Don Graef, head coach of the Queen Anne's County High School (Centreville, Md.) varsity football team, has been named Ravens High School Coach of the Week for the ninth week of the 2008 season. Presented by Toyota, this is the 12th year of the Ravens' award program.
Graef led his Lions to a 48-12 win over Easton High School on Halloween. Sitting undefeated at 9-0, Queen Anne's is on its way to the Class 2A playoffs, hoping to surge through the first round where the team fell last year. With the loss, Easton drops to 3-6.
Five different Lions backs scored touchdowns in the game, tallying 458 yards on 41 carries. Senior RB Dyrell Wilson leads the team in seniority and production, averaging close to 10 yards per carry and 23 TDs on the season.
"Dyrell is just a great young man," Graef said. "He worked very hard in the offseason, and we expect good things to keep coming from him.
"We have been blessed this year with a great nucleus of kids," he continued. "It's one of those years that come along every so often. We will sit back and enjoy and hope for the best."
The Lions' defense stifled the Warriors, allowing only one offensive touchdown in the start of the fourth quarter. Easton's additional points came on an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown earlier in the game. Queen Anne's had multiple sacks and picked off Easton QB Mark Murray to stunt the Warriors' offense.
With the win, the Lions secure their second consecutive conference title. They will try to capture a victory against Kent Island this Friday to finish 10-0.
Graef is in his 14th year as head coach of the Lions and in his 25th year coaching overall. He also teaches physical education and health at the school. This is his first nod as Ravens High School Coach of the Week.
"I think it should be named Ravens High School Coaching Staff of the Week," Graef joked. "We have some extremely dedicated and hard working assistant coaches, in addition to a great football team. This is a tremendous recognition. There are so many great coaches in Maryland, so it's a fantastic honor."
Each week during the season, the Ravens honor a high school coach who has made a significant impact on his athletes. Each of the season's weekly winners will be present at the Ravens-Steelers home game on Dec. 14, for the naming of the Ravens' High School Coach of the Year.
A panel of area high school experts selects the coach of the week. The recipients receive:
* A $2,000 donation to the school's football program
* An award certificate signed by Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Gene Washington, the NFL's Director of Football Development
* A specially-designed hat
2008 Ravens HS Coach of the Week Recipients
Week 1 Chuck Markiewicz, Arundel
Week 2 Lance Clelland, Meade
Week 3 Tony Shermeyer, Century
Week 4 Keith Robinson, Perry Hall
Week 5 Reggie White, Milford Mill
Week 6 Anthony Burgos, Franklin
Week 7 Johnny Brooks, Havre de Grace
Week 8 Eric Woodson, Northwestern
Week 9 Don Graef, Queen Anne's County