BALTIMORE — Early in the second half Saturday night, Bowie soccer forward Kareem Davis received a pass through the middle of the box. When Davis turned with the ball, only the goalkeeper was between him and the goal as the senior launched the ball into the top right corner of the net. Running toward the sideline to pose for the crowd at Loyola University, Davis fell to the turf in jubilation.
Since he began playing for Bowie in 2019, Davis has chased the legacy of his brothers, KJ and Kyle, who also starred for the Prince George’s County program. Davis entrenched himself into Bowie’s storied history by scoring the eventual game-winner in the Bulldogs’ 1-0 win over Severna Park for their first Maryland 4A championship since 2011.
“My oldest [brother, KJ,] always held it against me that he was the only one who had a ring,” Davis said. “Me scoring, him not scoring in the final, I definitely have one up on him now.”
While Prince George’s County is known for producing basketball and football contenders, the county has generated the past two 4A champions. Northwestern won last year but was disqualified from this year’s postseason for using an ineligible player.
Bowie (17-2) and Severna Park (17-3) lost in last year’s semifinals in heartbreaking finishes. The Bulldogs fell to Northwest after a controversial call erased a second-half goal. The Falcons squandered an early lead in an overtime loss to Northwestern.
Both programs used last year’s experience to drive this year’s postseason runs. Bowie has won 10 state championships in 13 finals appearances; Severna Park has secured three titles in 14 chances.
Bowie overcame injures to return to the final. After notching 18 goals and 15 assists last season, Davis suffered a groin and left ankle injury before the season. That left the Bulldogs with their most inexperienced roster this decade as they dropped a pair of early-season games.
Davis’s brother KJ was a member of Bowie’s state championship team in 2011; Kyle played soccer in college. Wanting to prove he’s still among the D.C. area’s best players, Davis underwent physical therapy to return a week before the playoffs. He scored twice in Bowie’s first postseason game against Wise on Oct. 28.
Davis, who said he was playing at 50 percent health Saturday, came through about 2½ minutes into the second half. The Bulldogs held firm to finish the postseason without surrendering a goal in five games.
“Bowie is like a legacy, and you just keep passing the torch to the people below you,” senior midfielder Kaden Greene said. “You have four years to try to win something with the torch they give you, and we made it happen our final year.”