For the second consecutive year, the Frederick High School football team will be playing at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium.
The Cadets won't be playing in the state championship game — their last appearance in the state final came in 1985 — but they will be participating in the final round of the Baltimore Ravens 7-on-7 Football Tournament presented by Under Armour on Friday.
“Obviously it's every team's goal to be playing there in late November,” three-year varsity starting quarterback Matt Hynes said. “But it is still cool we get to go play in an NFL stadium in June. Not many people can say they did it. Hopefully we'll be able to meet some NFL players too since they weren't there last year because of the lockout.”
On Saturday, Frederick advanced by placing second in the Black Championship Bracket regional at Frederick High School. The Cadets defeated Mount Hebron, Liberty and Long Reach before losing 7-6 (in touchdowns) to River Hill in the final game.
Thirty-two public and private school teams from Maryland and Virginia participated and the top eight earned a spot in the final.
“Everything was so fast as a sophomore and junior and it was kind of intimidating,” Hynes said. “Now, everything feels just right. Action is so much slower and calm in my mind. It was great just watching teams like Good Counsel and Briar Woods here.
“Today we played well the first three games and two of them were tight one score games. We just got a little tired and hot at the end.”
Hynes, who completed 54.5 percent of his passes last fall for 1,235 yards and 12 touchdowns to guide the Cadets to a 4-6 record, connected with 5-foot-9 senior wide receiver Will Copeland for several deep passes throughout the day. Five-foot-11 classmate Alex Levine was also solid with a number of key short yardage receptions.
“They are my two go-to guys,” Hynes said. “We've accomplished so much in terms of team chemistry this spring. Everyone already knows the plays so we can just go out there and work on execution. Passing league is just one part of the year-round process and I firmly believe we have a good idea how to win games now.”
Other local teams that participated include South Carroll, Catoctin, Gov. Thomas Johnson, Maryland School for the Deaf, Oakdale, Tuscarora, Urbana, Brunswick and Linganore. None, however, placed in the top eight.