As the second ranked team in the VSN Football Top 20, Archbishop Spalding is favored to win almost any game it may enter. However, the Cavaliers were especially impressive last Friday, as they ran away from undefeated and 10th-ranked Loyola Blakefield in the fourth quarter for a 63-24 MIAA A Conference victory. The performance earned third-year Spalding coach Kyle Schmitt the Week 5 Baltimore Touchdown Club Coach of the Week honors.
Leading 28-24, late in the third quarter, on the road against an inspired Loyola team, Schmitt’s Cavaliers turned up the volume on offense, defense and special teams to close the game on 35-0 run to win the league opener for both teams.
Under Schmitt the Cavaliers are flying high, averaging nearly 47 points per game during a 4-1 start, with their only loss being a 20-14 decision to WCAC power Good Counsel. Defensively, Spalding is allowing just 12.4 points per game.
Schmitt, who came to Spalding in 2013 after a very successful four-year stint as the head coach at Atholton High School, is now 23-15 in 3-1/2 seasons, including 12-4 since the start of 2015. He credits much of the success to the foundation that was established with the program prior to his arrival.
Spalding football was put on the map by the late Mike Whittles during his 12 years as the head coach of the Cavaliers. Whittles took over a dormant program and led the Cavaliers to four MIAA B Conference championships and oversaw the program’s rise to the MIAA A Conference, prior to his death from pancreatic cancer in the summer of 2012.
“First, I inherited a great culture at Spalding when I arrived set in place by Mike Whittles and the previous staff. The commitment to football was high in all areas,” said Schmitt. “Our administration lead by president Kathy Mahar, principal Lew Van Wambeke and athletic director Jeff Parsons have supported our staff and players in every way possible.
“Our leadership has also allowed me to hire the best staff in the state of Maryland from the freshman, JV and varsity levels. Finally, our players have made a year-round commitment to the football program. We have a great group of “Spalding Guys” that are tough, smart, high character and love to play the game of football. It is a group of players that do not take themselves to seriously and have bought in to our team first culture.”
Schmitt further praised his coaching staff which includes Pat Morrison, Dan McCormick and Pat Strine (Special Teams); Troy Gibson, Scott Swope, Steve Suter, Jon England and Ed Tyler (Offense); and Tyrone Forby, Edwin Williams, Joe Mchale, Jake Trantin, Dan McCormick, Matt Robinson, Pat Strine and Pat Morrison (Defense).
“I have a large staff that is committed to putting a great product on the field and building relationships with our players that will last long after this season. I’ve been lucky to have very little turnover in staff which has been a huge key to our success.
“I would also like to mention our JV head coach John Buonassisi and freshman coach John Stein who are huge in our player development. Also assistants Mike Hartman, Chris Winokur, Mike Mancuso, Demetrius Ballard and Casey Collins who are very active in our varsity game-day operation.”
The recognition by the BTC is important to Schmitt.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the top coaches organization in the state of Maryland. I am an active participant in the BTC and it is made up of some of the best people in the profession. It is truly a program award because it took every player, staff member and parent to get the win over Loyola.”
Schmitt further expanded on his thoughts about the BTC.
“The BTC is the top coaches organization in the state of Maryland and does an incredible job of promoting the game in the state. Their efforts in the BTC All star game, Big 33, Super 22 as well as numerous meetings, clinics, combines all aim at promoting the game and most importantly our players. Most notably Scott Ripley and Doug Duvall put in incredible amounts of time growing the organization and its members.”