Lexington Park, MD – The Patuxent River Raiders 9U National team has achieved a great deal this year, and they aren’t done yet. The group of 4th and 5th graders reached the SMYAC championship last year but lost in overtime by a single point. It was the team’s first year together and, following their runner-up season, Head Coach Andrew Marshall was asked to return. Marshall told TheBayNet that, “After that [championship] loss we went on a mission.” Marshall stated that the team worked hard in the offseason and maintained their drive throughout the season. Their determination paid off, and the team dominated its competition, going undefeated and winning the 2018 SMYAC championship.
The 9U team is lead by their running back and MVP Mc’Kai Minor, quarterback Gavin Calabria, offensive/defensive lineman Davion Parker, and of course their coach. Marshall is a disabled veteran who works at PAX NAS. He has been coaching for six years —two in North Dakota and four in Southern Maryland. Marshall expressed that he has “never had a more rewarding experience working with youth” than being in Southern Maryland.
The Raiders’ win in the championship proved that they were the best 9U team in the three Southern Maryland counties (Calvert, St. Mary’s and Charles), granting them an invite to the Maryland All-Pro Youth Football State Tournament. The team has an impressive stat line to go along with their undefeated record, scoring 269 points through 13 games and only allowing 24. Marshall’s strategy is to keep the ball on the ground, utilizing four gifted running backs.
The Raiders already won their first game in the state tournament last week and plays their next Saturday, Dec. 1. They hope to win states and then travel to Florida for a national championship.
Photographs provided by Head Coach Andrew Marshall
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