Press Release: Baltimore Ravens Announce Ravens RISE High School Football Showdown Week 1


Each week during the 2018 regular season, the Baltimore Ravens will recognize one local high school football game as its Ravens RISE High School Football Showdown.

In conjunction with TheBaltimore Sun, a voting poll will be established each week to help select a game that will receive a visit from Ravens Cheerleaders and Poe, have the stadium outfitted in Ravens banners and flags and obtain Ravens giveaways for fans in attendance. Additionally, a $1,500 donation will be awarded to each participating school's respective athletic program, and following the matchup, each Showdown will be highlighted with a detailed game recap and photo gallery. Student-athletes will also receive t-shirts to commemorate their participation in the game.

This week's Showdown takes place this Friday (9/7) and features the Glen Burnie Gophers at South River Seahawks (Edgewater, Md.). Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Last year, the Seahawks bested their local foe, 35-21, but both teams enter this Anne Arundel County contest 1-0 following Week One victories to begin the 2018 season.

Voting is now open for next weekend's Ravens RISE High School Football Showdown and will close Tuesday (9/11). The games available for Week 3 are:

  • Centennial @ Wilde Lake (9/14 @ 7 p.m.)
  • Hammond @ Marriotts Ridge (9/14 @ 7 p.m.)
  • Reservoir @ Atholton (9/14 @ 7 p.m.)

To vote, please visit


Jamie Willis, varsity head football coach of the Long Reach Lightning (Columbia, Md.), has been named the Ravens High School Coach of the Week. Now in its 22nd year of existence, Willis is the first recipient of the award in 2018.

Last weekend, Long Reach (1-0) hosted its Howard County foe the Atholton Raiders (Columbia, Md.) in a rematch of the 2017 Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association 3A East Regional Final. After taking two days to complete the contest, the Lightning secured another victory over the Raiders, 26-20.

Knotted at 13 apiece Friday, inclement weather struck the area and play was postponed until the following day. With the second half of the contest resuming Saturday, both teams traded touchdowns before Long Reach picked up the go-ahead score on a 4-yard touchdown run by freshman RB Julius Saunders midway through the fourth quarter.

The 2017 campaign marked the most successful one for Willis' Lightning, and the loss of 28 graduating seniors has not slowed his program's start to the 2018 season.

"I don't think you can replace the seniors we lost last year, but we have a great group of young, talented kids with us who are working hard and getting better every day at practice," Willis stated. "We tell the kids that they get what they earn – and they earned the victory last week. Many guys came up from the JV team this year, and a win like this early in the season will give them confidence that they can compete at the Varsity level."

Long Reach travels to Hammond this Friday (9/7) at 7 p.m. The Lightning boast a current two-game winning streak over the Bears, with their most recent victory coming last season (23-0).

Each week during the season, the Ravens honor a high school coach who has made a significant impact on his student-athletes. All 10 Coach of the Week winners receive a $2,000 donation to their school's football program and an award from Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. In addition, each coach will attend the Ravens-Buccaneers game at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 16 for an opportunity to be named the Ravens High School Coach of the Year.

These initiatives are just one piece of Ravens RISE, the team's football outreach program presented by MedStar Sports Medicine. Ravens RISE impacts a range of area football players from youth to high school, providing them with a year-round opportunity to "Play Like A Raven" through clinics, tournaments, grants, ticket donations and exclusive opportunities to play at M&T Bank Stadium and interact with Ravens players and coaches.

To learn more, please visit