All Star Players Unite for The 2012 Crab Bowl

20121221_JVN_9490 20121221_JVN_9376The 2012 Crab Bowl began with a stream of tweets, in alphabetical order, inviting selected seniors to have their names added to the rosters of Maryland’s All-Stars. For all of those who received this good news in early October, it granted them the assurance that their final high school football season would last through December 21st. For too many, this season ended in heartbreak on some field in Maryland, when the clock had just run out. But then, a tender mercy came, and all the Crab Bowl players could bring their pads and helmets home from school one day in December.

Nearly a week after losing the MD 4A State Championship to Wise in a close game, Quince Orchard linebacker, Nebraska commit, Marcus Newby had his foot in a cast. His close teammate all throughout high school, QO linebacker Carlo St. Regis, remarked that the most consoling thought after enduring such a disappointing loss (compounded by losing the State title by 1 point last year) was that he and Newby would get to play in one last game together at the Crab Bowl. A lot of people would have benefitted from being granted one more chance to watch this accomplished pair of MoCo linebackers, even for the brief time an exhibition game allows. Despite the sad turn of events, St. Regis looked forward to joining forces with Damascus linebackers, the versatile Virginia commit, Zach Bradshaw, and George Vinson. He could also team up with a talented linebacker from Wise, Dangelo Niler.
A busy Crab Bowl week was launched by some inspirational, humbling, humorous, and heartening words by guest speaker, former Redskin linebacker, LaVar Arrington, at the Crab Bowl Banquet. All players in that room shared a common bond with Arrington, in their passion for football that led them all to excel. He urged them to appreciate the special fleeting moments of their time together, at the banquet, the practices, and the game itself. And he left a quote for them to memorize, “It’s not the want, but the actions that follow that’s important!”
For the next four nights, MoCo players travelled to practices at South River High School in Edgewater to meet up with their new teammates from the Washington Team. It was a grueling schedule to follow on a school week, but the rewards of those nights were well worth it. Unifying all those strong athletes on the field was the true gift of the Crab Bowl. By Thursday night, many players had added the stickers of other schools (often regular-season bitter rivals) to their helmets, and athletes were prompted to bring more stickers to be exchanged by game time. Offensive lineman Darrion Locke stood patiently in the rain while one of his Churchill stickers was removed from his helmet to be placed on the front of a QO helmet, because that moment was just as important anything that would occur after kick-off.
Friday night, December 21, 2012, the world did not end, but it was the last high school football game for many of Maryland’s All-Stars. And winter solstice blew in with a shockingly frigid wind. The Baltimore team looked strong and scored first. It seemed that Washington’s offense would answer back, but there was too much trouble for them in the red zone that night. Several scoring opportunities for Washington – especially field goal attempts – were lost to the wind. Washington came close often, putting forth efforts, making some great plays and then falling short with some plays that turned out to be risky in windy weather between teammates that haven’t had much practice time together.
Seneca Valley RB James Jones-Williams led all rushers with 80 yards. Two athletes from the Avalon School, Rachid Ibrahim and Jacquille Veii were very dynamic all week. Damascus’ Bradshaw nearly scored, when an under thrown ball was tipped into his hands for a 57 yard reception. Along with Bradshaw most of Washington’s players saw the bigger picture, beyond the final score of the Crab Bowl, 28-7, Baltimore. There was much rejoicing when Northwest’s Tyler Ambush caught a 29 yard TD pass from Arundel QB Jack Gordon.They seemed to be heeding LaVar Arrington’s advice to get the most out of all their experiences. They called to other teammates on the sidelines in the waning minutes of the game to pose together for photos in their Crab Bowl uniforms and their multi-stickered helmets. All of them are capable of playing football in college, and some still have another all-star game to play, but the Crab Bowl brings a meaningful end to their high school careers.
On the drive home, Quince Orchard defensive end, James Madison commit, Andrew Ankrah thought of how nice his Crab Bowl jersey would look if hung up beside the one his brother, Jason Ankrah,  wore before he went to play for Nebraska. QO’s other DE, Richmond commit, Kieran Gregory, was unable to play because of injury, but he was there with his team, braving the cold and cherishing the Crab Bowl night wearing his jersey.
Congratulations to all MoCo players on the 2012 Crab Bowl roster!
Northwest: DB Tyler Ambush, WR Ryan Markush, The Avalon School: RB Rachid Ibrahim, ATH Jaquille Veii, Paint Branch: DB Thomas Lucas, OG Jonathan Quigley,
Sherwood: WR Malaki Roy, Seneca Valley: RB James Jones-Williams, Bullis: DT Peter Angeh, Quince Orchard: LB Marcus Newby, LB Carlo St. Regis, DE Kieran Gregory, DE Andrew Ankrah, Damascus: FB/LB Zach Bradshaw, LB George Vinson, DT Rashard Budd, OL Andrew Nickell, Churchill: OL Darrion Locke, Wootton: TE Miles Green

Final Score Baltimore 28 Washington 7

Story by Lisa Levenbach

Photos taken by Jeffrey Vogt of the event can be viewed and purchased at