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August 30, 2013Reprinted with permission from i95Ballerz.com
August 29, 2013 - Under Armour, the athletic shoe and clothing company is sponsoring the "Brothers in Arms Classic" at the University of Maryland Sunday and Monday, as part of a multi-state competition with some of the nation's top high school programs on the east coast.
The Classic is also featured in the states of Alabama, California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas.
The following games are set for Sunday September 1st at Bryd Stadium:
12p - DC city champion Friendship Collegiate will face St. Francis of Baltimore.
4p - Gonzaga will face Coca Beach Florida.
7p - Gillman will face Manatee of South Florida.
On Monday at 3pm. DeMatha will face Tallahassee Godby, the two time Florida 6a champion.
Recently Friendship Collegiate traveled to Delray Beach last week and defeated Atlantic High School 34-0. The Knights after leading 7-0 at the half, exploded for 27 points in the second half.
In the third quarter Friendship's defense forced a fumble and took advantage of Atlantic's miscue with Jonathan Haden scoring from 4 yards out with 8:51 remaining in the third quarter, making the score 13-0. Ashton White raced 52 yards on a punt return with 4:13 remaining, creating a 19-0 Friendship advantage.
At the start of the fourth quarter with Atlantic deep in its own territory, the Knights forced a safety, upping the score to 21-0. Friendship' s defense continued to dominate the fourth quarter, and with 9:41 remaining Kelvit Barrett ran for a 15 yard touchdown to make the score 28-0.
At 5:58 left, Jalen Tabor with 5:58 remaining scored on a 62 yard punt return, creating the final score 34-0.
I had a chance to talk to head coach Azaar Abdul-Rahim before the season opener and we discussed a variety of topics concerning Friendship Collegiate and its program:
You play a very competitive schedule was that by design?
"It was by design and necessity; we have aspirations of being a great program; you have to play and beat great teams. You get better that way I think, you get better in the long run. We play four of the top 100 teams in the country."
Does playing the caliber of teams that you face increase the exposure of your student athletes?
"Definitely. When a college coach can recognize both uniforms and programs on highlight films and tapes it's always a good thing. They respect both programs and they believe that a kid can play on that level because of the competition they play against."
Your offense and your assessment?
"I have been impressed with our offensive line, they are all underclassmen, they have experience from playing last year. We have a three year starting quarterback in DeAndre Parker, the running back is very explosive (Johnathan Haden) who has committed to the University of Arizona. I like our wide receivers, we have a lot of experience on offense."
What about your defense?
"Defense is going to be a work in progress. It's going to be a lot of new starters, we only return two starters on defense. " We are going through growing pains right now, but the two returning starters I have are two BCS caliber players in Jalen Tabor and Daejuan Funderburk (Temple). I'm looking for our offense to carry us in the early part of our season".
How was the experience last year playing for the city championship?
"It was a good experience for everyone." It was the first time a charter school had played for a state title football championship. It was ground breaking and you never take away the first of anything especially for the alumni that have played here the last eight or nine years who were on the sidelines to experience that and we were happy for them. I just think it's good for the city to have a united championship"
What coach Abdul-Rahim has been able to do at Friendship, playing a national schedule, setting the bar where it is for the year 2013 is truly a testament to his belief in his program. When I first saw the schedule my reaction was OMG as they say in the technical world of today. There is no doubt why they are the only public school representing the DMV.
There were a couple of games this past weekend.
Gillman defeated Good Counsel 20-14. Good Counsel has lost their running back Leo Ekowge it appears for the rest of the season. Charlotte Catholic defeated Gonzaga 35-28. St. John's beat Calvert Hall of Baltimore 17-7. and Riverdale Baptist defeated Kipp 42-6.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS AROUND THE CORNER !