There were 34 of the best high-school football players in the state chosen for the Maryland Big 33 team.
Most of them were playing together for the first time. But in a week's time, teamwork would prevail and Maryland would defeat Pennsylvania, 17-9, for the first time since 1987.
Each of them carried away more than just the victory; he carried away a special friendship.
"They learned to appreciate people from different areas of the state and different walks of life to a certain extent," Doug DuVall, Maryland Big 33 coach and Wilde Lake High School football coach, said.
"We all came together and made a lot of good friendships," running back Larry Washington (Randallstown) said.
"I came close with all the players," running back Raphael Wall (Wilde Lake) said.
Some may meet again as opponents in intercollegiate competition, but five of Maryland's Big 33 players will be reunited in College Park as teammates.
Wall, Washington, Rick Budd (Fort Hill), David DeArmas and John Teter (DeMatha) will attend the University of Maryland in the fall.
DuVall said he was pleased that Wall chose Maryland.
"He [Wall] is an outstanding running back," DuVall said. "He and Larry Washington in the same backfield will give Maryland a big plus."
Wall said he has a good chance to play for the Terrapins and said the combination of him and Washington in the backfield "will make Maryland a better team."
In Saturday's 34th annual Big 33 Football Classic, Washington had eight carries and rushed for 57 yards. Wall caught one pass for 3 yards, and Washington caught two passes for 13 yards.
But it was DeArmas who put Maryland on the scoreboard with 1 minute, 35 seconds left in the third quarter, with a 27-yard field goal. He was 2-for-2 on extra points and 1-for-2 on field goals.
Washington said he chose Maryland because "I just wanted to stay close to home."
Said Wall: "It [Maryland] was one of my better visits. I want to help make them better."