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Roost's 'Effort' pays off

January 20, 2000|By BOB PARASILITI

Roost's 'Effort' pays off: Local booster club sets annual banquet for April 8

It's taken a lot of extra effort for Ravens Roost No. 7 to put on the Extra Effort Double E banquet over the years.

The event has lasted 37 years, through a name change, four professional football teams and a format change just to survive.

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On April 8, all that hard work will pay off in what may be the best banquet of them all.

The Ravens Roost will do its traditional recognition of the 1999 All-Washington County football team while also honoring running back Errict Rhett as the Baltimore Raven who gave the most effort to help the NFL team win. Add to the festivities Ravens coach Brian Billick, and the fan club has something to be proud of.

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"Our club is upbeat and buzzing about this banquet," said Donnie Stotelmyer, the Roost's vice president and recording secretary. "But to get the head coach is a big thing."

The Ravens Roost, formally known as the Colts Corral, has backed the Colts, the Stars of the USFL, the Stallions of the Canadian Football League and now the Ravens. And in the lean times between the two NFL focal points, the organization did other things to stay together.

"We started honoring the kids in 1986 after the Colts left town," Stotelmyer said. "We followed the four teams and traded our name to become the Ravens Roost No. 7."

The perserverace will pay off with the 37th annual dinner-dance banquet at the Elks Lodge No. 378 as high school and pro football will come together.

The Roost will again honor the all-county team and select a coach of the year. It will also present a $1,200 college scholarship to a deserving high school player.

Then, attention will turn to Rhett and Billick, who helped the Ravens to an 8-8 record in the coach's first year.

"Billick and (Ravens director of player personnel) Ozzie Newsome chose Rhett," Stotelmyer said. "They felt he filled the Extra Effort mold. He demonstrated it to the team."

Rhett, a free agent, led the Ravens with 852 yards rushing and 169 yards in receptions to go with seven touchdowns.

Billick has been widely requested for appearances and only planned to do five in the off-season, but committed to the Roost date.

Scott Garceau, the radio voice of the Ravens, will be the emcee and Ravens director of public relations Kevin Byrne will also be in attendance. Stotelmyer said invitations have been sent to past guest speakers, Ravens front office and coaching personnel and ex-Baltimore Colts.

Limited tickets, which are $15 each, are available. For information, contact Stotelmyer at 301-582-0376.

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