert put together an incredible game plan," Schmitt said. "Our kids tackled extremely well. River Hill is very sound schematically, so you have to make tackles and make plays when you have the opportunity, and that's what they did."
This marks the second Coach of the Week honor for Schmitt. His first came in Week 3 of the 2009 season, when Atholton defeated Wilde Lake 34-30.
Each week during the season, the Ravens honor a high school coach who has made a significant impact on his athletes. Each winner will be present at the Ravens vs. Saints home game on Dec. 19 for the naming of the Ravens' High School Coach of the Year.
Each weekly recipient receives:
- A $2,000 donation to the school's football program
- An award certificate signed by Ravens head coach John Harbaugh
- A specially-designed Coach of the Week hat
2010 Ravens HS Coach of the Week Recipients:
Week 1 Steve Turnbaugh Hereford
Week 2 Biff Poggi Gilman
Week 3 Howard Coaching Staff Howard
Week 4 Kyle Schmitt Atholton