DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, Md.) is losing its head coach who led the Stags to four Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) championships.
Elijah Brooks posted to a photo to Instagram with the message that he would be leaving the program.
“No way I can thank the DeMatha family enough for the wonderful experiences and memories we have had on this journey together. I love you all more than you will ever know. Excited for the next chapter!” it was captioned.
“It was truly an honor to lead DeMatha for the past eight years,” Brooks said in a statement published by WaPo and the Baltimore Sun. “I shared so many great experiences with phenomenal coaches, players, colleagues and parents. I’m excited to begin the next chapter at the University of Maryland.”
Under Brooks, DeMatha made the playoffs every season. It ended Our Lady of Good Counsel’s (Olney, Md.) four-year title run in 2013, the first year of four consecutive DeMatha championships.
Brooks and the Stags almost won their fifth total this season, but a last-second Hail Mary put them on the wrong side of a 46-43 thriller.
Brooks will be Maryland’s main recruiter for the conference DeMatha plays in, according to the Baltimore Sun.
It’s clear that’s a significant attraction for Maryland, too. The Terps have developed a pipeline between DeMatha and nearby College Park in recent seasons. The current Maryland roster features 10 DeMatha alums, including two running backs and a starting defensive back. With one of the largest single-school talent pools in the mid-Atlantic, keeping as much of DeMatha’s peak talent at home would be a major win for Brooks and Locksley.
To that end, three current players at DeMatha have offers from Maryland: Alabama commit DeMarcco Hellams, Florida State commit Nick Cross and junior MarShawn Lloyd, according to the Baltimore Sun. There is less than a week before the opening of the Early Signing Period when those players could make their college choices official, though they could also wait until February’s National Signing Day to officially sign as well.