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Football Wins Fourth DCSAA Championship

2016. 2019. 2021. And now 2023. Maret football edges out Coolidge High School 30-27 in a hard-fought, evenly matched contest to earn its fourth DCSAA Class A Championship banner.

After losing to the Colts last year in the championship game, the Frogs would take nothing for granted in the rematch. “Not every team gets a chance to try it again—same team, same contest. They did and it was great to show that they could bounce back and secure the win,” said Athletic Director Monique Liddell.

With the support of enthusiastic Maret fans—including many alums and past football players—the Frogs got off to a strong start. A blocked punt and recovery by Raiden Neidert ’24 gave the team an early opportunity to get on the board, but the Colts responded in the second quarter, fast and physical, with a 51-yard run for a game-tying touchdown. Two more touchdowns, one from each team, had things tied up again by the half.

The teams remained neck-and-neck in the third and fourth quarters. In the final minutes of the game, Maret was up by one point from an earlier two-point conversion but fumbled the ball near the Coolidge goal line. A bad snap by the Coolidge offensive line gave way to a safety, and Maret was suddenly up by three. This was not a game for the faint of heart! 

It was Maret’s focus at key moments throughout the game that made the difference. The Frogs rallied around each other and forged ahead, one play at a time. The final moments of the game were no different. With just under three minutes to go, it was time for the Frogs to Protect the Pond. The defensive unit was determined to stop Coolidge from scoring the game-winner, and they did, carrying Maret on to an exhilarating victory! 

When asked the secret to the team’s success, Coach Mike Engelberg was quick to credit the dedication of his coaching staff: “The assistant coaches are rock stars! They put in countless hours and our kids were so prepared because of them.” The athletic trainers were with the team every step of the very long season, too, supporting the team both mentally and physically.

Engelberg’s teams are always more than the sum of their parts, and this team lived up to its ambitious goals:

The kids play for each other and show up every single day for practice and give all they have. Every kid in the football program contributed this season in Varsity and JV games, and we were a big tight-knit family. This team practiced with such focus and intensity and that translated to the 11-1 record we had."— Coach Mike Engelberg

Tri-captain and lineman Grayson Reid ’25 echoed Engelberg’s sentiment. His proudest moment? “Watching my team celebrate all the hard work that we had put into the offseason together. All of the winter lifts, spring and summer conditioning, and the tough and hot preseason practices had finally paid off.” Summing up what drives him, he said, “I love Maret football.”

But it's more than hard work that made the Frogs click this year. "We prioritized helping the team and appreciating each other as much as we prioritized putting in hard work on the field," explains Andrew Lampkin ’24, also a captain and lineman.

According to Liddell, this humble, hardworking team takes its cue from Engelberg. "Coach Engelberg just gets it. The way he thrives when faced with a challenge and gets the most out of his kids is noteworthy. This team practices on half of a football field most days, with no goalpost, and Engelberg never complains. This head-down, never-quit approach is what he models, and his team has also embraced that mindset. That is what fueled a championship season this year. I am so proud of Coach Engelberg and this program!"

Photo Credit: Jack Smart ’24