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Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 14-0

Posted: 12/9/2013 5:19 PM

Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 14-0 


The Fort Hill Sentinels of Cumberland, Maryland capped a perfect 14-0 season and defeated undefeated Douglass High of Baltimore 25-0 to win Maryland's 1A State Championship.  Fort Hill got better and better as the season progressed and outscored their opponents a jaw-dropping 162-13 in the playoffs, with their only shutouts of the year coming in the semifinals (42-0) over Surrattsville and finals (25-0) over Douglass.

I know, I know, they don't play Martinsburg anymore, but then again, other than the Eastern Panhadle teams that have to play the Dogs, who else, anywhere, is lining up to play the 4 time defending state champion Bulldogs on a consistent year-to-year basis?  Anyway, I have to admit it was ironic seeing the two old foes literally passing each other on Interstate 68 heading in opposite directions home from state championship victories. 

It was a great win for Fort Hill.  Also interesting to note that Keyser, an annual Interstate foe and big rival of Fort Hill's, lost to 2 state champions (Bridgeport and Fort Hill), a 3A semifinalist (Wheeling Park), and Fairmont Sr.  Keyser really did play a brutal schedule this year.
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Posted: 12/9/2013 7:10 PM

RE: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 1 


The Pepsi Man approves of this thread

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Posted: 12/9/2013 8:05 PM

RE: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 1 


Good one.
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Posted: 12/9/2013 9:06 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


How large of a school is Fort Hill?

Seems like that area of the country has some very solid football programs...
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Posted: 12/9/2013 9:36 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


Fort Hill is AA in WV

PARKERSBURG BIG REDS
16 WV AAA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The will to be a Champion means nothing
If you don't have the will to prepare

WINNERS  TRAIN
LOSERS  COMPLAIN

 

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Posted: 12/9/2013 9:50 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


Correct Ed, at its peak Fort Hill was a very large school with probably 2500 students in the 1960's.  At that time, however, Cumberland was the 2nd largest City in the State of Maryland, second only to Baltimore and both Fort Hill and Allegany (the other city school) were very large.  In those days, Cumberland was a large manufacturing hub with several large factories.  The factories are gone and now both schools have somewhere in the ballpark of 650-750 kids.

The quality of football, however, remains very good, particularly at Fort Hill, everything is just on a smaller scale.  Fort Hill for example has won 3 state titles, 1 in 3A (1975), 2A (1997) and 1A (2013).  Similar to Bridgeport in this respect, who have also won titles in West Virginia in the AAA, AA, and A classifications.  Football in Western Maryland overall is very good,  especially if you lump in the Frederick County powerhouses which are located so close to the far Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia (Martnsburg, et al.)
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Posted: 12/10/2013 12:11 AM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


Thanks Blu, Douglass was loaded with athletes and their defense was very good, their offense, however, did not impress me. Fort Hill just kept getting better and better as the year went on and were absolutely at their best in the final 4 games.  As for the venue, yeah, I don't care much for it, I prefer the atmosphere at Wheeling Island, but that's just me.  The kids absolutely love it, I mean absolutely love it, so many young kids in Maryland, even Western Maryland are die hard Ravens fans and it's the thrill of a lifetime for them.  Baltimore is also a very awesome central location and M and T is so easy to get in and out of.  As for the look of the crowd, yeah it looks bad on TV but trust me there was a humongous Fort Hill crowd there.  With the football team, band, cheerleaders and fans there were a total of like 10 tour buses, and that doesn't include the thousands that went by car.
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Posted: 12/10/2013 8:48 AM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


I have a question that hopefully someone can help me with. I am trying to understand how Ft. Hill is only  classified as AA in WV. The MPSSAA site has the enrolment at 648 students in grades 9-10-11. This averages to 216 per class for the three classes, this would require less than 150 students in the senior class to be AA eligible in WV. The only thing this affects is every once in a long while Keyser could pick up 3 extra points. Thanks in advance.
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Posted: 12/10/2013 2:41 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


I would like to see Ft Hill play Martinsburg.
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Posted: 12/10/2013 10:34 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


Yeah, things have certainly just went to hell in a hand basket at Fort Hill, lol.  14-0 state championship season, pretty much demolished all playoff competition.  Sure Fort Hill is playing at a smaller classification than they once were but the quality of Football is still outstanding.  Just because Fort Hill only beats Keyser 8.5 out of 10 years now instead of 9 out of 10 years I suppose that gap has really closed, I mean they must be playing pee wee football at Fort Hill these days.  In 2011, Fort Hill football players were awarded over 800,000 in football and academic dollars to continue their football and academic careers in college.  There are fewer people in Cumberland and walking those halls but the quality is still excellent.
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Posted: 12/11/2013 12:15 AM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship 


You would find that most Cumberland people, particularly those of us in "football circles" are actually pro-consolidation.  It's a myth perpetrated by people outside of Cumberland that football is the reason the two school have not been consolidated.  The Fort Hill/Allegany rivalry is not what it used to be, it is extremely one-sided with Fort Hill winning 18 of the last 22 games.  Honestly, I think Allegany people would be delighted to see the rivalry end, lol.  If you actually strike up a conversation with 10 random Cumberlanders and bring up the building of the new Allegany High School probably 7 if not 8  out of the 10 will shake their head and say why are we building a new school, they need to just consolidate.  

Believe it or not, the folks who studied the issue for the Board of Education were by no means football people and were most interested in academics.  Right or wrong, and I think wrong, they bought in to the theory that smaller schools held decided academic advantages over larger schools and it was for academic reasons, not football, that the decision was made to build a new Allegany and not consolidate.  I disagree with the theory as do many others.  THe folks who made this call were mostly Allegany people, and this particular group were by no means interested in football, if anything, I theorize that they are building a new Allegany and not consolidating because they want to uphold Allegany's elite academic standing within the county (Allegany is an extremely good school that consistently sends kids to the Ivy League believe it or not) and don't want their "elites" going to school with the South End kids at Fort Hill.  That's the truth, has nothing to do with football, it's about maintaining or increasing elitism.  If it were for football, the 2 schools would be consolidated tomorrow.

For me, however, I think things are just dandy at Fort Hill in terms of football, hard to disagree with a 14-0 state championship season in which playoff opponents were destroyed.
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Posted: 12/16/2013 5:36 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 



mountaineerfanforlife wrote: I would like to see Ft Hill play Martinsburg.
So would I.
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Posted: 12/16/2013 5:40 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship 


If Allegany County, MD were truly interested in a two school system, they would have made Mountain Ridge High School a little bigger... no?
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Posted: 12/18/2013 5:32 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


You do realize Fort Hill is considered a AA school now by West Virginia standards. Do you expect any other AA team in the Eastern Panhandle area to play Martinsburg, Morgantown and University? Of course you don't, there is always a double standard where Fort Hill is concerned. You're a guy fixated with education in Cumberland and honor roll lists in Keyser. Surely you're aware that Fort Hill's 2011 football team earned over 800,000 in scholarship/aid academic and athletic dollars to attend college. That's pretty damn impressive and with the undefeated state championship season this year I 'd say the rainbows are shining bright over Greenway Avenue Stadium these days, and Hahn and Lattimer are smiling from above at all the good that's being done with much, much less than they had to work with. The glory days, we're living them my friend....dominating opponents that are in our classification.....do you expect Wayne and Bridgeport to play Martinsburg since they dominate schools their size.....of course not

Last edited 12/18/2013 5:35 PM by HermanTheGerman

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Posted: 12/18/2013 10:25 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


The City of Cumberland has won a combined 11 football state championships and had 20 state finals appearances in the 39 years Maryland has awarded state championships.  Statistically that means that a Cumberland school is in the state championship game every other year and wins a state championship every 3-4 years.  Thanks for the assistance, but I don't think Allegany County needs your help.  You say it's time to play with the "big uns," believe me Fort Hill in particular has been playing the "big uns" for years.  The Dunbar teams that Fort Hill beat once for a state title and unfortunately lost to several times have had as many Division 1 athletes on their squad than there have been in the entire state of West Virginia.  That's not a knock on West Virginia, that's just the reality, some of those teams have produced NFL talent as well.

What Fort Hill and to a lesser extent Allegany do is somewhat relevant within the tri-state area, which includes parts of West Virginia.  Hey, 1 out of every 10 years when Keyser beats Fort Hill we gotta hear about it on the Maryland Boards from the Keyser folks.  Besides, Fort Hill has been bashed on the West Virginia Boards from time to time, especially by Keyser people and it's important to tell the other side of the story.

If it's West Virginia football you want to talk about I' m down with that too, I know more than you think I do, I've been in damn near every hill and holler in the Mountain State to see High School Football over the years.
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Posted: 12/19/2013 12:14 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


So what you're saying is that Cross Country in Maryland 1A is weak. Ok, thanks for bringing such clarity to the conversation.

Computer projections are what they are, I find it interesting that one unbiased model shows Fort Hill as a 28-26 projected victor over Bridgeport. I'd really like to see that game.

For the record, I bring one thread of interest to this "deadest of dead" message boards about a school whose territory is literally a stones throw from West Virginia and is a historical rival and/or foe of several West Virginia schools, that's it. It has garnered 17 or 18 responses, it's relevant.
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Posted: 12/19/2013 10:36 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


You seem to know a lot of "way back in the day" info about Fort Hill, it's a shame you're dealing in outdated information which in turn is forming misguided opinions. The Career Center kids are counted, absolutely, despite the fact that at best Fort Hill gets one or less of those eligible kids to play football.

As for bringing back the CVAL, Fort Hill dominated all those teams in terms of the overall series records and even in the last several years still dominated everybody sans Martinsburg......and then again who else had any success against Martinsburg that plays them year in and year out......nobody, and all those schools are way bigger than Fort Hill. All big school cupcakes except for Martinsburg, Fort Hill would be lucky to have that schedule again with all those big school win points.

Last edited 12/19/2013 10:37 PM by HermanTheGerman

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Posted: 12/20/2013 2:01 PM

Re: Fort Hill Wins the Maryland 1A State Championship and Goes 


Did a better schedule make Keyser a better team?  I'm not downplaying the effect of playing better competition but if it's better competition Fort Hill needs returning to the CVAL is not the answer (obviously except for Martinsburg).  Fort Hill's biggest tests by far came from Pennsylvania playoff schools Central and Chestnut Ridge, with Keyser and Allegany a distant 3rd and 4th.  The one nice advantage to the CVAL schedule would simply be the gaurantee of filling half your schedule, competitition wise, however, those teams are average at best.  Besides, there really isn't any advantage for the CVAL schools to play Fort Hill anyway, they (except for MArtinsburg of course) would lose 8 out of 10 times and even in a win would only pick up AA points.

I agree that Douglass was not that impressive from a fundamentals standpoint.  Honestly, defensively I thought they were terrific, mainly from a talent standpoint but they were very, very solid.  Offensively, yeah, it was almost embarrassing to watch.  They basically just dropped back and slung the ball up hail mary style, when the quarterback was pressured he would even turn around and run backwards for his life, lol.  Nonetheless, it doesn't diminish the win or the season, which were both very impressive.

As for your thoughts on Cumberland, look, you don't need to convince a Cumberlander that things aren't and never will be what they once were.  The factories and half the people are gone, and they aren't coming back.  So we now live in the "new reality," and while we can strive to make things better the reality is that things are the way they are.  All that being said, the "new reality" means that we are now a small 1A school playing small 1A football.  The competition laid out before us is the competition that should be layed out before us. To me, and I'm not talking through "rose colored glasses" when I say this, I'm trying to be objective here, the quality of football at Fort Hill and the program as a whole is simply fantastic.  Kids are faster and much stronger, and for the last several years the Sentinels have been very successful at getting kids into college on football but more specifically academic scholarships.  800,000 dollars two years ago,  that is insane for a small Appalachian school, and isn't this what it's really all about?

Fort Hill went 14-0 and won a state championship in impressive fashion in the division in which they now belong.  We know we can't compete with Martinsburg year in and year out, but then again, nobody can, even schools 3 and 4 times the size of Fort Hill so there is no shame in that.  Fort Hill still dominates the local scene, the program is in an upswing, kids are getting college educations paid for in higher numbers than ever.  Talk all the muck you want, things truly are going good for Fort Hill right now, and I know that you, like me, probably agree but are just arguing for arguments sake.

I truly do respect your opinion, it is obvious you've been around the block a time or two and know what you're talking about.  That doesn't mean you're entirely right on this issue and I realize I'm not either.  As for Hahn and Lattimer, I know you said that to get a rise and and it is funny.  The reality, however, is that if Hahn and Lattimer are shaking their heads from above it's because they're disheartened at what has happened to the size of their city and school, but amazed at how the pride and tradition of Fort Hill High School lives on and how one of their own, a dyed in the wool as red as they come guy like Todd Appel is captaining the ship and heading in the right direction.  As I said before, I can safely argue that more and more is being done now with much, much, less.

Agree to disagree, I do respect your opinion.

Last edited 12/20/2013 2:10 PM by HermanTheGerman

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