Elkton should follow Walkersville’s model
Elks must emulate Lions squad that returned—and won—state championship
— Quarterback Jackson Argoe led a parade of his fellow seniors down the length of the sideline to shake the hands of every underclassman on the Elkton football team following Saturday’s painful loss to Walkersville in the 2A state championship game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
An annual tradition for the Golden Elks’ football program, the endof-the-season interaction between the soon-to-graduate players and those who will likely return to play another year held a somber tone in the wake of the Cecil squad’s lopsided 33-6 defeat.
“I think we will [look back on this season with pride],’ but it will definitely take a while,” Argoe said. “This one will still hurt a lot next week.”
As Elkton begins its preparation for a return trip to the state championship, the school should look
no further than the team it shared the field with on Saturday for a successful road map back to the big game.
Top-ranked Walkersville triumphed in the state final just one year after it suffered a heartbreaking loss in the same game. The Lions (14-0), who set out this fall to avenge last season’s 21-20 defeat to Patuxent in the 2015 2A state championship, earned redemption on Saturday by using four second-half touchdowns to roll to a convincing victory in front of a spirited crowd.
“I said all along that one of the X-factors would be that this team has been here before, they have the experience, the stage wasn’t too big. I can’t say the same thing for my guys tonight. Some of my guys, they folded,” Elkton head coach Matt Feeney said. “We had some real, real dumb penalties. Out of character for some of our guys. It was the stage and we’re going to use it to build on that for next year.
“We intend to be back and we’ll be ready.”
Walkersville senior running back Chad Gleason, who finished Saturday with 23 carries for 104 yards and three touchdowns, admitted that he found himself right back in the weight room the next day following the Lions’ loss in the 2015 state final game.
“The following day of the state championship game, I guess it was a Sunday, I was in the gym,” Gleason remembered. “I was focused and I was working on getting here. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.
“We were sad at first, that first month [after losing to Patuxent], but then we got back to work,” he added. “We got the team together and we told each other that we’re not going to let each other down. Everyone is going to do their job every game and we’re just going to get it done.”
Follow Jordan Schatz on Twitter: @Jordan_Whig
Elkton senior guard Kyle Karnes watches opposing Walkersville celebrate a victory in Saturday’s 2A state championship at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.