- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Today, few people can remember what they were doing 18 years ago.
For the Leonardtown Raiders 2012 varsity football team, the players will always remember what happened 18 years ago 18 years from now.
Leonardtown defeated the Chopticon Braves for the first time since 1994 in a 44-21 road victory on Sept. 28, the feat that takes the No. 1 spot in top sports moments of 2012.
In a season in which the Raiders won the county championship by defeating Great Mills two weeks after its Chopticon victory and having head coach Mike Nines and senior running back pick up Stephen Stewart picking up All-County Coach of the Year and Athlete of the Year honors, respectively, it was a night in September to remember.
“This is [my] best win,” Nines said after the win. “I think it’s better than my first win. We haven’t had many [wins], I mean we had an overtime win last year at homecoming and that was really good, but this one is at the top. We’re trying to beat good teams and Chopticon is a good team.”
The Raiders used the big play to ultimately capture the historic win, scoring four touchdowns of 50 yards or more in the win.
Stewart rushed for 192 yards and two touchdowns in the Chopticon victory and after seeing his Raiders lose to the Braves year in and year out, explained what was different about his team this year.
“We’ve had the same amount of talent, but we are a lot more focused this year,” Stewart said in September. “This past offseason was the hardest we have had in a long time. We were ready for this season and, this game, it’s Chopticon, that’s all that needed to be said.”
That Chopticon win in September was the third of a three-game winning streak for the Raiders who eventually finished the regular season 5-5 overall, its best single-season overall record since 1997.
The Raiders also finished 5-3 in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference, which tied them for fifth in the league with North Point.
James A. McCray III