By Dean Jones Jr.
The Baltimore Sun
5:07 PM EDT, May 3, 2013
Two defending champions from the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association will participate in the inaugural Under Armour Brothers In Arms Classic high school football event this fall.
Gilman, which has won the past two MIAA A Conference championships, is scheduled to play Manatee (Fla.) on Sept. 1 at 2:30 p.m. at the University of Maryland's Byrd Stadium.
In the first game that day, two-time defending MIAA C Conference champion St. Frances -- which is moving to the A Conference this fall -- is set to face Friendship (D.C.) at noon.
The Brothers In Arms Classic, which will take place at various locations around the United States in August and September, features more than 45 teams from 14 states and Washington, D.C.
"In order to raise awareness for the Brothers In Arms Foundation, we created the Brothers In Arms Football Classic," chairman Eric Beach said on a conference call Friday about the foundation, which was created last year to honor the legacy of fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, in coordination with their families.
This season, Gilman will open with a tough schedule after going 2-2 against out-of-conference opponents last year before finishing with seven straight victories against MIAA A Conference teams on its way to the championship.
"We had a lot of success, broke [Don Bosco Prep (N.J.)]'s 46-game winning streak," Gilman coach Biff Poggi said of last year's out-of-conference schedule. "The kids kept working really hard, and they always stayed within the framework of our team."
The Greyhounds -- who were ranked No. 19 in the final USA Today Super 25 poll last year and routed Calvert Hall, 35-7, in the MIAA A Conference title game -- are scheduled to begin the season at home against Good Counsel on Aug. 23 before facing Manatee in College Park.
The Falcons, who edged Gilman, 20-19, in overtime last August, ended the season at No. 10 in the USA Today rankings, while the Hurricanes were just ahead of Gilman at No. 18.
St. Frances defeated Severn, 30-25, in the MIAA C Conference championship last November. The Panthers will open the 2013 season on Aug. 23 against Nease (Fla.) in the Kick Off Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., before playing in the Brothers In Arms game.
"Having been an avid supporter of the men and women who fight overseas for us, it's an honor and a privilege to represent the familes who have lost a loved one," St. Frances coach Messay Hailemariam said.
The Brothers In Arms Foundation started in order to honor Lt. Brendan Looney, a U.S. Navy SEAL and 2004 Naval Academy graduate, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
"We have lost a lot of good, young people since 9/11," Kevin Looney, Brendan's father, said Friday on the conference call, "and the Brothers In Arms Football Classic will be a way to remember them all, not just Brendan."
Poggi said: "We've never played in anything as meaningful as this. We've played in a lot of big games and a lot of classics, but we've never played in anything that represents something as important as the Brothers In Arms Classic."
Ticket information will be available on the Brothers In Arms Classic website on June 1.
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