Archbishop Spalding High School is located in Severn, Maryland, about a 30 minute drive from both Baltimore and Annapolis. Archbishop is a private and catholic co-ed high school. Spalding football is a part of the MIAA A division, which is the top private school conference for football in Maryland. As of right now, Archbishop is ranked 6th for the top football teams in the state of Maryland (according to Maxpreps). Led by coach Kyle Schmitt, Schmitt took over as head coach in 2013. Coach Schmitt is a former Maryland Terrapins football player from the years 2001-2004. After that, he became a graduate assistant for the Terps and worked with coach James Franklin, who was the offensive coordinator at the time. He then moved on to become head coach for Atholton high school in Columbia, Maryland for about four years and ending up at Archbishop Spalding. This week, I had the great opportunity to speak with coach Schmitt about his team and their season.
When I asked coach Schmitt what’s he most excited about with this year’s team, he told me, “It is a young team, which is really exciting to coach. We’re playing with a lot of sophomores and freshmen in the starting lineup with some really talented kids. Last year, we went 10-0 in the regular season and 16 of those seniors went on to play college football. So, it almost feels like were starting anew a little bit, but as of right now we are 1-1”.
Further into our conversation I asked coach if there was any message or any words of motivation that he has been preaching to his team this past offseason and summer. “I talk alot about gratitude and being grateful for our opportunity, being grateful for our school, our administration, and just being grateful for every practice. I think that leads to kids being less shellfish, it leads to kids being more committed to their teammates, more committed to the program, and more committed to mastering their craft. There hasn’t been a really big message, I think these young guys get labeled with being entitled so quickly and so quick to judge them because of social media. I’ve really tried to stress to this group about gratitude and I think they responded”.
Coach Schmitt also stated that, “We built this program on being really tough, outworking people, and out executing people. We are big on body language and just our approach in each meeting and each practice. We want to be different from other people. I think some of that can help separate us from our opponents, is just how we do things on a day-to-day basis. All these trends begin with cool warm-up dances and flashy uniforms. We kinda stressed to our guys a little bit about tradition and let’s be different from everybody else. Let’s separate ourselves in that way and then, obviously separate ourselves in how we play the game. Those are two things I would stress and that were messages over the offseason”.
While there are many talented guys on this new and young Archbishop Spalding team, here are some of the players that we discussed during the interview.
Max Moss is a class of 2023 wide receiver. He’s 6’1 and weighs about 180 pounds. Coach Schmitt commented that, “Max is off to a great start. He is probably one of the best receivers in the state of Maryland right now. “He’s got 13 catches in two games with three touchdowns.”
Hakim Simms is a class of 2023 running back. Hakim is 5’10” and weighs about 175 pounds. Coach Schmitt comments, “He has really grown in protection and becoming a complete back. He’s a guy with great speed and has grown as a football player. He’s really carrying the football in between the tackles and, you’re seeing that senior lightbulb go off for Hakim. He’s really had a good first two weeks and we’re looking for him to continue that.
Keyshawn Flowers is a class of 2024 linebacker. He is 6’1 and weighs around 200 pounds. Coach Schmitt mentioned that, “ He is an elite talent. He is a guy that has a division I type body. He’s powerful in his pass rush, runs well, and definitely a guy to watch as an edge rusher. Keyshawn is a guy that we think has a really high ability level and is only going to continue to get better.
Dillon Jones is a class of 2023 offensive tackle. He is also 6’1 and weighs about 245 pounds. Coach Schmitt stated, “He’s played against Jason Moore from Dematha, who is a top five defensive end in the country. He battled him really well. He played against the d-line from Don Bosco who’s got a couple power five guys, and Dillion handled himself very well. He’s also a 4.0 student and one of the leaders of our team”.
Malik Washington is a class of 2025 quarterback. He is 6’5” and weighs around 200 pounds. Coach Schmitt said, “He is a natural leader. He plays the game with a lot of joy and passion. I think he has the intangibles to be great at the next level. He gets rid of the ball really quick, has a big time arm, and he understands the game a lot. We’re able to put a lot on his plate, which is fun as a coach”.
Jayden Shipps is also a class of 2025 defensive back. He is 6’1 and weighs 180 pounds. Coach said that, “Jayden’s got great ability. He played as a freshman on one the best defenses in the state of Maryland, and played really well. He is a corner that can tackle, that can play in the boundary, and he’s got length which is so valuable at that age and that level”.
Click here to see Archbishop Spalding’s remaining schedule for the year.