Urbana High School was founded in 1995 and its football team quickly made a name for itself. Last month, it received regional distinction.
Three years after its inception in 1998, the team started what was to be an incredible four-year run. In 2001 Urbana hung on to defeat Patuxent 7-6 for a Maryland 3A state title. The victory marked the football program’s 50th consecutive win and fourth straight state title under Coach Dave Carruthers.
In mid-July of this year, USA Today along with WUSA9 set out to determine the ALL-Time DMV Football Champion. They scoured the record books, talked to local coaches and created a list of the top 16 championship teams from D.C., Virginia and Maryland. The 2001 Urbana Team was named one of four number one seeds in the 16-team bracket. Each week an online vote was held on the WUSA9 website to determine who advanced. The finals were announced on Friday, Aug. 9, slating UHS’ 2001 hometown Hawks against a 2005 team from Dunbar. The Dunbar team included two players that went on to play in the NFL.
The final voting doors closed on Friday, Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. with the 2001 Urbana Hawks football team being named the ALL-Time DMV Football Champion, a distinction for the best high school football team ever in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.
“It’s incredible we had such an impact on the history of Maryland high school football,” said Sergeant Patrick Harper, the starting nose guard for the 2000 and 2001 teams.
The team has had an impact off the field as well. Harper, who joined the U.S. Army in 2003 as an infantryman, fought for nine years, traveling all around the world, including to Iraq and Afghanistan, to serve his country. He summed it up this way: “What I learned about having a never-quit attitude and always wanting to be champion, I learned on those football teams at Urbana. Those years prepped me in pursuing my life goals, taught me how to become a leader and helped me keep my wits in combat.”
Andrew Taylor, a local trainer at Dynamic Fitness with a Master’s degree in exercise science, played strong safety on the 2001 team. “I can truly say what we were part of was greater and bigger than any of us. We were a family on and off the field, our one vision and focus made us an unstoppable force. We are all better men for being part of that run from 1998 to 2001,” Taylor said.
“2001 was a dream season with all the right ingredients to have a championship year,” said Dave Carruthers, their now-retired UHS head coach. “Those ingredients were dedicated players, committed coaches, good administration, enthusiastic parents and fan support. I think this was a dream team blessed by God.”
Interestingly, current UHS head football coach, Ryan Hines, played for Coach Carruthers from 1991-1993 at Linganore High School.
The five-time state champion Hawks football team begins its quest to climb the Maryland High School Mountain once again at home on Friday night, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. vs. Dover, Del. Come root on the Hawks!
Editor’s Note: Timothy Mellott is an active Urbana community member who founded the Southern Frederick County Youth Athletic Facilities, coaches Predators Wrestling, serves as the UHS Athletic Boosters president and is an FCA Character Coach at Urbana. Mellott lives in Ijamsville with his wife, Beth Ann, and son Parker.