FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — In 2021, the Frederick High School football team turned heads with its most impressive season in decades.

The Cadets made it to the MPSSAA state semifinals for the first time since 1985, exceeding expectations with a record of 10-3.

“It was a great year, we didn’t really expect to have that great of a year,” Frederick football head coach Kevin Pirri said. “Really enjoyed the time, the kids really clicked, and we caught some people off guard. I think we caught ourselves off guard a little bit with how successful we were.”

Now in his eighth season as the team’s head coach, Pirri told DC News Now that this year’s team is athletic, fast and returns all but six starters total on offense and defense combined.

“We just know that football is not a one player sport and we play as a team,” Frederick senior running back and linebacker Abdul Pyne-Bailey said. “That really helps us be the top competitors in our division.”

Pirri and his team are hoping to build on 2021’s surprising success.

“I just want to prove to everybody that we’re the best around here,” Frederick senior wide receiver and defensive back Travon Neal said. “I expect us to go 13-0 and win the state championship. As long as we can stay focused on us, we’ll be fine.”

Frederick opens its season at Aberdeen on Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.