UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA 9) — The sun has set on the season at Frederick Douglass, but the memories are still fresh.
“It’s still brand new,” said Head Coach Julius Pinkney of his team’s undefeated season and Maryland 2A state championship win.
Senior running back Mikale Makle remembers the final moments of the Eagles’ 38-0 state championship victory over Dunbar just as vividly.
“Everyone was just screaming: five, four, three, two, one,” said Makle.
The joy Fredrick Douglass exhibited after capping its title run in December was in stark contrast to its journey to get to M&T Bank Stadium.
“I’ve never coached a team like that,” said Pinkney.
Douglass’ 2014 team was characterized by its modest surroundings, modest facilities, rugged terrain and old fashion sled — perfect metaphors for a team that steamrolled 14 straight opponents by an average of 40 points to make school history.
The Eagles were a special team on the field, observant of a fallen teammate off it. Early in the season, the team held a dedication ceremony for Jerrell Wedge, a former football player who had passed away. Coach Pinkney said more than anything, that loss motivated his team to make 2014 a special season.
“We hung his poster up representing his number and all that that young man represented,” said Pinkney. “Everything just started to click for us.”
The Eagles were a sight to behold on the field and the sidelines where two assistants, Offensive Line Coach Sonny Yeatman and Defensive Coordinator Bill Johnson, wore shorts at every game regardless the weather.
“For me it’s a dumb bet it goes back to 1984,” said Johnson.
Yeatman joined the fray in 1998 and together these two braved freezing temps with skin exposed, including the championship game this past December in near freezing rain.
With tough coaches leading a tough team to the ultimate prize, the Eagles’ 2014 season can be summed up in a word.
“Incredible,” said Pinkney. “It’s just incredible.”
The undefeated Eagles of Frederick Douglass won their first Maryland 2A state championship, defeating Dunbar 38-0 in Saturday’s game.