High School

Sidwell Friends names former Calvert Hall football coach Donald Davis as head coach

Sidwell Friends names former Calvert Hall football coach Donald Davis as head coach

Sidwell Friends has named Donald Davis its new head football coach. Davis, who recently held the same position at Calvert Hall, is taking over for long time Quaker head coach John Simon.

The Quakers have myriad athletic programs that compete for conference and state championships. Despite recent shortcomings on the gridiron, they have displayed an ability to attract high-end student athletes. Academically, Sidwell is amongst the most prestigious institutions in the DMV, a standard that Davis holds in high regard.

“Not only is Sidwell a tremendous school with elite academics, but they have a tremendous educational mission that interests me,” Daivs said. “Everything from the individual development of students to the students’ in-depth understanding of their place and responsibility in society. All of those things attracted me to the institution itself, and obviously I know what they would like to accomplish with our football program, and that’s exciting to me as well. I look forward to having the opportunity to build here.”

On May 7, it was announced that Davis was resigning from Calvert Hall, a position he’d held for 13 seasons. While leading the Cardinals, he registered 97 victories and ten Turkey Bowl wins — the most in school history. He was named the Maryland Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2010 and the MIAA Coach of the Year in 2018. He helped to build Calvert Hall into a prominent program, which led many to question why he would choose to walk away.

“I’m thankful for my time at Calvert Hall. I consider myself tremendously blessed to have been the shepherd of the program, but Calvert Hall played great football in eras before Donald Davis, and Calvert Hall will play great football after,” Davis said. “That opportunity was tremendous and life altering. Both of my sons were educated there, so it will always hold value for me. This [Sidwell] is a new opportunity for myself and my family. It’s an opportunity to make a difference in a different environment.”

According to Davis, he’s enamored with the Sidwell culture and believes his and their collective goals and values make this position an ideal fit.

“Sidwell is a perfect match for me at this time,” Davis said. “I want to continue to make a difference and be competitive. I believe Sidwell is looking to reinvigorate their football program, so it’s just a match. That’s the best way to put it, it’s a match.”

Quakers football has struggled as of late, posting a mark of 1-8 last year and a combined record of 6-29 over the last four seasons. Davis though, has earned the reputation of being a program builder -- Calvert Hall was 2-9 the season before he took over and Cardinal Gibbons was 1-8 prior to his arrival -- he believes that with the support of the Quakers community, he can accomplish similar results at Sidwell.

“Coach Simon and his staff did a tremendous job over the many years he was the head coach. He has players playing all over the country and even in the NFL, so Sidwell has a proud tradition and history,” Davis said. “The fact that they’ve had a couple difficult years -- it’s my job to come in, assess where we are, and determine what we need to do to make the next climb -- the same things coach Simon would’ve done had he not retired from being the head football coach.

“It’s incumbent upon myself and my staff to come in, assess where we are and look at what we need to do to continue climbing in the MAC, and get ourselves back into the mix of the DCSAA playoffs.”

Davis was a student-athlete at Johns Hopkins University where he earned a B.S. in Sociology. Simon will remain on staff with the Sidwell football program and continue his duties as an assistant athletic director.

How one Archbishop Carroll football player built a home gym

How one Archbishop Carroll football player built a home gym

Archbishop Carroll's Elijah Solomon joined NBC Sports Washington's Chad Ricardo and shared how he's getting his workout in at a time when going to the gym or school is not an available option. 

"I kind of came up with my own workout regimen," he said. 

First, he used weight sets that he had. And, due to some recent construction, his parents had been doing in their home, he was able to repurpose materials including buckets which he filled with water and PVC pipes to create his own curl-up bar and squat racks.

As Ricardo says in the video above, with creativity like that, who really needs a gym?


These are the top 10 high school defensive backs in the DMV

These are the top 10 high school defensive backs in the DMV

In today’s game, high-powered offenses are king. Long gone are the days of wishbone formations, triple-option quarterbacks and play-calling strategies centered around “three yards and a cloud of dust.”

In 2020, spread sets are the norm and offenses are designed to put up points in a hurry. For defenses to be successful at slowing them down, they need skilled and versatile defenders in the secondary who can stop the pass and help slow the run game. Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are home to some of the best in the country.

Here are my Top 10 defensive backs in the DMV.

Ryan “Bo” Barnes | Quince Orchard (MD)

Cornerback: 6’2”, 180 lbs

Class: 2021

Offers: 35

Ryan Barnes is a ball-hawking DB with next level length and a knack for making big plays. At 6-foot-2, Barnes is a big corner who blankets his opposition. He uses his long arms and stride to aide in recovering, and once he gets his hands on the ball he is a threat to score.

Though slight of frame, Barnes is a physical, sure tackler who effectively sets the edge against the run.

Antoine Booth | DeMatha (MD)

Cornerback: 6’0”, 190 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Michigan State

Antoine Booth often accepts the challenge of lining up against the opposition’s No. 1 receiver -- he does not back down. In fact, he raises his game to that of his competition. He plays the game with a moxie and bravado that will serve him well this season and moving forward.

Booth does a stellar job reading and reacting. He keeps his eyes in the backfield, plants his back foot and jumps routes, often leading to pass breakups and interceptions.

Jalen Clyatt | Sherwood (MD)

Safety: 6’4”, 200 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: East Carolina

Jalen Clyatt has tremendous size and length. As a long strider, he covers a lot of ground in little time.

Clyatt manages the middle of the field. His range allows him to cover from sideline-to-sideline, and his ball skills make him a threat to intercept passes that sail over the middle.

Cam Johnson | St. Frances (MD)

Cornerback: 6’0”, 170 lbs

Class: 2022

Offers: 13

Cam Johnson has excellent technique. His hips are fluid, his backpedal is smooth and he changes direction effortlessly, which allows him to be successful in man coverage even when playing on an island.

At 6-feet tall, Johnson has nice length and a frame that he will grow into. The rising junior has legitimate “lockdown corner” potential.

Jalen “Buck” McCain | Flowers (MD)

Defensive Back: 6’0, 190

Class: 2021

Committed: Boston College

Jalen McCain is a versatile defensive back capable of making plays from all over the field. He can line up as a boundary-corner or in the slot versus spread offenses, as he displays proficiency in both zone and man coverage.

McCain is a skilled blitzer, has the speed and field awareness to defend in two-deep looks and thrives as a box safety, where his physicality and tackling abilities are on full display.

Will Simpkins III | Quince Orchard (MD)

Cornerback: 6’2”, 180 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: University of Virginia

Simpkins has a Div.-I body type and he uses it to his advantage. He’s physical at the line of scrimmage and excels at redirecting receivers, making it difficult for them to get into their routes.

His hand-fighting techniques are superb. He has loose hips and solid ball skills. Simpkins is capable of taking away an entire side of the field.

Jalen Stroman | Patriot (VA)

Safety: 6’1”, 195 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Virgina Tech

Jalen Stroman is developing into a special student athlete. He’s a big hitter who is most effective coming down hill and attacking. When defending the run, he’s equally adequate at filling the hole as he is setting the edge.

In pass coverage, Stroman displays an ability to undercut routes and break on the ball. He also displays the range to play deep centerfield.

Joshua Thompson | St. John’s (DC)

Cornerback: 6’2”, 190 lbs

Class: 2022

Offers: 8

Joshua Thompson thrives in press coverage. He has the physicality to manhandle receivers at the line, and the length to recover and make plays on the ball.

As a rising junior, his stock is on the rise. Thompson should develop into a 25-plus offer student athlete.

Dante Trader | McDonogh (MD)

Safety: 6’0”, 185 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Maryland

Dante Trader is a natural center-fielder who displays excellent range and ball skills. His footwork and technique allow him to cover ground efficiently. He’s a sound tackler who consistently finds himself around the ball.

What he lacks in size, he makes up for in instincts. Trader does an excellent job of diagnosing plays; seeing what’s in front of him and flowing accordingly.

Zakee Wheatley | Archbishop Spalding (MD)

Safety: 6’3”, 190 lbs

Class: 2021

Committed: Penn State

Zakee Wheatley is a big time student athlete who makes plays all over the field. He has the coverage skills to line up on the outside, as well as the size and physicality to run with tight ends down the seam.

Wheatley is a heavy hitter who provides support against the run and routinely uses his force to separate man from ball.