The educational landscape is an ever-changing entity, reacting mostly to shifts in population and the academic needs of a community. As such, hundreds of high schools have opened and closed in the past century in Maryland. A majority of schools that closed were small, rural community schools that never fielded football programs — in fact, several didn’t even offer athletic programs at all. This list, however, is dedicated to two specific groups — Maryland high schools that had football and have since closed AND Maryland high schools that still exist but ceased offering high school football, at least as of 2014.
The point of this list is to not forget the schools and programs that have come and gone over the past century. I have included base information about the school/program’s existence, but I’m keeping it in a short format. It is important to note, this is not a complete list. I am certain there are other high school football programs/schools that have since disappeared from the state landscape. If you know of a school that fielded varsity football and is not listed OR you can add additional/corrected information about a listed school and its history, please email me through the contact list in the lower left corner of the home page. Footnotes for additional detail and resources will be added at a later date.
Schools are listed in alphabetical order with location, county, years in existence and detail (if available). [Note, college programs and local YMCA and recreation teams that competed against Maryland high school teams — a common occurrence prior to 1930 — are excluded from the list.]
EXISTING HIGH SCHOOLS THAT NO LONGER OFFER FOOTBALL
Bishop Walsh, Cumberland, Md., Allegany County, Football: 1966-2012. Imagine going 9-1 and then calling it quits. That’s exactly what happened at Bishop Walsh. The school offered football from its inception in 1966 through the 2012 season, and officially disbanded June 13, 2013, two months prior to the start of practice for the 2013 season. Bishop Walsh was created from the merger of four smaller Catholic schools in Cumberland, including LaSalle, which offered football from the 1920s until its was closed. Bishop Walsh went 9-1 in its final year of play in 2012, but an end-of-the-year team meeting showed only 20 students were interested in playing the following year and the school’s administration decided to end the program. The school considered ended the program two years earlier for similar reasons, but opted at the time to continue competing. The school is named in honor of the Bishop James Walsh, a Cumberland-born missionary who preached in China and was imprisoned in solitary confinement by its Communist government for 12 years.
Carver A&T, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore County, Football: 1995. Carver A&T opened in 1993, fielded its first and only varsity football team in 1995, promptly went 0-10 and disbanded the program. It holds the distinction of being one of only two one-year programs in Maryland that went 0-10. [The other was St. Mary’s Ospreys.] In 2008, the school was renamed George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology.
Elkton Christian, Elkton, Md., Cecil County, Football: 2005-2008. Elkton Christian ended its football program after the 2008 season and changed its school name to Tri-State Christian on July 1, 2011.
Institute of Business and Entrepreneurship, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore City., Football: 2009-2010. As part of a Baltimore City repurposing of high schools during the 2000s, IBE was formed at the former Walbrook High School. After back-to-back one-win seasons in 2009 and 2010, IBE’s football program ceased.
Mount Zion Baptist, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore City, Football: 2002-2005, 2008-2010. Mount Zion launched a program in 2002 and fielded teams in seven of the next nine years. During those seven years, Mount Zion won a total of seven games and ended the program after the 2010 season.
Pocomoke, Pocomoke City, Md., Worcester County. There has been some local interest in relaunching a football program at Pocomoke, one of the state’s smallest public schools. Pocomoke had football for little more than a decade from the 1970s until the early 1980s.
Tome School, North East, Md., Cecil County. Tome School was founded in 1894 and fielded football teams from the early 1900s until 1964. In the early, unorganized days of high school football pre-1940s, this boarding school occasionally fielded multiple teams that were identified as the dorm in which the students of that particular team resided or the campus organization in which they belonged. There is record of Washington Hall competing against West Nottingham Academy in 1926 and 1931, and Washington Hall was merely a dorm on Tome’s campus. Tome also fielded teams with names such as Olympian Society of Tome and All Society of Tome during the 1920s and 1930s.
West Nottingham Academy, Colora, Md., Cecil County, Football: 1888-2007. One of the oldest and most storied private schools in the U.S. also was among the first to compete in football in Maryland. School records indicate football was played on campus as early as 1888. A formal school team, however, started around 1902, and WNA fielded teams all the way through the 2007 season. Declining participation in the sport led to the school dropping the program, it was reported at the time. WNA posted only one winning season in its last 10 years of high school football. WNA was founded in 1744 and has the oldest founding date of any high school still in operation. Two of its early graduates — Benjamin Rush and Richard Stockton — were signers of the Declaration of Independence.
DEFUNCT SCHOOLS (that once had football)
Andover, Linthicum, Md., Anne Arundel County. Andover was merged with Brooklyn Park to create the current North County High School.
Beall, Frostburg, Md., Allegany County. Beall was merged with Westmar in 2007 to create the current Mountain Ridge in Frostburg. In fact, Mountain Ridge’s high school building is built atop the former athletic facility of Beall.
Bowling Brook, Keymar, Md., Carroll County, Football: 1999-2006. Bowling Brook was a juvenile residential facility in Carroll County, and launched a football program with great success in 1999. The inaugural team went 5-1. With the exception of one season, Bowling Brook was very competitive during its eight-year run with football. At one point, the coach and administration considered making application to the MPSSAA and even the Monocacy Valley Athletic League, and at the least, wanted to play a schedule against most of the Carroll County public schools. However, amid controversy, the school was closed in March of 2007, about six weeks after a student died after being restrained by staff members, The Baltimore Sun reported at the time.
Briarly Hall Military Academy, Poolesville, Md., Montgomery County. Briarly Hall operated until the 1940s and fielded football teams during the 1920s and 1930s. The school’s headmaster was Capt. Sydney Lodge, who also served as the team’s head coach.
Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Park, Md., Anne Arundel County. Brooklyn Park was merged with Andover to create the current North County High School.
Bruce, Westernport, Md., Allegany County. Closed after the 1985-1986 school year and the students were sent to Valley High School. Shortly thereafter, Valley was renamed to Westmar.
Cardinal Gibbons, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore City, Football: 1962-2009. A long-time member of the MSA and later MIAA, Gibbons was closed after the 2009-2010 school year as part of a consolidation of 12 other (mostly elementary and middle) Baltimore parochial schools in the face of declining enrollment and reports of Archdiocesan financial losses. The announcement of the closing was made in March of 2010, just three months before the last class graduated. Cardinal Gibbons was built on the site of St. Mary’s Industrial School, a reform school for boys, the alma mater of baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth. Although Gibbons had modest team success, three league titles (1989, 1993 and 2000) in more than 45 years, the program produced four eventual NFL players, most notable was Jean Fugett, a Pro Bowl performer following the 1977 season.
Charles W. Woodward, Rockville, Md., Montgomery County. Woodward was opened in 1966 and closed in 1987 as part of a merger into Walter Johnson High School.
Charlotte Hall Military Academy, Charlotte Hall, Md., St. Mary’s County. Charlotte Hall was founded as Charlotte Hall School by Queen Charlotte of England in 1774 and lasted until financial problems brought the school to a close in 1976. The school offered a football program from the 1950s until its close. The storied school produced a number of early American politicians, including two Maryland governors, a number of congressmen and even the U.S. Attorney General under Abraham Lincoln. Movie star Sylvester Stallone attended Charlotte Hall for one year.
Frederick Academy, Frederick, Md., Frederick County. A short-lived elite private school in Frederick closed just prior to the outbreak of World War I. The building was later used by Hood College but ultimately became the grounds on which the original C. Burr Artz Library was constructed. Frederick Academy fielded football teams during the 1910s, but there is no record of it ever facing The Boys’ School (the precursor to the modern day Frederick High School).
Greenbelt, Greenbelt, Md., Prince George’s County.
Hagerstown, Hagerstown, Md., Washington County. Some may consider the modern North Hagerstown High School as an extension of Hagerstown High School. Hagerstown was split into North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown in the late 1950s. North Hagerstown retained the school colors and nickname (Hubs), while South took on a new identity.
Hickey School, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore County. Hickey was a juvenile residential facility in Baltimore County, and the facility still exists today. As a school, Hickey offered football from 1995 through the 2002 season.
La Salle, Cumberland, Md., Allegany County. La Salle, at times, took its turn among the football powers in Cumberland, joining more storied programs Allegany and Fort Hill. La Salle was closed in 1966 and was part of a four-school merger that created the modern Bishop Walsh High School in Cumberland. La Salle set what is believed to be a state record (that likely may never be broken) when it scored 107 points in a game during the 1920s.
Northern, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore City. At one point during the 1970s, Northern was among the state’s largest public high schools with nearly 3,000 students. As Baltimore City began a process of creating smaller, educationally-focused schools, Northern was closed after the 2001-2002 school year and Reginald Lewis and W.E.B. DuBois were opened it Northern’s building.
Penn Avenue, Cumberland, Md., Allegany County, Football: 1932-1935. Although Penn Avenue opened in the 1920s, it only offered football the final four years of its existence. The school was closed after the 1935-36 school year, as Fort Hill opened in the fall of 1936 to take its place.
Robert E. Peary, Rockville, Md., Montgomery County, Football: 1960-1984. Peary, a public school, existed for only 25 years. Interestingly, the school took the name of the famous explorer thanks to the imagination of then sixth-graders who would go on to become the first group to attend the school all four years. Since the school was located on Artic Avenue, the name of Robert E. Peary was selected for the school, and the children of the explorer donated actual items for the school’s display case, including a flag that was flown during Peary’s 1909 excursion to Nova Scotia.
Rockville Academy, Rockville, Md., Montgomery County. The school was chartered in 1809, but it is believed the first students entered in 1812. The school existed until about 1916. Rockville Academy was one of two high schools in the county at the time. It fielded football teams in the 1910s.
Samuel Banks, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore City, Football: 2005-2008. Samuel Banks had the shortest tenure of any of the Baltimore City public high schools that were created during the 2000s during a plan to break the city’s largest schools into multiple smaller schools. Banks opened in 2003 and was closed at the end of the 2008-09 school year.
Southside Academy, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore City. Southside Academy opened in 2002 as part of Baltimore City’s move to create smaller, academically-focused high schools. The school was closed at the end of the 2012-13 school year. The school fielded football teams from 2002 through 2012.
Southern, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore City. Southern opened in 1910 and existed until the mid-2000s before it was phased out and replaced by Digital Harbor in the city’s plan to create smaller, academically-focused school programs. Digital Harbor opened in 2002 and existed inside of Southern’s building for three years until Southern was closed at the end of the 2004-05 school year. Southern’s final year of high school football was 2003, and the following year, the coaching staff and remaining players launched Digital Harbor’s team. Southern’s most famous alumni is baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline, who made his Major League debut a month after graduating from Southern in 1953, and it started a 22-year pro career (with 18 All-Star appearances) — all with the Detroit Tigers.
Valley, Lonaconing, Md., Allegany County. Three years after a merger with Bruce High School, Valley was renamed “Westmar High School.”
Victor Cullen Academy, Sabillasville, Md., Frederick County. Victor Cullen was a juvenile residential facility located in the northern, sparsely populated, yet very scenic, part of the Frederick County. Victor Cullen launched a successful football program under the leadership of longtime high school coach Dave Dolch in 1994. The inaugural team, comprised of many individuals who had never played organized football, went 8-2. Dolch coached for only one year, yet the program continued through the 2001 season with moderate success. Victor Cullen garnered regional headlines when two of its students decided to run off while competing in a cross country meet. They were later apprehended. That episode led administrators to re-evaluate its athletic offerings. The school, which was located at a historic site, was closed at the end of the 2001-02 school year.
Walbrook, Baltimore, Md., Baltimore City. Walbrook opened in 1971 and was among the larger Baltimore City public schools until its closing in the late 2000s under a plan to create smaller schools in the city. Walbrook was divided into three smaller high schools — all located in the same building. Walbrook’s last football team was during the 2008 season as the school was officially closed in 2009. The following school year, Institute of Business & Entrepreneurship inherited the coaching staff and remaining players and launched its own short-lived football program,.
Westmar, Lonaconing, Md., Allegany County, Football: 1989-2007. Westmar was merged with Beall in 2007 to create the current Mountain Ridge in Frostburg. The school name Westmar was a compromise to squash a community controversy. Bruce High School closed in 1986 and students in that part of Allegany County were sent to Valley High School, which retained the name of Valley. Feeling slighted, Bruce faithful demanded Valley be renamed to better signify the merger of Bruce and Valley, hence Westmar was born in 1989.
Wiley H. Bates, Annapolis, Md., Anne Arundel County. Bates, which opened in 1932, was one of the few historically black Maryland schools that competed in high school football. Prior to desegregation in 1966, Bates was the only public school in Anne Arundel County that African-American students could attend for a secondary level education.
Wroxeter School, Arnold, Md., Anne Arundel County. Once a state power in lacrosse, Wroxeter School closed in the early-to-mid-1980s.