Commentary

It's anchors away for Maritime Academy

Updated: June 4, 2009, 11:42 AM ET
By Sheldon Shealer | ESPNRISE.com

Samuel Banks High School (Baltimore, Md.) is no more.

[+] EnlargeJonathan Perry
Courtesy Mike LovedayJonathan Perry attended Samuel Banks before transferring to Dunbar.
At the end of this school year, Banks, a public school that was opened in 2003 and fielded its first varsity football team in 2005, will cease operation. In its place, a new city public school, Maritime Industries Academy, will occupy the same building, and the arrangement includes Maritime's inheriting Banks' athletic schedule.

According to Baltimore City Schools' director of athletics, Bob Wade, Maritime will be a Class 1A school of approximately 600 students and will compete in Baltimore Division II for football.

At this time, the Maritime Anchors do not have a football coach or even an official athletic director, Wade said.

Parents of students at the former Banks will have the option to leave their children at Maritime or transfer them to another Baltimore school. Banks' closure is part of a citywide reorganization of schools that resulted in the closing of six schools this summer. Banks was one of two high schools targeted, and the only one with a sports program.

Banks' four-year football history was one of limited success, and it experienced its highlight in the first year. Banks went 5-5 during the 2005 regular season. Banks promptly lost its first-round playoff game to state power Dunbar (Baltimore) to finish the season at 5-6.

Since then, Banks teams have gone 3-27.

Banks' most prolific product ended up being a player who did not stick around. Jonathan Perry, a quarterback who guided Dunbar to back-to-back state championships in 2007 and 2008, played his first two years at Banks before transferring. Perry recently signed with the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Rashi Pinckney served as Banks' head coach all four years. He told MDVarsity.com on Wednesday that he will not be the coach of Maritime Academy and is currently seeking another job.

The Anchors' school colors are black and white.

Maritime Academy offers a curriculum geared toward professions in the maritime industry.

Sheldon Shealer is a senior editor for ESPNRISE.com and has covered high school sports in Maryland for more than 20 years.