Brian Henderson, varsity head football coach of the Wilde Lake (Columbia, Md.) Wildecats, has been named the Ravens High School Coach of the Week. Now in its 23rd year of existence, Henderson is the 10th and final recipient of the award in 2019.
Last Friday, the Wildecats (3-7) visited the River Hill (Clarksville, Md.) Hawks and earned an upset victory, 14-10. Entering the 3A East Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) playoffs as the No. 8 seed in Henderson's inaugural season at the helm, Wilde Lake drew No. 1 River Hill in the opening round. (In an earlier season contest, River Hill defeated Wilde Lake, 41-7.)
Returning to the MPSSAA playoffs for the first time since 2016, the Wildecats scored on their opening drive of the game when junior QB Doniele Cooper connected with junior WR Justin Avinger for a 22-yard touchdown. Carrying a 7-3 lead into halftime, Wilde Lake then recovered an onside kick to begin the third quarter, and the Wildecats turned that possession into a touchdown with another scoring toss from Cooper to Avinger. The playoff victory marked Wilde Lake's first since 2010.
"We broke down everything we did from the first game with River Hill and concentrated on getting ourselves better for the playoff matchup," Henderson stated. "It doesn't matter how you get into the playoffs – we got in and we have to make the best of it. The one thing that has always been synonymous with Wilde Lake High School is its resiliency, and that's very evident with this team right now."
Wilde Lake travels to the Manchester Valley Mavericks this Friday (11/15) in the regional second round of the MPSSAA playoffs, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. in Carroll County. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
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-Jets game at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 12 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 www.BaltimoreRavens.com/RISE.
2019 Ravens High School Coach of the Week Recipients:
Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Old Mill High School
Marriotts Ridge High School
Elkton High School
Parkville High School
Westminster High School
South River High School
Wilde Lake High School