Roger Dawson Surpasses 300 Career Wins

It was a special season at Brunswick High School for the baseball program. The Frederick County School won the MPSSAA 1A State Championship, capping off a season that saw the Railroaders go 23-2. Those 23 victories are the most for a single season in the history of the school, Frederick County and the entirety of the Monocacy Valley Athletic League.

Another reason this season was unique for Brunswick was their head coach, Roger Dawson, winning his 300th game. Dawson, whose overall record is 312-177, has been the head coach at Brunswick for 23 seasons. That consistent success is something many coaches would envy.

"Consistency and longevity are key components," Dawson said. "Most coaches don't hang around for 20 plus years without some success. I've been blessed to have had some tremendous players over the years. We have a great feeder system in Brunswick through our Little League and Babe Ruth programs. These players have allowed me to have a program that consistently wins 13-15 games a year."

It is not surprising that Dawson decided to become a baseball coach- he comes from a baseball family. His father played professionally in the Chicago Cubs organization. Dawson himself played at Brunswick, then at Frederick Community College, before ending up at Shepherd College.

After his playing career, Dawson started teaching and coaching at Brunswick. The Railroaders were successful during his tenure as an assistant coach, winning three straight state titles from 1990-92. When the head coach job became available, Dawson was offered it. Despite having won 311 games since it happened, he remembers his first win as a head coach vividly.

"My first win was against Middletown High School," Dawson said. "I remember it very well. Jason Ricketts threw a complete game 5-hitter and Dwayne Stockman hit a 2-run homer that sealed the win for us."

While Dawson has been involved with some very good teams during his time at Brunswick, the 2015 squad may have been the best.

"We really did not have a weakness. Out of the ten position players I used consistently, they all hit over .300; several over .400," Dawson said. "Our depth off the mound was unreal. My three starters, Ryan Capstick, Andrew Wanger and Doug Pearl, all had tremendous records; Capstick finished 7-0, Wanger went 6-0 and Pearl finished 6-1. That is unheard of at the high school level. Our bullpen of Dylan Ellis, Tommy McCarthy, Tyler Ebberts, Sean Christie and Joe Rindone were unreal as well. Rindone, our catcher, was also our closer with an 88-mph fastball. When you combine a staff like that, with ten guys that hit above .300, good things are going to happen."

After such a successful season, it was be normal for there to be a drop off in success for Brunswick. However, with a coach who has the pedigree that Dawson does, the Railroaders still have as good a chance to be successful in 2016 as any team.

"We lost eight seniors, five of which were everyday players," Dawson said. "We need to replace our middle of the field as catcher Joe Rindone, shortstop Taylor Itnyre, and centerfielder Doug Pearl are all gone. We have underclassmen that are capable of filling those roles. Their success and performance will have a lot to do with our success."

Looking at how his career as a coach has shaped out, one of Dawson's favorite things is that he has been able to coach in the community he was born into, and to give back to the community which helped shape him as a human being.

"I coach where I was born and raised. I have a tremendous amount of pride in our baseball tradition," Dawson said. "Being able to carry that on is a gift that I cherish."
June 16th, 2015By: Wick Eisenberg

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