Press Release - Ravens Host Special Olympics Maryland Athletes

Baltimore, MD – The mantra "Play Like a Raven" has taken on a whole new meaning for a group of Special Olympics Maryland flag football players who are set to play at the Ravens' Owings Mills facility during a special invitation-only event next Tuesday, November 16 at 2:15 p.m.

The Ravens invited four flag football teams representing Baltimore County and Howard County to play on the indoor field at the team's facility. Joining Ravens QB Joe Flacco, who has supported Special Olympics Maryland since being drafted by Baltimore in 2008, in attending will be other Ravens players, plus cheerleaders and team mascot Poe. Each team will play three 30-minute games in the event, which is closed to the public.

"I'm thrilled to cheer on the Special Olympics Maryland flag football athletes as they compete on the field where I practice," said Flacco. "It'll be great to have a chance to see them play. I know how hard they work, and I'm glad they will have an opportunity to display their skills at our facility."

No doubt all four quarterbacks will be looking to get some pointers from Flacco, who, over the past two years, has attended SOMD's Summer Games at Towson University and is a two-time veteran of the MSP Polar Bear Plunge. Flacco is also the Honorary Co-Chairman for the 2011 MSP Polar Bear Plunge (January 29, 2011).

"There is no greater reward for Special Olympics athletes than having the opportunity to compete in a first-class venue like the Ravens Training Facility, encouraged and supported by professional athletes," said Jason Schriml, VP of Competition and Training for SOMD. "Like the professionals, these SOMD football players give it their all week-in and week-out, and they're all incredibly excited to truly 'Play Like a Raven' when they step out on that field."

Flag football was only very recently adopted as an official Special Olympics Maryland sport, and the 2010 season concluded with the state-level competition at Mount St. Mary's University at the end of October.

SOMD is a year-round sports organization dedicated to providing quality sports training and competition opportunities to Maryland's children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or closely related development disabilities. SOMD currently serves thousands of athletes statewide, and offers 28 sports, all at no cost to the athletes or their families. For more information about SOMD visit *www.somd.org or call 410-789-6677 x117.*

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