Soft launch for Allegany Playground

Josiah Spradlin, 12, is happy to be away from video games if it’s his turn to pitch.

FROSTBURG, Md., Nov. 5, 2021 — Yes, you are at the right place. If you are one of the few who were given the website address and decided to find out what all the fuss was about, what you found is, well, a site that is under construction.

If you have found yourself here by accident, that is quite alright — so did I.

This URL,, has had more than one  purpose since it went live in April 2014. For the first 15 months, it was the digital base of operations for a daily news website in North Carolina. The site now comes full circle — almost, at least — as a digital hub that aims to cover sports, recreation and the great outdoors in and around Allegany County. This means that, at least for now, Allegany Playground won’t be covering high school football, baseball, wrestling, volleyball, soccer, softball or basketball because they are adequately covered by other outlets.

You might see us at tennis, cross country, track and field or other prep sports. You will probably also see us at:

  • area disc golf courses
  • youth sports
  • in the woods (hunting, horse riding, hiking and camping)
  • on or along the river (swimming, fishing, tubing, paddling).

Two years ago, Lucas Spradlin-Vogelsang played sandlot soccer at Glendening Park and declared he wanted to be a goalie. He recently completed his second year of soccer and enjoyed being in goal very much.

My name is Kevin Spradlin. I have lived in or near Allegany County for most of the last 14 years. I am a Maryland native, but first moved to Allegany County in October 2007 to begin a job at the Cumberland Times-News as a county government reporter.

The concept of this new site came as my youngest children — Josiah is 12, Lucas is 8 — were continuing in local youth sports. Baseball, soccer and disc golf, among others. I realized I missed having a camera, so I bought one and took a few pictures. Then I realized I missed writing post-game summaries, so I wrote a few. Then I realized I wanted to write a little more (and have somewhere to put them), and the concept of Allegany Playground was born and evolved into a full-fledged news site for sports, recreation and the outdoors. On occasion, I’ll even veer off course and write about hockey. When I do, please understand I know virtually nothing about the sport. I am a hockey newb, having gravitated to the sport only since the NHL awarded Seattle a franchise (and here is my obligatory exclamation, “Release the Kraken!”

Now, let’s talk business briefly (more another day, but a little bit now).

This will always be a free-access site. There will not be a paywall. After nearly 19 years as a practicing journalist, I have a firm belief that access to quality journalism is a right, and not one only for those who can afford to pay for it.

But this venture will require funding. Where will it come from?

  • Dynamic advertising (which means events of all sizes will be able to afford to advertise)
  • Reader memberships (the higher the level membership, the better swag you get)
  • Selling photos (photos only as well as novelty items such as prints on canvas, mugs, etc.)
  • Voluntary contributions from the reading public.

Josiah proudly holds up the scorecard from Western Maryland Disc Golf Summer League action, when he beat his dad for the first time.

Again, there will be more on this later. But if you know of an internet-savvy individual with solid business sense and the gift of gab, please ask that person to call me at 301-338-4533. That person could very well become the first sales person for Allegany Playground.

We — yes, “we,” because while it’s just me right now, this venture will be more successful, more quickly, as the stable of contributors builds up over the next weeks and months. Stay tuned. This could be a whole lotta fun.

Kevin Spradlin is owner and editor of Allegany Playground and the soon-to-be He is a graduate of Frostburg State University and an active duty Army veteran. A former runner, his body now permits him to participate only in low-impact activities. All four children attend(ed) Allegany County Public Schools, including two Mountain Ridge High School graduates. Josiah and Lucas are currently in younger grades (middle school and elementary school, respectively). We all live in Frostburg. Along with supporting the new Kraken in ice hockey, he also cheers for the Cardinals, Mariners, Braves, Pirates and Orioles in baseball and the Buffalo Bills football team. 


Filed in: Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Sports

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