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Harbaugh Inspires Local High School

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh gave a halftime speech to Gilman’s football team.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 1:29 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

The Ravens had just wrapped up their preseason last Thursday night, and head coach John Harbaugh had just one day until he had to cut his team down to a 53-man roster.

Harbaugh did take somewhat of a break from the professional game, though. In fact, Harbaugh spent his Friday night at the local Gilman School, where the Greyhounds faced a heated battle with the talented Bear Creek High School from Lakewood, Colo.

This story largely flew under the radar in Baltimore, but Harbaugh discussed his experience on Monday.

According to reports from the game, Gilman held a tenuous 35-33 lead heading into halftime. But after a speech from Harbaugh during the break, the Greyhounds were resilient enough to hold Bear Creek to only three second-half points. Gilman added a touchdown on a 75-yard punt return, and the ensuing two-point conversion from junior quarterback Darius Jennings secured a 43-36 victory for the hometown squad.

The second-year Ravens head coach was enthused by the way Gilman stuck together as a single unit.

“To watch that team play was pretty impressive because that’s a young football team they’ve got,” Harbaugh said. “They are very well coached, but it was very fun to watch them grow, throughout the course of the game, as a team. They gave up a bunch of points in the first half, to a really good offense, but then gave up three points in the second half.

“That was the halftime speech,” he added with a laugh. “We took a little credit for that turnaround there. The halftime speech was the key. It was fun.”

Harbaugh’s appearance at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium was helped in part by Ravens secondary coach Chuck Pagano’s relationship with Bear Creek’s coach, Tom Thenell.

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