For­mer Raven and Su­per Bowl champ Qadry Is­mail sup­ports Pur­ple cam­paign

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE -

WORTON — Qadry “The Mis­sile” Is­mail, a Su­per Bowl cham­pion with the Bal­ti­more Ravens, will speak about the dan­gers of il­licit drugs Fri­day night at the con­clu­sion of the Kent ver­sus Queen Anne’s foot­ball game as Kent Goes Pur­ple wraps up its month­long cam­paign.

Kent Goes Pur­ple is be­ing led by the Kent County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and Chestertown Ro­tary Club to en­gage the com­mu­nity and youth to stand up against sub­stance abuse.

Is­mail’s ap­pear­ance Fri­day night will add to the ex­cite­ment that typ­i­cally sur­rounds this game be­tween bor­der ri­vals. Kent County is 2-2 after last week’s 56-0 rout of Snow Hill, while Queen Anne’s dropped to 1-3 with a 41-6 loss to North Caro­line.

Ad­di­tional tem­po­rary seat­ing will be pro­vided to ac­com­mo­date what is ex­pected to be a ca­pac­ity crowd.

Any­one who wears pur­ple will be ad­mit­ted free of charge. Pur­ple T-shirts can be pur­chased for $5, which is the cost of reg­u­lar ad­mis­sion.

The aim is to have a “sea of pur­ple rep­re­sent­ing a united com­mu­nity de­ter­mined to stand up against sub­stance abuse,” ac­cord- ing to or­ga­niz­ers.

Is­mail is ex­pected to in­ter­act with fans dur­ing the game and to sign au­to­graphs.

The game be­gins with kick off at 6:30 p.m.

Kent County High School’s march­ing band, un­der the di­rec­tion of Keith Whar­ton, will per­form at half­time.

At the con­clu­sion of the game, Is­mail, a wide re­ceiver on the Ravens’ 2000 cham­pi­onship team, will talk about the per­ils of sub­stance abuse.

Also dur­ing Fri­day night’s game, the county’s mo­bile trailer of a mock bed­room that con­tains “hid­den” items of drug para­pher­na­lia and other warn­ing signs that in­di­cate drug use will be on-site.

Ev­ery­one who at­tends the

game will re­ceive a free raf­fle ticket for a chance to win Ravens mem­o­ra­bilia, with the draw­ing to be held fol­low­ing Is­mail’s pre­sen­ta­tion. You must be in at­ten­dance in or­der to win.

There will be other sur­prises and give­aways.

Friends and fam­ily of the Li­ons foot­ball play­ers and Queen Anne’s County res­i­dents also have been in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in Kent Goes Pur­ple. This is an ac­knowl­edg­ment that the opi­oid cri­sis is a bur­den shared by our neigh­bors.

“Qadry serves as an ex­am­ple of how much one can achieve with a strong drugfree work ethic and de­ter­mi­na­tion to ex­cel, and we hope that those in at­ten­dance will take some in­spi­ra­tion from his pre­sen­ta­tion,” said Kirk Helfen­bein of the Ch­ester- town Ro­tary Club.

A highly dec­o­rated hur­dler and foot­ball player in high school in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Is­mail also starred in track and foot­ball at Syra­cuse Univer­sity. He still holds Syra­cuse records in the 55-me­ter hur­dles and 4x400 re­lay. In foot­ball, he was an All-Amer­i­can kick re­turner and an All-Big East per­former as a wide re­ceiver.

The Min­nesota Vik­ings chose Is­mail in the se­cond round of the 1993 draft.

He played for five NFL teams, but had the most suc­cess with the Ravens, in­clud­ing a Su­per Bowl win in the 2000 sea­son. He gained more than 1,000 yards re- ceiv­ing in two of his three sea­sons (1999-2001) in Bal­ti­more

He spent 10 years in the NFL, fin­ish­ing with 33 touch­downs and more than 5,000 yards re­ceiv­ing.

After re­tir­ing from the NFL at the con­clu­sion of the 2002 sea­son, Is­mail be­gan a ca­reer in broad­cast­ing.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

As part of the Kent Goes Pur­ple cam­paign, on Fri­day night at the con­clu­sion of the Kent-Queen Anne’s foot­ball game, for­mer NFL player Qadry Is­mail will talk about the per­ils of drug use. He won a Su­per Bowl with the Bal­ti­more Ravens.

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