Boys’ Latin head football coach Ritchie Schell wanted to win Saturday’s road game at Severn School badly. The victory was not important because Schell, now in his 16th season with the Roland Park School entered with 99 career wins, but because a victory would clinch his team’s place in the 2016 MIAA B Conference Championship Game.
As it turned out, the veteran coach walked away with it all, a 28-6 win over the Admirals to reach the 100 win milestone and a punched ticket to the league title game for the first time since 2011. And, the cherry on top: Schell has been named the Week 7 Baltimore Touchdown Club Coach of the Week.
BL quarterback Brenden Crouse passed for 176 yards and two touchdowns to help the Lakers improve to 4-0 in the B Conference and 5-2 overall. Most likely, the Boys’ Latin will face St. Vincent Pallotti, next month, in the championship game.
“Our kids were extremely excited about the victory and their place in the championship game. It has been our goal since 2011 (last time we were there) to get back,” said Schell. “They were also very excited for me. We (our coaching staff) have a very close relationship to our players. Our kids, after 16 years, know what to expect from myself and the rest of the staff; play hard and have fun. The kids have done that for 16 years and that is one of the reasons we have been successful.”
Schell, among the most popular coaches in the area with his players and peers admitted to being touched by the attention he has received since Saturday’s victory.
“I was very overwhelmed by the presentation after the game that our AD Mike Thomas had for the team,” said Schell “Our school administration is very supportive of our program and the work we do. Mike is a terrific AD and thoroughly enjoys every football game; win or lose.”
To Schell, 100 wins symbolizes something more than football games.
“I am proud of the fact that I have been able to have an impact on so many young men. The 100 wins is a by product of all the hard work that the players and assistants have accomplished over the years. Our theme is, ‘One Heartbeat,’ and I could not do it without them.”
Schell also pointed to assistant coaches as a major reason for his success, especially associate head coach Jim Sandusky, who has been with him all 16 years.
“Jim has done an outstanding job coaching our quarterbacks and running the offense. This allows me to concentrate on the defense. In addition, Joe Lizana (wide recievers), Mark Sassler (linebackers), Wallace Sifford (defensive backs), John Conley (outside linebackers), Alphonso Biggers (defensive line), Hank Rossell (offensive line) and Butch Maisel (kickers); all these men have been with me for some time. They are all excellent coaches and tremendous men of character. They set good examples for the boys on a daily basis.”
Finally Schell expressed his gratitude to the BTC.
“Becuase there are a myriad of excellent coaches in Maryland, this award is especially meaningful. I am extremely grateful to have won this award,” said Schell. “Any honor awarded by your peers has special meaning and this BTC award is no exception.
“Scott Ripley and the BTC do an exceptional job promoting the game of football and more importantly, the boys. It is a fine organization that has given hundreds of players collegiate exposure. Scott works so hard. I am not sure where he finds the time but he does.”