The Mount's New Men's Basketball Coach and FredCo Tennis Tournament

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Maryland Sports Access Editor-in-Chief Kyle McFadden swings by the studio to share his first impressions of the new men’s basketball coach at Mount St. Mary’s, Dan Engelstad, after being the first to report his hiring. What type of coach does he and host Greg Swatek think Engelstad will be? What challenges lay ahead for the program?

Plus, with the county tennis tournament coming up this weekend, Urbana coach Jon Walton stops by to talk about why the Hawks have enjoyed such a sustained period of success for the boys and girls teams. Hear about the players that have made the Urbana boys so successful this season and what Coach Walton is looking forward to in the upcoming county, regional and state tournaments.

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

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05/05/04/18 - Rick Leonard, newly-drafted offensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints

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This week on the Final Score podcast, Middletown’s Rick Leonard shares the story of how his dream come true.

Leonard was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the 127th overall pick in the fourth round of the NFL draft last Saturday, becoming the first Middletown football player to ever get drafted.

He chats with host Greg Swatek about the moment he learned he was going to be drafted, as well as the entire process that culminated in that moment.

Leonard started for two seasons at right tackle on the offensive line at Florida State University. He was recruited there as a defensive lineman after being named the Defensive Player of the Year in Maryland during his senior season at Middletown. How difficult was it for him to change positions? How did he develop his non-stop motor and work ethic, two characteristics the propelled him into the NFL? How much has he though about living in New Orleans and being teammates with a future Hall of Famer in Drew Brees? What will he buy once he signs his contract?

But first, FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro stops by to share his thoughts on Leonard being drafted and the strength of Frederick County football, as well as the upcoming spring playoff season.

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

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04/26/18 - Michael Higgs, coach of the unbeaten Oakdale Boys Lacrosse team

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On this week’s episode of The Final Score podcast, Oakdale boys lacrosse coach Michael Higgs chats with host Greg Swatek about why his first season on the job is going so well. The Bears are the only unbeaten lacrosse team in Frederick County this season. They are 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the Central Maryland Conference Gambrill Division. They have already toppled traditional Frederick County powers Linganore (for the first time) and Urbana and have their sights firmly set on winning a state championship in Class 2A.

Why has Oakdale been able to win so many close, low-scoring games? What Higgs’ learning curve been like as a first-time head coach? Who are the players that make the team tick? All of those questions are addressed. Plus, Greg offers a quick rundown of the upcoming championship season for Frederick County sports.

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

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04/20/18 - Catoctin Softball Coach Jess Valentine and player Courtney Eyler

Catoctin softball coach Jess Valentine and the Cougars’ standout freshman Courtney Eyler are the guest’s on this week’s episode of The Final Score podcast.

Valentine talks with host Greg Swatek about growing up on a Frederick County dairy farm, why taking over the Catoctin softball program was a dream job, how her straightforward and rather blunt personality impacts her players and why the Cougars are so successful season after season.

Eyler, meanwhile, talks about what she enjoys the most about playing for her high school team and why she has already decided to verbally commit to play softball at Penn State University.

But before that, FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro stops by to break down the county baseball and boys lacrosse scenes.

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04/13/18 - Spring Sports Update & Newly Appointed Urbana Girls Soccer Coach Keith Bauer

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This week on The Final Score podcast, Urbana High girls soccer coach Keith Bauer discusses his promotion with host Greg Swatek. Bauer takes over as the varsity head coach after serving as an assistant to Chuck Nichols for roughly a decade. How does he feel about succeeding a Frederick County coaching legend? What did he learn from Nichols and about himself as the team's defensive coordinator for the last 10 years? What changes, if any, is he planning?

But first, FNP sports writer John Cannon stops by to discuss the strange start to the spring sports season, which has been hampered greatly by the weather. How will the backlog of games affect teams and athletes as the postseason draws near? Plus, what has stood out to John so far?

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

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04/03/18 - Keys pitcher and Frederick native, Branden Kline, then Mount seniors Junior Robinson and Chris Wray

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Frederick native Branden Kline is about to resume his professional baseball career with the Frederick Keys. On this week’s episode of The Final Score podcast, Kline chats with host Greg Swatek about missing almost three full seasons due to injury, how he and his life changed during the rehabilitation process and how excited he is to get back on the field. This will be the first time he has played for the Keys since 2014.

Also, Junior Robinson and Chris Wray of the Mount St. Mary’s basketball team stop in to discuss their experience at Final Four weekend in San Antonio. Robinson participated in the college slam-dunk contest and then teamed with Wray during the 3-on-3 competition. What did they take away from the experience? What does the future hold for two aspiring professional basketball players?

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

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03/28/18 - Frederick Keys broadcaster Geoff Arnold and Urbana baseball coach Mike Frownfelter

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With the major league and minor league baseball seasons about to get underway, Geoff Arnold, the Director of Broadcasting and Public Relations for the Frederick Keys, stops by to preview what’s to come with host Greg Swatek.

Who might play for the Keys this season? How about their new manager, Ryan Minor, who is back for his second stint with the team? What sort of promotions and celebrity appearances are on tap? Arnold answers all of these questions and more.

Then, Urbana baseball coach Mike Frownfelter drops in. How frustrating has the bad weather been so far this season? Can this Urbana baseball team break through and win the school’s first state title in the sport? How much has Frederick County baseball improved over the years? And how does Coach Frownfelter feel about players being recruited at a much younger age?

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

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03/22/18 - Kyle McFadden on covering UMBC's stunner, TJ's freshman baseball phenom Jacob Orr

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On this week’s episode, Kyle McFadden, the editor and founder of marylandsportsaccess.com, shares his amazing experience of covering UMBC’s historic upset over Virginia in the NCAA tournament after host Greg Swatek tried to talk him out of making the trip.

Plus, freshman phenom Jacob Orr and his father, Ted, stop by to discuss the upcoming business season for Thomas Johnson High School. How are Orr and the team dealing with the snow that has delayed the start of the season? How did he become such an outstanding hitter? How did he get recruited by the University of Maryland prior to ever playing a high school game? And what does he expect the Patriots to accomplish this season?

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

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03/15/18 - State Wrestling champs, Kevin Makosy and Cam Farrow

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After another very successful state tournament for Frederick County wrestling (7 finalists, 5 champions), first-time champions Kevin Makosy of Urbana and Cam Farrow of Middletown are the guests on this week’s episode of The Final Score podcast.

The two chat with host Greg Swatek about breaking through on the big state, their friendship and their excellent seasons. They also discuss what they can learn and admire about Earl Blake of Linganore, Jake Nielson of Urbana and Zach Bryant of Catoctin. Each of them won their second consecutive state championships this season.

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

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03/07/18 Thomas Johnson Boys Basketball's Run, Round-Up of Wrestling and Basketball States

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On this week’s episode, Thomas Johnson High School boys basketball coach John Manley and junior forward JR Powe chat with host Greg Swatek about the Patriots’ first trip to the state semifinals in 16 years. Why does this group of players mesh so well together? What has made this season so memorable?

Also, News-Post sports writer Joe Ferraro stops in to wrap up another successful state wrestling tournament for Frederick County and preview the upcoming state semifinals for basketball.

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

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03/01/18 - Trey Coates, Tuscarora Wrestling Coach on States, High School Basketball Playoffs Update

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With the state wrestling tournament on tap this weekend in Upper Marlboro, Tuscarora coach Trey Coates is this week’s guest on The Final Score podcast. After reaching the state duals for the first time and qualifying five for the state individual tournament, Coates chats with host Greg Swatek about what makes this Titans team so special. Coates also talks about his own background in the sport, which is often reflected in the teams that he coaches.

Plus, FNP sports writer John Cannon stops by to talk about the high school basketball playoffs in regards to Frederick County schools. He and Greg discuss the unique circumstances surrounding girls 3A West regional semifinal between Frederick and Linganore and what to expect going forward as teams on the boys and girls side close in on regional championships.

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

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02/23/18 - Playoff Basketball Preview, Linganore Indoor Track & Field State Champions

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On this week’s episode, three members of Linganore’s state championship boys indoor track team chat with host Greg Swatek about their season and their triumph. Assistant coach Andres Wright, pole vault champion Carter Holsinger and 3,200-meter run champion Michael Belmaggio talk about what makes this Linganore team so strong. In the fall, the Lancers won their first state team title in boys cross country since 1996, and now they added their first team title in boys indoor track and field in 1995. How is their success being received at a school that has won five state team titles (football, boys cross country, girls soccer, cheerleading and boys indoor track) during this school year?

Plus, with the high school basketball playoffs getting underway, Kyle McFadden, the editor of marylandsportsaccess.com, stops by to offer some insight. What stand out about the top teams in the Frederick County, the Oakdale and Thomas Johnson boys and the Frederick and Middletown girls? How far might they go? What teams stand in their way?

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

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02/13/18 - Chuck Nichols, Urbana Girls Soccer Coach

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Over the course of his 38-year coaching career, Urbana girls soccer coach Chuck Nichols has constantly had to adapt.

From learning how to better connect with his players, to finding new ways of communicating after a bout with cancer altered his voice, to adjusting his style to better accommodate girls instead of boys, Nichols’ willingness and ability to change is part of the reason why he has been so successful.

On this special joint edition of The Final Score and Frederick Uncut podcasts, Nichols chats with hosts Greg Swatek and Colin McGuire about his early life as a soccer player, his transition into coaching, all of the people who have helped him be so successful and his recent decision to step away from coaching.

Why did he decide to retire now? How much will he miss doing the job?

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02/09/18 - Justin Krop, Urbana wrestling coach; State Duals preview

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With his team heading to the state duals this weekend, Urbana wrestling coach Justin Krop is this week’s guest on the podcast.

Krop chats with host Greg Swatek about why he has so much confidence in his team, what coaching wrestling has taught him and his family’s history in the sport.

The also discuss Urbana’s sensational female wrestler, Anya Knappenberger, the inroads girls have made in the sport, and why Frederick County wrestling has risen to such prominence on the state level.

Plus, Greg runs down some of the big local storylines from this week’s National Signing Day for college recruits.

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

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01/30/18 - Dr. Terry Alban, Superintendent of Fred. Co. Public Schools

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In light of a recent incident with racial overtones between the Frederick High and Linganore girls basketball teams, Frederick County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Terry Alban is this week’s guest to discuss the incident.

Dr. Alban talks with host Greg Swatek about the difficulties and frustrations of getting to the bottom of what actually happened, given the lack of video evidence and the disparity in the eye-witness accounts. She provides an update on the FCPS investigations into the matter and whether any disciplinary action may be forthcoming. She also addresses some of the concerns the incident has raised for both schools and what can be done to prevent something like it from happening again.

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

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01/26/18 - Ben Arneson, Linganore Wrestling coach

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Ben Arneson, a longtime fixture on the Frederick County wrestling season, is in his second season as the head coach at Linganore High School after a long and successful tenure at Urbana. On this week’s episode of The Final Score, Arneson chats with host Greg Swatek about his team, the changes in the formats to the state wrestling tournaments, the lessons of his own wrestling career at Linganore and why Frederick County has become such a hotbed for high-level wrestling.

Also, FNP sports editor Josh Smith drops by to talk about the amazing longevity of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and tennis champion Roger Federer at the highest levels of their sports? What sort of examples are they setting for the rest of us?

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

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01/18/18 - Brunswick Indoor Track & Field coaches Lee and Ann Zumbach, plus an update on the county girls basketball

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With the Frederick County Public Schools Indoor Track and Field Championships set for this weekend, longtime Brunswick coaches Lee and Anne Zumbach stop by to chat with host Greg Swatek about the meet, as well as their teams and coaching careers.

How did they get their coaching jobs at Brunswick? And why do they still get so much enjoyment out of them all these years later?

Plus, FNP sports writer John Cannon drops in to discuss the girls basketball scene in Frederick County, as well as the wild football finishes involving the Ravens and the Vikings-Saints.

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01/12/18 - Middletown Girls Basketball Coach Amy Poffenbarger & FNP sports reporter Joe Ferraro

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The last remaining unbeaten high school basketball team in Frederick County is the Middletown girls. On this week episode of The Final Score, the Knights’ coach, Amy Poffenbarger, chats with host Greg Swatek about her team, the season and overall and the joys and challenges of raising a very competitive family of seven.

The two discuss Poffenbarger’s background as a player and a coach, as well as the young playing career of her daughter, Saylor, a talented freshman on the Middletown team who is already a highly coveted college recruit.

Also, FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro stops by to share his thoughts and insights on the high school basketball scene in Frederick County.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness and Performance.

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01/04/18 - Dan McLane, Brunswick boys basketball coach

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On the first episode of the new year, longtime Brunswick boys basketball coach Dan McLane joins host Greg Swatek to discuss his career and the Railroaders’ team this season.

They talk about McLane’s nickname “Duck” and its origins, which he prefers to keep under wraps. They also talk about some of the memorable moments in McLane’s tenure at Brunswick and a few of the notable players that have worn the Railroaders uniform. They also discuss the past and present landscape of high school basketball in Frederick County.

The Final Score is presented by Players Fitness & Performance.

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