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Baseball odyssey leads Smith to Funkstown

November 10, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

FUNKSTOWN - He's been a lifelong baseball junkie since he first played when he was 9 years old, and his resume involving the grand old game is filled with different stops along the way.

Brian Smith received an early birthday present Wednesday night when he was named manager of the Funkstown American Legion Post 211 team, succeeding Darryl Powell, who resigned following last season.

Smith, who will turn 38 Saturday, was named the coach by committee member Matt Smith (no relation) during an announcement at the Funsktown Legion Hall.

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"We are looking forward to having Brian as manager," said Matt Smith. "He's got a big set of shoes to fill to keep up the Funkstown tradition.

"We liked the fact (Brian) is a coach on the high school varsity level and that he was involved with us," Matt Smith added, noting Brian Smith spent five years as an assistant to manager Randy Jamison.

Post 211 went 41-14 last year and claimed its first Maryland state championship in 22 years. The team has made the state tournament in five of the last six seasons.

"My job is to pick the best 18 players to fit the team," said Brian Smith, who will name his own coaching staff. "I haven't seen many of the games recently, but I know that kids like (David) Warrenfeltz, (Kevin) Brashears an d (Trevor) Cobb are among eight that will be back."

Brian Smith currently coaches the Boonsboro High baseball team, although the school was reportedly searching for a replacement who teaches at the school. If the situation stays as is, Smith will have a long spring and summer ahead of him.

"Coaching Funkstown will not have an effect on coaching high school," he said. "If anything, I'll have an advantage having seen the kids during the spring play legion ball."

Brian Smith's baseball "junkie" trail began with three years as part of South Mountain Little League's championship team, and continued through PONY and Colt League World Series appearances, three years of legion baseball with Williamsport Post 202, two years at Hagerstown Community College and two years at Francis-Marion, an NAIA college in South Carolina. He also played 15 seasons with the Hagerstown Braves, and has been at Boonsboro for four seasons, two as head coach.

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