Players and coaches introduced at Ravens’ Under Armour Performance Center

by Gary Adornato & Derek Toney

Team Maryland, entering its seventh year in its second stint as a participant in the Big 33 Classic with Pennsylvania, announced its 2019 roster on Saturday morning during a press conference at the Baltimore Ravens’ Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills.

The roster is a diverse mix from across the state with Baltimore County leading the way with eight players. Frederick County is represented by six players, while the MIAA and Howard County each have five players on the team. Four players are from Montgomery County. Anne Arundel, Prince Georges and Harford Counties, as well as Baltimore City, have two players each, while Carroll and Washington Counties have one each.

Thirty-four have already made college commitments, with two – Isaiah Hazel of Henry A. Wise High and Deonte Banks of Edgewood – headed to the University of Maryland. Collin Schlee, a 6-foot-4 quarterback and Kent State commit who guided Oakdale High School to the Class 2A state championship last fall, is one of the team’s two signal callers. Linganore’s Ryan Leyh (Shippensburg University) is the other.

St. Paul’s School coach Scott Ripley will be the head coach for Team Maryland in the 2019 Big 33 Classic.

St. Paul’s School coach Scott Ripley, who has served as Team Maryland’s Executive Director since Maryland returned to the game, was also formerly introduced as the team’s head coach for the 2019 game. His staff will include Elwood Townsend (Woodlawn), Justin Cunningham (DeMatha Catholic), Russell Wrenn (Gilman School), Steve Rapp (Wise), Steven Erxleben (South River), Ken Brinkman (John Carroll School) and Mike Kraus (South Carroll).

Several of the players named to the team were on hand, as were members of the coaching staff, and game administrators from both Maryland and Pennsylvania. The Big 33, which has been contested since 1957, is the only all-star game which can boast that every NFL Super Bowl ever played has included at least one Big 33 alumni and there have been 52 Super Bowls.

Gary Cathell, Executive Director of both the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association (PSFCA) and the Big 33, spoke of the outstanding partnership that has developed with Maryland over the last six years.

“This is a partnership. We are a team,” said Cathell. “We had a 20-year run with Ohio, but we ultimately thought the best interest of the game was to get back involved with Maryland.”

Cathell also briefed the players and parents on hand for the press conference on what they can expect the week of the game, including their experiences with the host families and the community service projects in which they will take part.

Doug Duvall, President of the Baltimore Touchdown Club spoke of the impact Maryland’s participation in the Big 33 has had on high school football in the state.

“The Big 33 game, for the state of Maryland, is a huge thing,” said Duvall, who won five state titles during an illustrious 36-year stint at Wilde Lake before retiring after the 2008 season. “We have some great friends we’ve met up in Pennsylvania. It has really improved the quality of high school football in the state of Maryland. By playing, and beating Pennsylvania some times, it created greater notoriety for our players throughout the nation and it is a big honor for us.”

Also on hand for the press conference was Ravens’ offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, a former 1st round draft pick, who greeted the players and provided a few words of encouragement.

Baltimore Raven left tackle Ronnie Stanley (center, white shirt), a former 1st round draft pick, poses several members of the 2019 Team Maryland roster, who gathered for a press conference to announce the entire roster, Saturday morning at the Baltimore Ravens’ Under Armour Performance Center.

“High school football to me was definitely the most positive and fun time I had playing a sport,” said Stanley. “You are with all of your friends. My friends from my high school football team are actually my closest friends now. Those values I learned in high school, I’ve carried on to this day. I hope to see you guys playing on the next level, but down the line there will be some tough times, when you will have to rely on something deep inside you, and some of those things you learned in high school.”

Ripley, who joked that he was appointed head coach when he missed a meeting, expressed his pride on the growth in stature the game has received in Maryland.

“This is a great, exciting day,” said Ripley. “We’re at a point, finally, where everybody (in Maryland) knows this is a big game. I’m excited about being the head coach. I’m excited about the roster we have. I am excited about everything that has gone before.”

The 2019 game has been moved up from its traditional mid-June date to Monday, May 27th, which is Memorial Day. The change was made to accommodate the top players in both states who have early reporting dates for their new college programs.

This year’s contest will again take place at Landis Field in Lower Paxton Township in Harrisburg, with a 2 p.m. kickoff. Maryland is 2-4 since returning to the game in 2012, including a 9-6 win last year.

Here is the complete 2019 Team Maryland Big 33 Roster:

Pos # First Name Last Name Ht Wt High School College
QB 3 Collin Schlee 6′ 4″ 185 Oakdale Kent State University
QB 8 Ryan Leyh 6′ 5″ 226 Linganore Shippensburg University
RB 16 TD Ayo-Durojaiye 6′ 180 Damascus Villanova University
RB 5 Jabriel Johnson 5′ 9″ 195 McDonogh Morgan State University
WR 2 Desmond Shell 5′ 8″ 172 Milford Mill Bowie State University
WR 14 Devin Dawkins 5′ 9″ 165 Howard ASA Brooklyn
WR 4 Jawan Rabb 5′ 10″ 160 Woodlawn Frostburg University
WR 1 Isaiah Hazel 6′ 1″ 198 Dr. Henry A. Wise University of Maryland
WR 11 Osita Smith 6′ 2″ 200 Wilde Lake West Virginia University
OL 71 Jean Germain 6′ 5″ 330 Paint Branch Towson University
OL 77 Caelan Shepard 6′ 6″ 315 Broadneck University of Buffalo
OL 51 Darrius Wilson 6′ 5″ 315 Meade Bowie State University
OL 75 Adam Will 6′ 5″ 300 Loyola Dartmouth University
OL 78 Tre Briscoe 6′ 3″ 315 Linganore Shepherd University
OL 58 Robert Horsey 6′ 3″ 270 Mervo Frostburg University
OL 64 Ben Blessing 6′ 8″ 310 John Carroll Holy Cross University
OL 74 Greg Gaines 6′ 5″ 290 South Hagerstown Frostburg University
K 10 Justin Ritter 5′ 11″ 195 Oakdale
K 31 Leighton Bechdel 6′ 175 Towson West Virginia University
LS 84 Paul Mouring 6′ 190 Calvert Hall
ATH 6 Wande Owens 6′ 180 Glenelg Yale University
DL 57 Oly Okombi 6′ 1″ 295 Montgomery Blair Kent State University
DL 65 Darius Woods 6′ 6″ 285 Milford Mill Morgan State University
DL 55 Khalil Gary 6′ 4″ 300 Dr. Henry A. Wise Towson University
DL 40 Robert Garrett 6′ 2″ 220 Franklin
DL 99 Dayvion Johnson 6′ 3″ 285 Edgewood
DL 50 Joe Parry 6′ 3″ 240 Westminster Shepherd University
LB 25 Elijah Solomon 6′ 225 Franklin Villanova University
LB 43 Jackson Ambush 6′ 200 Linganore University of Albany
LB/TE 7 Jay Thompson 6′ 2″ 225 Franklin Merrimack College
LB 19 Maurio Goings 6′ 217 Oakdale Delaware State University
LB 34 Sam Alsheimer 6′ 2″ 205 Glenelg Towson University
DB 9 Logic Hudgens 6′ 2″ 180 Archbishop Spalding University of Buffalo
DB 22 Jeremiah Wynn 5′ 11″ 175 Dulaney Towson University
DB 21 AJ Woods 5′ 10″ 170 Northwest University of Pittsburgh
DB 23 Deonte Banks 6′ 1″ 190 Edgewood University of Maryland
DB 12 Terry Jones 6′ 1″ 185 Mergenthaler VT Old Dominion University
DB 17 Christian Lesane 6′ 1″ 175 Wilde Lake Shepherd University