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Funkstown to host state Legion tournament

February 13, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — For the first time since 2005, the Maryland Senior American Legion state tournament will come to Hagerstown in July.

Funkstown Post 211 won the right to host the 2011 state tournament and will team with the Hagerstown Suns to hold the event at Municipal Stadium from July 27 to 31.

“We’re very happy,” Funkstown manager Jeff Williams said. “The Suns have been very supportive. We can’t say enough about that.”

“We are excited to host the Legion tournament this summer and look forward to more community events here at the stadium,” said Hagerstown Suns general manager Bill Farley in an e-mail.

Funkstown won the state tournament the last time it was played at Municipal Stadium. Last year’s trip to the state tournament was Funkstown’s first since that state championship.

“We will get an automatic bid, but our goal is to win the Western Maryland District. We want to earn our way there,” Williams said. “I wasn’t part of (the 2005 tournament), but they did well. It’s the fan support, that’s a big help. Playing in your hometown, the guys get a little more pumped up when they’re playing in front of the home crowd.”

Eight teams will make up the state tournament field. The winner will advance to the regional tournament in Boyertown, Pa., from  Aug. 3 to 8, with the regional champion advancing to the Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C., from Aug. 12 to 16.

Funkstown’s bid for hosting the state tournament would not have been successful without the help of the Suns — whose new ownership group is busy making several improvements to Municipal Stadium, including a new playing surface — and Clarion Inn, which made a deal to provide lodging for the teams coming to town.

“The Suns have been very supportive. They have welcomed us with open arms,” Williams said. “We’re very excited to play on the new surface. It’s going to be a fun time and it should be good baseball. You’ve got the top eight teams in the state competing in a rebuilt stadium, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Funkstown is looking for sponsors for the state tournament program it plans to distribute. If interested, contact Williams at 240-527-7320.

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