BALTIMORE, Md. (WMAR) - They are one of the hottest teams in Baltimore.
"We've just been playing with that confidence and that swag and that attitude that we can go out there and compete with anybody," said Gilman running back/defensive back Brandon Madison.
The Gilman Greyhounds are the surprise team of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association. The Dogs have won four their final six games to secure a spot in the MIAA’s Championship. That run has included a victory over rival McDonogh and two wins over Calvert Hall.
"We started to believe in ourselves, finally. We knew that we could play with everybody. We knew that we could play with everybody in the league. But, it was just about establishing that," said Gilman receiver/safety Piper Bond.
They’ll be the heavy underdog in the title game when they take on St. Frances. The undefeated top seed is one of the best teams in the country and a team that shut them out 50-0 a month ago.
"No one is expecting us to win this game," said Gilman quarterback Purnell Hill. "No one expected us to come this far to be honest with you."
"We think we can beat them mentally," added Bond. "They may have some big dudes out there but if we play with that heart and we play with that attitude and we play with that mental capacity that we know we can, we can go out there and we can play with anybody."
They'll be playing against former longtime Gilman Head Coach Biff Poggi and assistant Henry Russell, who now coach St. Frances. Their roster boasts some former Greyhounds players as well.
"Definitely a motivation," said Bond. "There is still a little sting to be honest with you."
"We consider those guys friends," said Gilman Head Coach Tim Holley. "Probably like two brothers fighting it out. That's kind of how it'll be."
Sunday will also be bittersweet for Holley. He is retiring from coaching after the game.
"This game for me marks the end of a journey. I've been coaching for 33 years," said Holley. "There'll be certainly a lot of emotions kind of turning the page to a new chapter in my life. But, it's been a great blessing and I've had a wonderful ride."
Gilman (5-7) battles St. Frances (12-0) Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field.