Ravens RISE High School Coach & Game of the Week
Gene Liebel, varsity head football coach of the North Harford (Pylesville) Hawks, has been named the Ravens High School Coach of the Week. Now in the award's 18th year of existence, Liebel is the fifth recipient of the honor in 2014.
Last Friday (10/3), North Harford (2-3) earned a thrilling 15-14 victory over the Havre de Grace Warriors (4-1). Trailing 14-0 in the second half, the Hawks' offense came alive on the arm of Braden Stinar. The quarterback narrowed the score to 14-7 when he completed a 10-yard pass to Chandler Schmidt for a touchdown. With little time remaining in the contest, Stinar then connected with Kyle Keating for a 16-yard touchdown to pull the Hawks within one point of the visiting Warriors. Liebel, the first-year head coach, elected to attempt a two-point conversion and go for the win – eschewing the extra point attempt to tie the game – and Stinar found Schmidt in the end zone for the winning score.
"We always go for two in that situation," Liebel explained. "We had a similar opportunity to go for the win earlier in the season against Perry Hall. I called the wrong play though, and we missed it. When we had the chance to do it again in this past game, I called the play I should have called against Perry Hall. The kids executed the call perfectly, and it worked out for us." The Hawks travel to Aberdeen this Friday (10/10) and look replicate 2013's victory over their Harford County foe.
Each week during the season, the Ravens honor a high school coach who has made a significant impact on his student-athletes. Each winner will be in attendance at the Ravens-Jaguars home game on Dec. 14 for an opportunity to be named the Ravens High School Coach of the Year. In addition, each coach receives a donation to the school's football program and an award from head coach John Harbaugh.
In addition to the Ravens Coach of the Week, the Baltimore Ravens and The Baltimore Sun continue to recognize one local high school football game each week as their "Ravens RISE High School Game of the Week." A preview of the game is featured in the paper and online each Friday, with a photo gallery from the game posted following the matchup. (The Baltimore Sun host a poll for fans and schools to vote for their favorite game.) The chosen matchup also receives a visit to the game from the Ravens Cheerleaders and team mascot, Poe, and both participating schools are awarded a donation to their respective athletic programs.
This week, the St. Paul's (Brooklandville) Crusaders host the Archbishop Curley (Baltimore) Friars for a 4 p.m. kickoff on Friday (10/10). The undefeated Friars (5-0) look to avenge a 19-14 loss at the hands of the Crusaders (3-1) in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association "B Conference" championship game last season.
These initiatives are just a piece of the Ravens' football outreach program, Ravens RISE. With programs for all football players in Maryland, from youth to high school, Ravens RISE provides an opportunity to "Play Like A Raven" all year long 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 about Ravens RISE, go to www.BaltimoreRavens.com/RISE.