St. Mary's Ryken football hopes to stay competitive in the WCAC

Published by The Enterprise on August 31, 2018

The St. Mary's Ryken football team has been practicing for weeks. The Knights have even played a regular season game already, but it's all about the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference this season.

St. Mary's Ryken head football coach Aaron Brady (middle) poses with four of his returning senior players, from left, Evan Domonkos, Ja'Marcus Holt, Peter Trossbach and Charles Barley. The Knights were 9-1 last year as an independent and are looking to win a WCAC championship this fall. Photo by Colin Stoecker

St. Mary's Ryken, which went 9-1 in 2017 as an independent, makes its mark into the WCAC this fall. They are in the Metro conference part of the league with Paul VI (Va.), Bishop O'Connell (Va.), Bishop Ireton (Va.) and Archbishop Carroll (Washington, D.C.). Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), Good Counsel of Montgomery County, Bishop McNamara and DeMatha of Prince George's County and St. John's (Washington, D.C.) make up the Capital conference.

With five seniors who graduated last year committed to play college ball, Knights head coach Aaron Brady, in his second season coaching the Knights, is excited to be part of another winning year. This season he has even bigger plans in the making.

"The biggest thing for us early in the year is to get a lot of guys experience," said Brady. "What matters to us is our league games. We're part of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, so what gets us to the playoffs are our league games."

He added: "We play six games and then we play a four-game season. Those last four games are the most important. Our school has never won a football championship before at St. Mary's Ryken and we have a top team to do that. This year we hope to get into the playoffs."

The Knights lost some key players from last year's squad to graduation, including quarterback Kristian Marks, defensive back D'Angelo Tull and defensive lineman Mike McIntosh, but they have seniors on the 2018 club ready to leave their mark on the program.

"What I'm most looking forward to is putting in all of the hard work that we did over the summer onto the field during the games and playing with my brothers," said Will McKay, a senior middle linebacker. "My personal goal is to get the ring. We're trying to take over the championship this year and to win the whole thing."

The WCAC championship is what the Knights have their eye on, but they have some stiff competition to beat before they can lay claim to it.

"Last season we lost one game to Bullis, so we went 9-1," McKay said. "So that's definitely a big rivalry and we play them at home, so were going to get payback this year. We played last week against Mount St. Joseph. We lost that one, but our next game is this Saturday against Gilman."

He added: "It felt good getting back out there hitting another jersey other than my own."

Peter Trossbach, a senior offensive guard, is looking forward to his last season of football ever before heading off to seminary school to become a Catholic priest.

"It feels great because I think this is going to be my last season playing football," Trossbach said. "I plan on going to the seminary, so just trying to go out with a bang. Just closing out on a good note and leave a legacy."

Trossbach and many other seniors are looking to set a high bar for this season, which began Saturday with a 49-7 loss to Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore.

"We want to win the championship," Trossbach said, "because we've never won a championship here as a team before, and we actually have a crew that can do it. So this is out only chance to start off our legacy and keep it going."

St. Mary's Ryken returns to action at Gilman School in Baltimore at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Knights' first home game is at 7 p.m. next Friday versus McNamara.