ANNAPOLIS, Md. — High school football championship games are underway in Maryland.
Teams from across the state have gathered in Annapolis this weekend to compete for their divisional titles. Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is hosting the games.
On Friday, Frederick Douglass High School, of Upper Marlboro, defeated Milford Mill High School to capture the MPSSAA Class 2A title. After that, Quince Orchard High School, of Gaithersburg, beat Henry Wise High School, of Upper Marlboro, to win the MPSSAA Class 4A title.
On Saturday, Linganore High School, of Frederick, will take on Northern Calvert for the MPSSAA Class 3A championship.
Friday's game between Quince Orchard and Henry Wise was in many ways a symbolic accomplishment for both teams who had to battle the COVID pandemic in different ways throughout the season.
Wise had to cancel three of their games due to the virus' spread.
"We never played more than three games consecutively in the regular season," said Wise Athletic Director Jason Gordon. "So, it was either miss one game, play two, or miss another one, play three."
Meanwhile, more than 20 students and staff were diagnosed with COVID at Quince Orchard at the beginning of the school year. Some of those students were on the school's football team.
"That adversity and the things that we've gone through is exactly why we're here tonight," said Quince Orchard Athletic Director Jeff Rabberman.
In the end, both teams learned a lesson they will be able to use long after their playing days: the importance of hard work.
"Their passion, their willingness to come out here, each and everyday, and play even harder is a testament to the type of men that they are," said Wise teacher Markus Howell.