GERMANTOWN, Md. (DC News Now) — The Seneca Valley High School football program holds the record in Maryland for the most state championships, winning 12 all-time, but they have not won one or made it to a title game since 2002.
This year, Joe Rankin is taking over as the Screaming Eagles’ head coach. Rankin, who spent the last two seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator, will look to take the team back to the top of the state. Sticking around, last year’s head coach Justin Sickeri has chosen to step down as head coach and will serve as offensive coordinator.
“They push us a lot, they will not let you fall behind,” Seneca Valley junior running back and linebacker Jordan Hungerford said. “On my back, we pick you up, you come with us, we finish together. Trying to get one more state championship, add on and just keep it going.”
According to Rankin, about 75 percent of the coaching staff played football at Seneca Valley. Rankin is an alum of the program and played professionally in the NFL and CFL. Rankin was on the last Seneca Valley team to make it to a state semifinal in 2008.
“We’ve got a lot of community here. It’s home you know, this is a home-knit type situation, so it means a lot and we’re excited. I’m excited,” Rankin said. “We have a state championship level team. You know right now we’re Seneca versus Seneca.”
After an 8-4 record in 2021, Rankin and his players are focused on this upcoming season, hoping to lead the program back to what it once was.
“It would mean everything, it would mean a lot, for the school, for the team, for the players, for the coaches, everything,” Seneca Valley junior quarterback Elijah Frazier said. “I know that we won 12 state championships and we have the most in Maryland. I know like the culture stuff, the stuff they used to do in the locker room, stuff like that.”
Seneca Valley will open its season Friday against Clarksburg at 6:30.