Donald Davis talks with his 2007 team. The Cardinals football program has come a long way since and has a chance to win its second consecutive MIAA A Conference title.
Donald Davis knows that if he sat his players down four years ago and told them they were going to shut out perennial national and state power DeMatha at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Sept. 10, 2011, they would have shot a look of disbelief. But, times have changed. And when the Cardinals beat DeMatha 18-0 this past September, it was not a major surprise. Calvert Hall has quickly, especially since the 2009 season, become one of the state’s best units. “They love football and they love each other,” Davis said. “For those kids to have enough wherewithal to come and trust us, says a lot. We weren’t a place to be when they came here. Everybody was going to Gilman or Loyola Blakefield or leaving town and going to DeMatha or Good Counsel. These kids had a ton of other options. Their families looked at the education, the religious aspect… and some of them said ‘We’ve got some opportunities at Calvert Hall.'” Davis, a proud Calvert Hall graduate, is grateful those families listened.
Calvert Hall went 8-4 two years ago, beating teams like Gilman and Loyola. Last year, the Cardinals completed their ascension by becoming Baltimore’s top team, winning the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference regular season championship and the Turkey Bowl over Loyola Blakefield. Players like C.J. Williams, Brandon Neverdon, Garrett Keane, Emmanuel Holder, Trevor Williams look at the next two weeks – which includes the MIAA A conference championship game Nov. 18 against Gilman and the Turkey Bowl Nov. 24 against Loyola- and say bring it on. They also say nothing would have been accomplished without Davis and his staff. “I love that guy to death,” C.J. Williams said of Davis. “He cares about his players. He loves them all. His players are on his mind all the time.” The love goes both ways. Davis said of Williams: “He’s been monumental. He is a tremendous leader. He’s not a “me first” type of guy. A lot of people would call him a throwback.” The running back takes pride in helping restore prestige in the Calvert Hall uniform, after a number of years of taking hardcore lumps. Williams said that if someone asked what it means to put on the red and gold now, he would say, “It’s definitely a privilege. It’s a true honor to put on that uniform. You’ve got to cherish it every little bit.”