Press Release: Ravens High School Coach of the Week

Messay Hailemariam, varsity head football coach of the St. Frances Academy Panthers (Baltimore, Md.), has been named the Ravens High School Coach of the Week. Now in its 26th year of existence, Hailemariam is the first recipient of the award in 2022.

After trailing early, 7-0, in last Friday's (9/2) contest at DeSoto High School (DeSoto, TX), St. Frances scored 47 unanswered points to defeat the perennial Texas state powerhouse. After building a 22-7 halftime lead – behind two touchdown tosses from junior QB Michael Van Buren and a rushing score by senior RB Durell Robinson – the Panthers pulled away in the second half to defeat the Eagles.

"This team does not flinch from adversity," Hailemariam stated. "In practice, we simulate the toughest scenarios the players will face in games. We try to make practices three to four times harder than what we face in games. We empty the tank every day, and when we do that, we know we can take on any team's best."

Hailemariam, who has coached with St. Frances for 11 years, says he was brought to the Baltimore school for a purpose and to fulfill a mission in his life to use coaching as a vehicle to give back. "Football simulates what life is going to be like for these boys," Hailemariam said. "It keeps them spiritually grounded, mentally tough and physically capable. Our goal is for our players to become protectors and providers – not pretenders and takers."

Following a bye week, St. Frances travels to Venice High School (Venice, FL) next Thursday (9/15) at 8 p.m. The Panthers last played at Venice in 2019 when St. Frances defeated the hosts, 49-7.

Throughout this season, the Ravens will honor nine high school coaches who have made a significant impact on their student-athletes. Each Coach of the Week winner will receive a $2,000 donation to their school's football program and will be invited to the Ravens-Falcons game (12/24) at M&T Bank Stadium for an opportunity to be named the Ravens High School Coach of the Year.

This initiative is 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 www.BaltimoreRavens.com/RISE.

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