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Williamsport, Funkstown set to begin district play

May 27, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

Two local American Legion baseball teams will face each other today to start the Western Maryland District season.

The Williamsport Nationals visit Funkstown Post 211 at 5:30 p.m., kicking off another season in which both teams look to ignite their year with success.

Jeff Williams takes over as manager of the Funkstown team, which opened its season with a 9-3 nondistrict victory over Gaithersburg last weekend. Duane Myers begins his second season at the helm of Williamsport.

Funkstown's roster has several past and present South Hagerstown players -- Joey Miller, Tyeler Presgraves, Adrian Adams and Dwight Boward from this season's team and former Rebels Todd Jacobsen, Brandon Knight, Tim Leather, Tim Jacobsen and Luke Toms.

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Add Greg Lynn, Jeremy Barron, Aaron Stoner and Colby Fisher from North Hagerstown and the nucleus for Funkstown is in place.

"I think we'll have a pretty decent club," said Williams. "Defense is going to be a strong point. Once the sticks come around, there is no reason why this group can't contend."

He said Boward would be the starting pitcher tonight.

Williams is making his first venture into Legion baseball after coaching in the Hagerstown PONY League. He is a North Hagerstown graduate and played for Funkstown's 1980 and 1982 state champions.

Meanwhile, Myers turns in his St. Maria Goretti hat for that of the Nationals.

The Nationals went 14-10 last year and Myers has his team targeted.

"Hitting should be our bright spot," he said, "but the pitching right now is going to be a question mark."

Boonsboro left-hander Seth Poffenberger will get the nod in the opener on the mound. After that, Myers will look upon a staff that includes J.J. O'Neill and returning right-hander Jared Ferguson.

Among those returning to the Nationals are Travis Sluger, Adam Chambers and John Shobe -- all with pitching experience. Poffenberger, Chambers and Sluger return from last year's squad.

"Our goal is to win the district," said Myers, "but the Frederick team is really loaded this year."

Other teams in the Western Maryland District include Frederick, Brunswick, Thurmont, Mount Airy and Urbana.

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