Although Gilman teammates Henry Poggi and Micah Kiser, The Baltimore Sun's Co-Defensive Players of the Year, will play in different national all-star football games Friday night, local football fans won't need a split-screen television to watch both.
Poggi, a 6-foot-4, 258-pound defensive tackle who is committed to Michigan, will play for the White team in the Under Armour All-America Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The 5 p.m. game will be televised live on ESPN.
Across the country, Kiser, a 6-2, 227-pound linebacker who is headed for Virginia, will play for the East squad in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. That game kicks off at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and will be shown live on NFL Network.
The timing, however, isn't great for Gilman coach Biff Poggi, who is helping coach Henry's team in the Under Armour game but would have preferred the two contests be on different days. Instead, Greyhounds assistant coach Keith Kormanik is traveling with Kiser.
"I really wish I could be at both games," Biff Poggi said. "It's kind of neat to have three kids playing in three big national all-star games. Right now, you almost feel like a parent who has graduation for two kids at the same time at two different places."
In addition to Friday night's games for Henry Poggi and Kiser, Gilman quarterback Shane Cockerille (Maryland), will play in the International Bowl on Feb. 5 in Austin, Texas. The Team USA roster also includes Calvert Hall linebacker Delando Johnson.
In the past three years, the Greyhounds have sent three players to the Under Armour game — Darius Jennings (Virginia), Cyrus Jones Jr. (Alabama) and Poggi — and two to the Semper Fidelis game — Brian Gaia (Penn State) and Kiser. Gaia also played in last year's International Bowl.
Henry Poggi and Kiser led a Gilman defense that allowed only 8.1 points per game last fall as the No. 1 Greyhounds (9-2) won their second straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship. Poggi finished with 14.5 sacks, 87 tackles (31 for a loss) and three forced fumbles. Kiser had 111 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles and returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns.
"We've had seven guys in these national all-star games," Biff Poggi said, "and it's interesting, because down here [in Florida] at the coaching staff meetings, there are coaches from all the best schools. It's a who's who of high school football, and it's really gratifying because Gilman has a really good national reputation. Quite a few guys have asked me about the Bosco win [13-6 on Sept. 9, which ended a 46-game winning streak by New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep]."
Henry Poggi will be joined by one other player from Maryland in the Under Armour game, offensive tackle Na'Ty Rodgers from Maurice J. McDonough in Charles County. Kiser will also have local company at the Semper Fidelis game, Nebraska-bound linebacker Marcus Newby from Quince Orchard in Montgomery County.
Under Armour All-America Game
Where: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
When: Friday night, 5 p.m. ET
Maryland players: DT Henry Poggi (Gilman), OT Na'Ty Rodgers (Maurice J. McDonough)
Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl
Where: The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
When: Friday night, 9 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network
Maryland players: LB Micah Kiser (Gilman), LB Marcus Newby (Quince Orchard)Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun