Funkstown Legion baseball coach Darryl Powell is optimistic that this year's team will be one of the best in recent memory.
A big reason for that is a rule change that extends the age of eligibilty from 18 years old to 19, allowing Powell to utilize the abundance of Washington County players that will return to the team after a year of playing college baseball.
"I feel a lot more comfortable than in years past as far as the number of quality players," Powell said. "The big thing is the returning college players. The experience they got from playing on the next level improved them a lot and it will improve the team too."
Funkstown returns 11 players with a year of college under their belts, eight of whom saw live action this spring. Kyle Robinson, Andy Taylor and Jeremy McAfee return after a year of playing at Hagerstown Community College, while Josh Bowers and Phillip Powell each return after a year at Shepherd University. Also coming back are Jay Love (Northwest Shoals Community College), Drew Crawford (Shenandoah University) and Craig Henson (Mount St. Mary's). Nathan Steelman, David Miner and Daniel Lynn did not play in the spring, but all are expected to contribute.