Ritchie Schell stood quietly as the Boys’ Latin football assistants talked to the team after last Saturday’s game against Concordia Prep.

With the scoreboard, several feet away, reading Concordia 49, Boys’ Latin 14, Schell took a couple of steps into the gathering of players kneeling on the turf.

And, let loose about 40 minutes of frustration.

“Don’t blame it on anybody but yourself,” yelled Schell, the Lakers’ head coach, whose team was outscored 28-0 in a shortened second half. “...What I’m going to do, I’m going to work a little harder.”

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Those were some of the gentler words Schell exulted during his two-minute talk.

He didn’t sound like a person who’s about to retire from coaching.

“I got the fire right now,” Schell said moments later as his team left the field. “I can use the fire in other places.”

Friday night at Towson University’s Unitas Stadium, Schell will coach his final game at Boys’ Latin as the Lakers play St. Paul’s in the teams’ annual regular season-ending rivalry match.

After 22 seasons, Schell, 60, believes another voice needs to be heard - before and after games, during afternoon practices, talking to prospective student/athletes and their parents.

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Schell said he knew after last season that the 2022 campaign would be his last, but didn’t want it to be a distraction.

Last week, Boys’ Latin announced Schell’s retirement.

Michael Thomas took “great solace” that Schell was in place when he returned to his alma-mater as athletic director in 2005.

“The kids played hard and they are accountable, on and off the field,” said Thomas, a 1987 BL graduate. “His humility, he never wants attention, he wants it on the team and the boys at all times. He’s demanding but he makes the boys accountable.”

Brian Farrell, who played for Schell in the late 2000s, said his ability to motivate is something he tries to emulate as Boys’ Latin’s lacrosse coach.

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“His ability to bring five to 10 coaches and get them on the same page and he’s so great at connecting the kids to the school,” said Farrell, a football/lacrosse star at BL who was a standout lacrosse defensemen at the University of Maryland. “He’s been the force behind the “One Heartbeat” culture here.”

Schell adopted the “One Heartbeat” theme from legendary Johns Hopkins coach Jim Margraff, who he played for and coached under.

Schell, a Blue Jay assistant alongside former NFL coach and current UCLA coach Chip Kelly (was offensive coordinator), was inspired by Margraff’s ability to mentor.

“He always told me don’t worry if the guy knows football, worry about if he’s a good dude,” said Schell of Margraff, who died in 2019, months after his finest season as Johns Hopkins coach.

Schell, who was a full-time Hopkins assistant from 1992 to 2000, didn’t want to coach college anymore. He went to his alma-mater Loyola Blakefield as defensive coordinator under legendary Dons coach Joe Brune in the fall of 2000.

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He remembers the names of his defensive starters from the Dons’ squad that lost 7-6 to Calvert Hall in the Turkey Bowl at PSINet Stadium (now M&T Bank Stadium).

Boys’ Latin had an opening for varsity head coach. The Lakers had fallen on hard times.

“I knew I wanted to teach and coach and turn something around,” said Schell. “There was nowhere to go but up.”

The Lakers scored an upset 15-13 victory over then-undefeated Archbishop Curley in Schell’s inaugural season. The next season, Boys’ Latin was MIAA B Conference Silver Division champions.

The Lakers shared the C Conference crown in 2003 and 2004, and reached the B final in 2009 and 2016.

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Boys’ Latin was on the verge of a perfect season in 2009 when Archbishop Spalding spoiled it with a 12-0 victory in the B final at Mount St. Joseph.

Though that loss sticks with Schell, the Lakers’ 27-14 victory over rival St. Paul’s in 2004 was the seminal moment. The Crusaders had dominated the series.

Schell has won 12 of 21 against St. Paul’s. Many of those matches were against Paul Bernstorf, who was the longtime Crusader football coach and athletic director, and now Executive Director of the MIAA.

Bernstorf has the utmost respect for Schell and what he’s done at Boys’ Latin.

“You clearly see right away his passion, he’s really in it for the kids. Sometimes you get coaches who want to build their careers, he was totally 100-percent in it for the kid,” said Bernstorf. “He put his heart and soul into the program and built it into a great program. He did an amazing job.”

Schell is 125-86 at Boys’ Latin, known for its nationally-regarded lacrosse program. He coached and mentored several Power 5 football standouts like current Arizona Cardinal linebacker Victor Dimukeje, who played at Duke, Dom Maggio (Wake Forest), Greg Pyke (Georgia), Marco Jones (Virginia) and current North Carolina defensive back Gio Biggers.

Schell, who teaches Economics, said he uses “football as an extension of academics and life.”

His 22 seasons at Boys’ Latin is the second-longest football coaching tenure in MIAA history behind current Mount St. Joseph coach Dom Damico, who spent 24 seasons (1994-2017) as McDonogh coach.

Concordia Prep coach Joe Battaglia, who’s in his third season, has admired Schell since he was a player at Gilman.

“His energy is incredible,” said Battaglia. “I don’t think everybody is built that way…tremendous amount of energy and super positive.”

“He brings a lot of energy. Everyone respects him, everyone knows he’s done a lot for this program,” said Boys’ Latin senior quarterback Jackson Field.

Schell is ready to channel his energies elsewhere, mainly his wife Sarah, son Riar, a sophomore lacrosse player at Delaware and former BL football and lacrosse player, and daughter Rowan.

Schell knows Friday will be emotional.

“I know I’ll choke up win, lose or draw,” said Schell. “I could see the potential. We won a lot of games, always played tougher opponents, got kids into college, got kids in the NFL. It’s been great.”