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North Carroll head coach Todd Edmondson congratulates quarterback Cooper Hastings after he scored a touchdown against Brunswick during the first half of their game in Hampstead Monday, Oct. 5, 2015
North Carroll head coach Todd Edmondson congratulates quarterback Cooper Hastings after he scored a touchdown against Brunswick during the first half of their game in Hampstead Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

In two seasons as North Carroll football coach, Todd Edmondson has stressed to his players the importance of playing for the Hampstead community.

And this past season, that became even more important, with that community rallying behind the team, while also protesting the school's closure at the end of the academic year.

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Despite all that was happening off the gridiron, Edmondson led the Panthers into the Class 1A playoffs for a second straight season and on Tuesday, he was named 2015 National Federation of High Schools Maryland Football Coach of the Year.

North Carroll went 3-8, but its biggest moment of the season came in Week 10 against rival Manchester Valley. The Panthers beat the Mavericks 12-7 on a pair of interception return touchdowns at home at Powelson Field.

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That victory put NC in the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in the 1A North region, setting up a rematch on the road against Man Valley the following week.

The Panthers fell 16-0 in the second straight "Battle of the Bypass" matchup, but it ended a year from a group of players that Edmondson said he was proud of.

"It was a tough year, but they're a really, really good group of kids," Edmondson said after his team's final game. "They fight hard, no finger pointing."

North Carroll was 9-3 in 2014, Edmondson's first year at the helm, which included a 17-14 win over Allegany at home in the first round of the playoffs and an upset victory over Westminster earlier in the season.

Edmondson, a Westminster graduate, owns a 12-11 record in two years as coach for North Carroll. He has also developed and ran football camps and youth clinics in Hampstead since taking over as the Panthers' head man.

It is the sixth straight year that North Carroll has had a coach win an NFHS Coach of the Year award.

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