Severn School’s new head football coach, Demetrius Ballard, cannot hide his enthusiasm about the future of the Severn School’s football program. His Admirals started the season 3-0 and scored 165 points in those three games. Last year, Severn did not win a game.
“Without a doubt, our offensive line is the heart and soul of our team,” Ballard said. “They average 240 pounds, and we play up-tempo, so we have been able to wear down the opposing team in the second half.”
It also helps to have numerous lacrosse players coming back to play football this season, including quarterback Jacob Todd and running back Nick Sotiropoulos.
In the first three games, the Admirals averaged nearly 300 yards rushing per game. Their size and having athletes in the skill positions have been a winning combination.
The football team’s success has not been lost on the Evergreen Road campus as the students have come out and filled the stadium with spirit and support. At their first home game, Todd remarked to coach Ballard that he has never seen a crowd that large at any game he has played at Severn.
Both Todd and Sotiropoulos credit the offensive line for opening holes and giving Todd time to throw. The line consists of Bo Fowler, Matt Fisher, Alan Sheffers, Jack Hayman and Keshaun Baker.
Severna Park residents, Fowler and Fisher are thrilled with the team’s turnaround and they credit coach Ballard’s enthusiasm and coaching style for their early success.
“We had great turnouts for spring and summer workouts, and you could feel the excitement building for fall practice,” said Fowler, who also plays basketball for the Admirals.
“We’re really tight and most of us play multiple sports here,” said Fisher, who also swims. “We believe we are in better condition, and we try to get shoulder-pad leverage to stand the opposing lineman up and drive them backward.”
Ballard also takes a page out of Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s book by limiting contact during practices to keep the players fresh, avoid injuries, and keep the practices fast and productive.
The team is experiencing the joy of winning as evidenced by their singing on the bus rides home.
“On our first road trip back home, the players sang for an hour straight, including songs from the ‘80s,” Ballard said with a laugh. “I didn’t think they knew any songs from that era, but they were singing Michael Jackson and Duran Duran songs.”
Severn hit a bump in the road and lost their fourth game to Maret School in Washington, D.C. but they are looking to rebound with league games in the MIAA C conference.
The last game of the season will be against rival St. Mary’s on Friday, November 4, on Severn’s campus at 4:00pm.
The entire Severn School community has that game circled on the calendar as the contest has regional bragging rights.