Poly’s Marquise O’Neal named Ravens High School Coach of the Week

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.

Poly's Tykeem Valentine is pursued by FSK's Nick Diehl (22) during the first half of the season opener against in Uniontown Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.

Marquise O’Neal, varsity head football coach at Poly, has been named the Ravens High School Coach of the Week. In the awards 23rd year, O’Neal is the first recipient this season.

Last Friday, Poly (1-0) visited Francis Scott Key in an early season non-conference matchup, notching a come-from-behind victory (34-31).


Trailing 16-0 following the first quarter, O’Neal’s squad clawed to within two points by halftime. With less than five minutes remaining in the contest and facing a fourth-and-goal situation from the 19-yard line, junior QB Jordan Matthews scampered past Eagle defenders for the game-winning touchdown.

“Getting a victory in the way we did last Friday gives the kids a certain level of confidence and trust in one another that they can get the job done,” O’Neal stated. “They understand that they have been battle-tested now, and they are able to overcome adversity. During the game, they believed, they stuck to basics and trusted the game plan, and it worked out for us in the end.”


Poly travels to Mervo on Friday at 6 p.m. Both schools enter the contest with unblemished records, and the Engineers will be aiming for their first victory over Mervo since 2013.

Varsity Highlights


Get the latest high school sports stories, photos and video from around the region.

Each week during the season, the Ravens honor a high school coach who has made a significant impact on his student-athletes. All 10 Coach of the Week winners receive a $2,000 donation to their school’s football program and an award from Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. In addition, each coach will attend the Ravens-Jets game at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 12 for an opportunity to be named the Ravens High School Coach of the Year.

Boxing: Baltimore’s Franchon Crews-Dezurn (5-1, 2 KOs) will defend her WBC super middleweight title against Alejandra Jimenez (12-0-1, 9 Ks) on Saturday night in Carson, California. The fight is on the undercard of a matchup between WBO junior middleweight champion Jamie Munguai (33-0, 26 Ks) and Patrick Allotey (40-3, 30 KOs).

Varsity wrestling: St. Paul’s has named Peter Friedl its varsity wrestling coach. Friedl was a three-time All-American at Illinois who has college coaching experience at his alma mater, Appalachian State, American and Penn. He most recently worked in the Beat the Streets Wrestling Program serving Baltimore City youth. Friedl replaces Rob Eiter, who guided the Crusaders to a 5-3 mark in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association in his third season last year.

College field hockey: Fourth-ranked Maryland (4-1) will host No. 6 Virginia (4-0), James Madison (2-2), American (1-3) and Towson (0-4) over the weekend in the 23rd annual Terrapin Invitational in College Park. The Terps will play the Cavaliers Friday at 5 p.m. and the Dukes Sunday at noon. Admission is free for all four games.

Men’s college basketball: Maryland and Notre Dame will tip off at either 7:15 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. in their Dec. 4 matchup for the 2019 Big Ten/ACC Challenge as announced by ESPN. The game will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2. The Terrapins and Fighting Irish last met in 2014, with the Terps picking up a 74-66 home victory in their lone meeting as ACC foes.

Horse racing: Bettors will treated to a new addition on the wagering menu when live racing returns to Laurel Park on Friday. The Maryland Jockey Club will introduce a $2 quinella wager on Friday’s ninth-race finale, a starter optional claimer for fillies and mares 3 and up scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on Laurel’s turf course, which attracted 11 entries. A wager in which the bettor selects two horses to finish first or second in either order, the new quinella offers a 10 percent takeout. It will be the only quinella on the daily menu, offered exclusively on the last live race.

<< James Reiley McDonald’s stakes-winning filly Athens Queen, winless in two tries this year after going unbeaten in two starts as a 2-year-old, will make her debut both in Maryland and against her elders in Friday’s featured fifth race. Now trained by Pimlico-based trainer Mary Eppler, Athens Queen will carry 117 pounds including jockey Trevor McCarthy from Post 4 against five rivals in the $45,000 second-level optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up going 5 ½ furlongs on the main track.