Steve Klimek, Carolina League All-Star with the Frederick Keys

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Carolina League All-Star Steve Klimek of the Frederick Keys is this week’s guest on the Final Score podcast.

Klimek talks with host Greg Swatek about the influence basketball had on his life growing up in upstate New York and his love for the NBA champion Toronto Raptors. He also talks about going to Rochester Red Wings games a kid when they were the Triple A minor-league affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles and watching players such as Ryan Minor, his current manager with the Keys play for the Red Wings.

He also talks about how he always stays ready as a relief pitcher and why he has pitched so well for the Keys lately. During the month of May, he earned four victories. He also put together a recent scoreless of streak of 19 2-3 innings. Plus, he touches on what it means to him to be a Carolina League All-Star.

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Willy Yahn, Frederick Keys utility infielder and Carolina League All-Star

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After being named a Carolina League All-Star this week, Frederick Keys utility infielder Willy Yahn is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.

Yahn tells host Greg Swatek how he became obsessed with baseball while growing up in a small Connecticut town and what it was like to play baseball at a basketball school (UConn).

He also shares why he takes such good care of his bats, tales from the road in the minor leagues — What are his favorite towns? Where does he like to eat? — and why he would have better off being born in 1985 with his old-school taste?

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FCPS supervisor of athletics Kevin Kendro and Brunswick baseball coach Roger Dawson

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Frederick County Public Schools supervisor of athletics Kevin Kendro and longtime Brunswick High baseball coach Roger Dawson are the guests this week on the Final Score podcast.

First, Kendro reflects with host Greg Swatek on the year that was for high school sports in the county during the 2018-19 school year. In the fourth year for the Central Maryland Conference and the second in partnership with Washington County Public Schools, what is the overall health of the league? What is going well? What can be going better? Are there any plans to expand or make changes? How did the changes to the football and tennis playoffs come about? And how were they received?

Then, Dawson stops by to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of his older brother, Ricky, setting the state record with 24 strikeouts in Brunswick’s 10-inning loss to Southern Garrett in the District 1 B-C championship game at McCurdy Field on June 7, 1969. How did Brunswick manage to lose a game in which its pitcher was so dominant? What type of player and person was Ricky?

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Maryland State track champion teams- Urbana girls and Oakdale boys

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As the 2018-2019 school year draws to a close, The Final Score podcast welcomes the two state team champions from the county for the spring season, the Urbana girls track team and the Oakdale boys track team.

The Hawks and the Bears were two of the most dominant teams in the county all season, winning just about every big meet in the state, often in convincing fashion. Last Saturday at Morgan State, the Urbana girls and the Oakdale boys followed their state indoor team titles by winning the same championships at the outdoor meet. The Urbana girls scored 41 points over the last hour of the meet to win the Class 4A team championship with 68.5 points, while the Oakdale boys rolled to the 2A team title with 85.

On this week’s episode, coach C.J. Ecalono and sophomore Ella Auderset of Urbana and coach Dave Lillard and junior Kyle Lund of Oakdale share with host Greg Swatek their stories of success, perseverance and determination. 

How did Auderset rebound after suffering a terrible fall in closing stretch of the 400-meter dash that cost her championship and a possible record? And how was Lund feeling after running 6,400 meters on his way to three titles and a second-place finish over two days in the state meet?

And how do Ecalono and Lillard manage their large teams and put their athletes in the best positions to succeed?

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Middletown Baseball prepares for the Class 2A championship game

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As they get set for their second state final in three years, Middletown baseball coach Andy Baker and senior pitcher/shortstop Graham Brown are the guests this week on The Final Score podcast.

The Knights will take on LaPlata High School in the Class 2A championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. Middletown, the 2017 2A champion, earned that right after defeating Fallston 5-1 Tuesday night at Montgomery Blair High School.

Coach Baker and Graham share with host Greg Swatek why the team is so cohesive and tends to play its best in the big games. How did their dog-pile celebration come about, and what’s it like to be in the middle of one? Coach Baker also talks about some of his coaching philosophies, which included a 4 a.m. bootcamp session at the start of the season. Plus, what do the Knights expect from LaPlata, their opponent in Saturday’s championship game?

Plus, FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro stops in to share his thoughts and insights on the Middletown baseball team and help wrap up the rest of the spring sports season in Frederick County with Greg.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Brunswick softball coach Kevan Rabat, plus high school football playoff changes

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With his team vying for its first regional championship in softball, Brunswick softball coach Kevan Rabat is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.

Rabat shares with host Greg Swatek why he gets emotional when talking about his team and how it has put itself on the brink of a regional championship despite having one of the smallest rosters (10 players) in the state. With a rich tenor to his voice, Rabat does commercial voice overs for radio and television. Has anyone asked him to record the voicemail message for their phone before?

Plus, FNP sports writer John Cannon drops in to discuss significant changes to the format of the high school football playoffs, as well as the sudden end to lacrosse season in Frederick County and the regional softball and baseball championship games.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Keys manager Ryan Minor on stepping in for Cal Ripken Jr. to end the streak

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More than 20 years after stepping in for Cal Ripken Jr. when his record consecutive games streak came to an end on September 20, 1998, Frederick Keys manager Ryan Minor still fields questions about doing so on a regular basis.

On this week’s episode of The Final Score podcast, Minor talks with host Greg Swatek about when he learned that he would be stepping in for Cal and how he reacted to the news. What was it like with all eyes on him at third base?

Minor also talks about choosing Major League Baseball over the NBA, growing up in Oklahoma with a competitive twin brother who also played professional baseball, and some of the top prospects on his Frederick Keys team this season, including 2017 first-round draft pick DL Hall. Minor shares why he enjoys living and working in Frederick.

Then, Geoff Arnold, the Keys’ Director of Broadcasting and Public Relations, returns to the podcast to share his impressions of the first month of the season. What has he noticed about the Orioles’ emphasis on analytics with the Keys? And how are preparations coming along for the Carolina League All-Star Game in Frederick on June 18?

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Urbana girls lacrosse coach Ann Lewis

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With her program steadily improving and on the verge of several milestones, Urbana girls lacrosse coach Ann Lewis is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.

Now in her fifth season on the job, Lewis has a roster that is loaded with talented players. This week alone, three different players are closing in on personal milestones for total points, goals scored and career saves. Lewis share with host Greg Swatek how she has cultivated such talent and depth in her short time as the team’s coach. She also talks about her own experience playing lacrosse in Long Island, New York and at Washington College (Md.) and how she landed in such a great spot professionally at Urbana.

Plus, FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro drops by to preview the upcoming Central Maryland Conference championship games in various sports.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Branden Kline on making his major-league debut with the Baltimore Orioles

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Fresh off of making his major-league debut with the Baltimore Orioles last Saturday, Thomas Johnson graduate Branden Kline is this week’s guest on The Final Score podcast.

Kline is a 27-year-old right-handed relief pitcher for the Norfolk Tides, a Triple-A affiliate of the Orioles. When rain washed out games for the Tides and the Orioles last Friday, an opportunity of a lifetime presented itself.

Kline shares with host Greg Swatek what he was doing and how he reacted when manager Gary Kendall called him into his office to tell him he was getting called up the big leagues. He talks about why it was such an emotional moment for him and his family and what it was like reporting to work at Camden Yards last Saturday morning.

What was it like putting on the Orioles uniform for the first time? What advice did fellow Orioles give him? How did it feel to run out of the bullpen and hear his name being called over the public-address system at Camden Yards? And how did he feel about his big-league debut, which included a 1-2-3 first inning of work and a bumpier second inning that saw him surrender a pair of home runs?

Plus, he shares his feeling on the first round of the NFL draft for his Baltimore Ravens and the recent national championship in men’s basketball for his Virginia Cavaliers.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Middletown Girls Lacrosse coach Tyler White

After a week of heavyweight battles for his girls lacrosse team, Middletown coach Tyler White is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.

Coach White shares with host Greg Swatek the significance of last Thursday’s one-goal victory over fellow Frederick County heavyweight Oakdale, as well as the tournament the Knights played in over the weekend against a pair of state titans in girls lacrosse, Glenelg and Marriotts Ridge. He also talks about why he feels its important for his players to get away from the game and the fun he tries to incorporate into the daily grind over the course of the season.

Plus, FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro comes on to share some observations and insights about baseball and boys lacrosse in Frederick County.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Urbana softball coach Frank Husson

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With his team off to another good start, Urbana softball coach Frank Husson is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.

Husson tells host Greg Swatek why this season’s team reminds him of Urbana’s state championship team in 2011. He shares how his coaching career got started and why he has held on for 21 years as a softball coach in Frederick County.

Plus, FNP sports writer John Cannon shares some of his early observations on the spring sports season.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Frederick Keys prepare to begin another season

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As the Frederick Keys prepare to begin another season, Geoff Arnold, the team’s director of broadcasting and public relations, is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.

Arnold chats with host Greg Swatek about how he prepares for such a long season with few days off over the next fives months, even for broadcasters. He talks about some of the team’s top prospects, including starting pitcher DL Hall, the No. 2 prospect in the Orioles’ organization, and his expectations for the coming season. He also discusses some of the promotions the Keys have on tap, including appearances by legendary wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts and actor Leslie David Baker, who played Stanley Hudson on the hit sitcom, “The Office.”

Plus, FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro shares his observations and insights from Keys media day, including a conversation he had with DL Hall.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Makayla Daniels and Hannah Layman of the State Champion Frederick girls basketball team

Following the third consecutive state title for the Frederick High girls, an unprecedented feat for a Frederick County basketball team, seniors Makayla Daniels and Hannah Layman are the guests this week on The Final Score podcast.

Daniels and Layman chat with host Greg Swatek about the team’s calling card, its suffocating defense, and how an adjustment to that defense helped the Cadets prevail over Baltimore Polytechnic in the Class 3A championship game at Towson’s SECU Arena. The players talk about the challenge of winning three state titles in a row and what that accomplishment means to them. They also describe the bus ride home following the championship victory, as the team received a police escort back to Frederick High School.

Plus, with the spring season underway, FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro drops in to share his early impressions of the high school baseball and boys lacrosse scenes in the county.

Who are some of the teams to beat and players to watch for?

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Catoctin baseball coach Mike Franklin on the start of the season

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With the spring sports season officially underway, longtime Catoctin baseball coach Mike Franklin is this week’s guest on The Final Score podcast.

Coach Franklin tells host Greg Swatek about his young team this season and how it plans to live up to the typically high standards set by the Catoctin baseball team. He also talks about why Frederick County is such a coaching hot bed in many sports, the coach bond that the baseball coaches in the county share, his time as a player, the players he grew up admiring and how he wound up working at Catoctin High School.

Plus, FNP sports writer John Cannon drops by to wrap up the high school basketball season. John and Greg discuss the third consecutive state championship for the Frederick High girls, an unprecedented feat for a Frederick County basketball team, as well as the state-finals appearance for the Middletown girls.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Middletown Girls Basketball Coach Amy Poffenbarger and star player Saylor Poffenbarger

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As they prepare to lead the Middletown girls basketball team into its first state semifinal since 2013, Knights coach Amy Poffenbarger and her daughter, Saylor, are the guests on The Final Score podcast this week.

Why are the Middletown girls playing their best basketball at the right time of the season? How do Amy and Saylor balance their relationship as both a mother and daughter and coach and player? How is Saylor managing the process as a highly regarded Division I recruit? Amy and Saylor chat with host Greg Swatek about these topics. Plus, learn more about some of the other players that make Middletown’s team so successful.

Also, with four state semifinals on tap involving Frederick County teams, FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro stops by to preview the games. Can the Frederick High girls become the first county team to win three state titles in a row in basketball? What sort of chances do the Oakdale boys, the Thomas Johnson boys and the Middletown girls have of claiming championships?

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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State wrestling champions Earl Blake, Michael Bromley and Kevin Makosy

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After delivering on expectations over the weekend, state wrestling champions Earl Blake and Michael Bromley of Linganore and Kevin Makosy of Urbana are the guests this week on The Final Score podcast.

Blake won the Class 4A-3A 132-pound weight class for his third state title, becoming just the fourth Frederick County wrestler to win that many. Makosy, meanwhile, won his second consecutive state title at 195 pounds in 4A-3A, while Bromley broke through and won his first state title at 170.

All three wrestlers share their experiences with host Greg Swatek and talk about what the championships meant to them. They also discuss their distinguished high school careers, what meant the most to them and why Frederick County wrestling has improved so much.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Oakdale boys basketball coach Brandon Long and sports reporter Kyle McFadden

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With the high-basketball playoffs set to begin early next week, Oakdale boys basketball coach Brandon Long is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.

Coach Long chats with host Greg Swatek about taking over a very successful program from a legendary coaching figure in the county, Terry Connolly, and how he goes about establishing a legacy of his own. Long talks about growing up in Brunswick, why he was initially hesitant to play basketball and what he has learned about himself as a coach. He also discusses his talented team, which enters the playoffs with an overall record of 20-3, and what it will take for the Bears to return to the state semifinals in College Park this season.

Plus, sports reporter Kyle McFadden joins the podcast to discuss his own foray into coaching basketball as well as the upcoming high-school playoffs.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Coaches of the state champion Linganore Boys and Urbana Girls Indoor Track teams

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After leading their teams to state indoor track and field championships earlier this week, Oakdale boys coach Dave Lillard, Linganore boys coach Bill Eckard and Urbana girls coach CJ Ecalono are the guests this week on The Final Score podcast.

The Bears won a state team title for the second consecutive season — they also won the state outdoor title last spring — while the Lancers took the team title at the state indoor meet for the second year in a row. The Urbana girls, meanwhile, broke through and claimed their first overall championship at the state indoor meet.

The coaches share with host Greg Swatek what made those victories possible and all of the ties that bind Frederick County as an outstanding community for track and field.

Plus, on the heels of the Central Maryland Conference championship games for boys and girls basketball, FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro drops by to discuss the county sports scene as the playoffs draw nearer.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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County swimming & diving championships, plus Scott Mogar, longtime wrestling referee

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For almost two decades, Scott Mogar ran the Frederick County Public Schools wrestling tournament that is scheduled to take place this weekend at Walkersville High School.

On this week's episode of The Final Score podcast, Mogar chats with host Greg Swatek about his passion for wrestling, the thankless job of being a referee, how he's maintained such a strong relationship with all of the coaches in the county while being a longtime referee and why and how he keeps all of the postseason records as the unofficial historian of Frederick County wrestling.

Plus, News-Post sports writer John Cannon drops by to talk about the recently completed Frederick County Public Schools swimming championships. How were the Linganore girls able to break through for their first team championship? Why were the Oakdale boys able to maintain their dominance? What is the outlook for the regional and state meets? John explains.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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Thomas Johnson boys basketball coach John Manley

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With the start of the high school basketball playoffs quickly approaching, Thomas Johnson boys basketball coach John Manley is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.

The Patriots are looking to return to the state semifinals this season on the strength of their three senior leaders, Bennett Commander, JR Powe and Richard Rivas. Coach Manley chats with host Greg Swatek about what they learned from last year’s experience and what it will take to get back to states this season. 

Plus, FNP sports reporter Joe Ferraro weighs in on the rugged Class 3A West region that TJ plays in and helps to set the table for the upcoming boys basketball playoffs in Frederick County.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance (PFP).

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