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Powell steps down from Funkstown post

September 15, 2005|By MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

Darryl Powell can't say he's going out on top as Funkstown Post 211 baseball coach, but he can say he's going out with the team much closer to the top than it's been in nearly 25 years.

Powell submitted his resignation as coach of the only American Legion team in Washington County on Monday, ending a very successful eight-year run with Funkstown. He made his decision public Wednesday in an e-mail to, among others, the members of his coaching staff and The Herald-Mail.

"I had been toying with the idea last year, but I decided to stick it out for one more," Powell said in a telephone interview. "It was a combination of things that led to the decision. Each year seems to be more and more involved. Really, a whole realm of things just kind of came to a head."

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Things came to a head on the field for Funkstown this year. Post 211 won its fifth Western Maryland District title in six years and won the Maryland State Tournament for the first time since 1983.

Funkstown finished 41-14 on the season, losing its first two games in the regional tournament. Powell said the successful year helped make his decision easier.

"The goal from the beginning was to win states, then hope we win the region and go to the World Series," Powell said. "I wanted to at least go out in a positive fashion. I didn't want to be hanging on to something I didn't want to do or didn't enjoy."

Powell, 45, said the time commitment to the team played the biggest part in his decision. He said the planning stages for the season begin in the winter, registration and practices begin in early spring and the season runs into August.

He also cited a growing disenchantment in dealing with some parents.

"You always have second guessing as a coach, but this was the first team in 22 years to win the states and we were still dealing with disgruntled parents and their philosophy of coaching," Powell said. "There were some parents who just kept hammering away. For a coach to put in all that time and not make a penny, they don't deserve that kind of treatment."

Powell, a physical education teacher at Musselman Middle School, has not closed the door on coaching for good. He said he thinks he'll return in the future, perhaps at the high school level. He is also considering working as an umpire in the area next season.

As for Funkstown, Powell doesn't know who might succeed him.

"Maybe some of the parents who think it's easy will jump in and see what it's like," he said.

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