Tuscarora football coach Vince Ahearn the 2019 season

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With two weeks to go until the start of the season, the Final Score podcast continues its preview of the 2019 high school football season in Frederick County with Tuscarora coach Vince Ahearn.

Entering his fifth season as the coach of the Titans, Ahearn chats with host Greg Swatek about how he has modified the way he coaches, including an increased emphasis on rest and recovery periods for his players. He talks about making his team as versatile as possible, even at the expense of rhythm and continuity for his players at the same position. And he talks about how Tuscarora held things together through an injury-riddled 6-4 season last fall.

The Titans have a heavily recruited receiver and defensive back in Jordan Addison, who verbally committed to play at the University of Pittsburgh over the summer. They have an easily overlooked weapon in punter Ryan Barrick, who also doubles as lineman on offense and defense. What they don’t have is a proven running back, which has been a hallmark in the relatively brief history of their program.

How will this all mesh together on the field? How does Ahearn feel about the nine-game regular season?

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A look at Middletown Football with Coach Collin Delauter

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The Final Score podcast continues to preview the upcoming high school football season in Frederick County with this week’s guest, Middletown coach Collin Delauter.

Practices are now underway across the county, and Coach Delauter reminisces with host Greg Swatek about the days when players were in pads on the first day. While Delauter wishes that was still the case, he understands it’s a precautionary measure to help keep the players safe. Delauter talks extensively about his concern for the dwindling numbers of players in youth football and why he feels the game is about as safe as it can be today.

He also talks about the heightened expectations swirling around his team with a three-year starter at quarterback and why his players are so good at holding themselves accountable. He talks about the pain of missing the playoffs the last two seasons with winning records and why he feels the new playoff format is beneficial for most of the teams in Frederick County.

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Oakdale grad Zach Thomas on playing pro basketball overseas

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Before heading to Italy to being the next phase of his professional basketball career, Oakdale High graduate Zach Thomas stopped by The Final Score podcast to talk about his eventful last year and a half.

Thomas chats with host Greg Swatek extensively about the process of trying to establish a career in professional basketball. The all-time leading scorer for boys basketball in Frederick County talks about his successful summer league stint with the Houston Rockets that recently finished and how the opportunity in Italy came about. He also discusses what he learned from the season he spent playing in Belgium.

What have been the coolest moments of the journey so far? Who are some of the well-known people he has gotten a chance to meet or play with? How does he keep himself and his game in shape?

Plus, what does he enjoy the most about getting the chance to spend time at home in Maryland? And what did he say to the referee to receive a technical foul on his way to fouling out of his final college game at Bucknell in the NCAA tournament?

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Brunswick football coach Jerry Smith on the upcoming season

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As the Final Score podcast continues its look at the upcoming high school football season in Frederick County, Brunswick football coach Jerry Smith is the guest this week.

Smith talks with host Greg Swatek about his first two years on the job, as Brunswick grew from a winless program to one with legitimate playoff aspirations. Has it been more difficult than he expected? What is he the most proud of?

Plus, how will the Railroaders replace some of their top players from last season’s 7-3 team? How does he feel about the nine-game schedule and the new playoff format? What would he say to critics of the team’s independent schedule?

Coach Smith talks about all of this and more, and explains why a small school like Brunswick has been able to sustain a football program for more than 50 years.

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Kurt Stein, coach of the 2018 class 2A state champion Oakdale Bears footabll team

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The Final Score podcast continues its look at the upcoming 2019 high school football season in Frederick County with this week's guest, Kurt Stein of Oakdale High School.

The head coach of the Bears recalls his fondest memories from last season's unbeaten run to the Class 2A state championship with host Greg Swatek. He talks about how far the program has come since it was started from scratch in the fall of 2010 and what challenges lie ahead?

Who will be the key players to watch this season? Will Oakdale adjust its style of play after losing 26 seniors to graduation? Have expectations changed at all? What are the feelings about the new nine-game regular season and the adjusted playoff format?

Stein answers all of these questions and more on this week's episode.

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The life and career of legendary track and field coach Don Boyer

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This week’s Final Score podcast pays tribute to the life and career of longtime Middletown track and field and cross country coach Don Boyer.

Boyer, one of the most influential coaches in Frederick County history, passed away Saturday after a years-long battle with Lewy body dementia. He was 75.

On this episode, three of Boyer’s closest confidants, Hal Grau, Tom Stevens and Dale Drum, reflect on his momentous life with host Greg Swatek.

They share some of their favorite stories about Boyer and explain why he was able to shape and influence thousands of lives, including their own, over a period of 50 years.

They talk about Boyer’s renowned competitiveness and how he balanced that with compassion and benevolence for just about anyone he crossed path’s with.

They also talk about the important role that his wife, Sharon, played in life and career, and why they were both so beloved in the Middletown community.

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Previewing the 2019 football season with Linganore coach Rick Conner

With the start of practice about a month away, the Final Score podcast begins its look at the 2019 high school football season in Frederick County.

The first guest is a coach who had his team on the precipice of a Frederick County record seventh state title last November before falling just short due to a last-second field goal.

Rick Conner of Linganore High School talks with host about the pain and the lessons learned from that 17-14 loss to Franklin High in the Class 3A title game last November. Typically someone who likes to keep moving forward, how long did an agonizing loss like that stay with him? What play does he want to have back the most?

Coach Conner also provides a glimpse of this season’s team at Linganore, which will feature new faces in several of the key positions, and why the Lancers plan to stay true to their identity. He also shares his feelings on the new state playoff format and why he is as passionate about his job right now as ever before.

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Frederick Keys starting pitcher Cody Sedlock

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In the midst of his finest season as a professional, Keys starting pitcher Cody Sedlock is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.

The Orioles’ first-round pick in 2016 chats with host Greg Swatek about dealing with injury issues through his first three professional seasons and how he feels to finally be pitching at 100 percent health.

Sedlock talks about the experience of being drafted in the first round and the pressures and expectations that come along with it. He also talks about growing up in a small town in Illinois wanting to be a big-league pitcher and the process of making that dream come true.

Some of his answers may surprise you.

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Zach Jarrett, outfielder for the Frederick Keys

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Zach Jarrett, an outfielder for the Frederick Keys and the son of NASCAR legend Dale Jarrett, is the guest this week on The Final Score podcast.

Jarrett talks candidly with host Greg Swatek about his relationship with his famous father, and why he has no problem being asked about him or talking about his family. He talks about life growing up around the track, and some of the famous drivers and people he has met. He also explains why he is playing professional baseball instead of racing cars.

Zach also answers: Can he change a tire? How fast has he ever driven? How many speeding tickets has he received? What type of music does he like?

Some of his answers may surprise you.

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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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