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The Left Bench Board:

Director of Recruiting Coverage

Johnny likes sportz and he doesn’t care who knows, word to The Lonely Island. He has been a recruiting writer for The Left Bench since fall semester of his freshman year. He is from Columbia, Maryland and loves the Ravens and anything Terps related.  He is a multiplatform journalism major blessed with a slightly above average wingspan, but thats about it. UMD Class of 2019.

Editor in chief

Jake started writing for The Left Bench during the spring semester of his freshman year. He is from Rockville, Maryland and loves all things sports related. He is a fan of the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals and Orioles and has been following them closely since he was young. In addition to sports, Jake enjoys photography. He is currently a freelance photographer who works mostly Maryland and local high school sports. He is a journalism major.

Executive Producer TLBTV

Following an illustrious middle school basketball career in which he scored 1 point and committed 5 turnovers per game, Alex Flum hung up his jersey and decided to pursue a career in sports broadcast journalism.

A proud native of Montgomery County, Maryland, he is now a Junior in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a strong interest in sports journalism.

In addition to spearheading The Left Bench TV, he currently covers and broadcasts dozens of sports at the University of Maryland for the Big Ten Network Student U Initiative and the student-run radio station WMUC Sports.

In the past, he has interned for WJLA-ABC7 in Arlington, Va. and WBOC-TV 16 in Salisbury, Md. and written for The Diamondback sports section. His favorite journalism experiences include broadcasting a volleyball game on national television, covering the Maryland men’s basketball team at the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in Louisville, Ky. and his internship with ABC7.

Executive Producer TLBTV

Danielle Stein is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Boston. She is an Executive Producer for The Left Bench TV and loves to anchor and produce packages for the show. Don’t say anything negative to Danielle about New England sports or you’ll find yourself in a heated argument. Tom Brady is the greatest of all time. Danielle always enjoys a good pun.

The Left Bench Writing Staff:

Recruiting Writer

Jackie Budko is a huge baseball fan that found herself as a basketball and football recruiting writer for The Left Bench. She is a journalism and economics major from the suburbs of Philadelphia. Other than constantly defending Philly sports, she spends her time reading and unnecessarily online shopping. In addition to writing for The Left Bench, she serves as the athletics liaison between the University of Maryland’s student government and athletic department and works to empower other women to work in sports. She hopes the Eagles will win the Super Bowl in her lifetime.

Volleyball Beat Writer
Joel has been the volleyball beat writer at The Left Bench since 2017. He is from Houston and an avid fan of the Texans, Rockets and Astros. In addition to writing, he is also a photographer – a lifelong passion of his.
Recruiting Writer
Recruiting Writer
Recruiting Writer

Kevin Brown is a freshman journalism student at the University of Maryland. Kevin is from Bear, Delaware and covers recruiting news and profiles for The Left Bench for lacrosse nationwide as well as other sports. Having played lacrosse most of his life, he loves to see the game grow. As an avid sports fan in general, Kevin follows soccer (particularly the Premier League and La Liga), professional basketball and football, as well as lacrosse. His favorite teams are Arsenal, the Philadelphia 76ers, Green Bay Packers, and has been a University of Maryland lacrosse fan his whole life. Other than The Left Bench, Kevin writes editorial articles for a website called the Last Word on Sports.

Recruiting Writer

Juan is a recruiting writer at The Left Bench. He is a big Manchester United, Packers, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Wizards fan; it’s a weird mix. Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, Class of 2018.

Recruiting Writer

Joe, a freshman journalism major from Elmwood Park, New Jersey, was able to identify the logos of all 122 teams in the four major sports leagues before he knew simple multiplication. He joined his high school newspaper as a freshman, which is when he realized he could combine his passion for sports with his writing and broadcasting skills in order to make a living.

Aside from TLB, Joe broadcasts men’s and women’s soccer for WMUC Sports, serves as a videographer for the football team, contributes to Turn On the Jets (a New York Jets blog), and will be writing and broadcasting for the Maryland Baseball Network in the spring of 2017.

Recruiting Writer

Connor is a journalism major from Fallston, Maryland. Aside from TLB, he has also worked for Maryland Baseball Network, WMUC Sports and Fish Stripes on SB Nation. It is said that he will never be truly happy until the Orioles win a World Series in his lifetime. He reminds you to never bunt.

Recruiting Writer

Gillian has been writing for The Left Bench since 2014. She is a junior multiplatform journalism major at UMD. She enjoys covering high school, college and NBA basketball as well as other sports. She hails from Sudbury, Massachusetts, and is a huge Boston sports fan, especially the Celtics! Her interests include writing, photography, playing the guitar and playing basketball and softball. Her favorite food is lobster mac-and-cheese and the first time she called to order a pizza she was so nervous that she accidentally ordered “half cheese, half pizza.”

Recruiting Writer

Ben Warco is a freshman at the University of Maryland, and I am a multi-platform journalism major at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Although he grew up in Giants and Jets country, he is one of the biggest and most passionate New England Patriots fans you will find. Sundays are for football and football only. While his main focus is football, he has a passion for all sports and is an aspiring sports journalist. Give him any sport and he will write about it.

Recruiting Writer

Hannah Yasharoff is a sophomore multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland covering basketball and football recruiting. She has previously written sports ethics columns (a couple of which won The Left Bench’s first Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award) and covered Maryland women’s basketball. A native of Potomac, Maryland, she is a diehard Food Network fan and listens to the “Hamilton” soundtrack way too often.

Recruiting Writer

Adam Zielonka is a graduate student in multiplatform journalism at the University of Maryland. He also works at The Capital’s sports desk in Annapolis and writes for whomever else will put up with him. He’s from Somerville, N.J. by way of DeSales University in Pennsylvania, which, no, is not LaSalle. One time the New York Post quoted his writing with the attribution “griped Jets blogger Adam Zielonka,” and sadly, that line was completely fair and accurate.


Emily Olsen is the D.C. United beat reporter for The Left Bench. She has also covered basketball recruiting. Emily dreams of one day traveling the world reporting on the Olympics and World Cups. Emily enjoys coloring outside the lines.

Hockey Beat Writer

Chase is the Mid-Atlantic recruiting writer for The Left Bench and multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland. You can follow him on Twitter @chasepyke.

The Left Bench Photography Staff:

Photo Editor

Paige Leckie is a photo editor, baseball beat writer, and former field hockey beat writer. When she’s not writing she’s watching the Caps or Nats and is used to postseason disappointment.

Photo Editor

Sarah Sopher is a photo editor and does graphic design for The Left Bench. She spends most of her time doing photography and arguing that horseback riding is a sport.

The Left Bench Editing Staff:

Abigail Bentz is a member of the editing staff and social media team for The Left Bench in the Class of 2019. She studies Multiplatform Journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and has a passion for learning about people. Coming from small town Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, Abigail is aware that she has much to learn about the world and looks forward to using journalism to do so.
Abigail is also a member of the University of Maryland varsity volleyball team, which means she knows a ton about volleyball and little about every other sport. However, being a student-athlete gives her a unique perspective on the world of college athletics.

Max is a freshman broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland. He currently is a reporter for WMUC Sports covering Maryland Terrapin Field Hockey and a lead writer for New York Jet Fuel, a site dedicated to coverage of his hometown Jets.

Megan Smedley is a junior broadcast journalism major at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She is an editor with The Left Bench and helps in the production of TLBTV. Megan is also the News Director for WMUC Sports. There, she organizes crews to cover all of Maryland sports while continuing to broadcast and cover games as well.  She has previously written for The Baltimore Sun’s online department and is currently an intern for NBC Washington’s Sports Department.
Born just outside of Philadelphia, Megan is a die-hard Phillies fan. But because of her mom’s upbringing she is also a fan of the Boston Red Sox and New York Giants. So yes, the Super Bowl wins were extra special and she happily gloated throughout her Philadelphia suburb. Megan hopes to visit all Major League ballparks, having been to twelve already.

The Left Bench Social Media Staff:

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TLBTV Staff:

Recruiting Writer

Steven is a sophomore broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland. Steven is from Ocean City, Maryland but is surprisingly is not a fan of the beach. He is an avid supporter of Arsenal, the Baltimore Ravens, the Baltimore Orioles and all things Terps. He enjoys bowling and golf, even though he has yet to figure out how to fix that slice yet.

Production Assistant

I am from Bryans Road, MD. I attended Henry E. Lackey High School and graduated in the top 10%. I was the president of the National Honor Society as well the founder of the school’s spirit club. I was my schools morning announcer. I am currently a freshman in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. I am interested in broadcast, with a focus in sports. I am in the Honors College and the Director of Communication in Resident Hall Association. In addition to TLB I am an employee with WMUC Sports. I am interested in play-by-play commentating and post-game interviews. In my free time I enjoy running and going on vacation.

Joke: What did Mr. and Mrs. Hamburger name their daughter?

Answer- Patty

Production Assistant

Noah is a freshman at the University of Maryland.  He is from the city of champions: Cleveland, Ohio.  Noah is interested in reminding the world that Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.  He also enjoys going into a state of depression for 16 Sundays a year, watching the pitiful Browns.  Noah is a diehard Indians fan too, and follows all teams in the NBA, NFL, and MLB.  Noah graduated from Kenston High School with an honors diploma in May 2016.  He had various internships back in Ohio, and loves to talk about anything, especially sports.

Production Assistant

Anna Muckerman began her career in sports journalism at the ripe young age of 8 when she played professional bocci in the alley behind her home. Later, she found her passions to equestrian and cricket. However, since the TLB does not cover those sports, she’s been reduced to the drudgery of an editor.

Actually, she’s a sophomore broadcast journalism major who has very little sports knowledge but enjoys editing TLB articles to learn the basics. She’s played volleyball and judo for many years, but unfortunately these skills do not help her at Superbowl parties or in March Madness brackets. 

At Maryland, she’s the news director for WMUC radio and a staff writer for the Diamondback, as well as a production assistant with Capital News Service. She hopes to become an international correspondent on a network newscast, or really, just make it on television somehow.

TLB Audio Staff:


Josh Coggins is from Hanover, Pennsylvania (Yes the same small town the Utz Potato Chips and Snyder’s Pretzels are made). Josh is a broadcast journalism and criminology double major. When he graduates, he wants to become either a sports broadcaster or do something in sports management. Josh is a fan of the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Capital and of course the Terps! Josh is a member of The Left Bench audio team and has also started broadcasting games for WMUC sports. Catch Josh’s all Maryland sport talk podcast “Inside the Maryland Lines every Monday and Friday.

  • Ryan Queler

    Good afternoon,

    My name is Ryan Queler and I am a junior Multi-Platform Journalism major at UMD. I am currently looking to fulfill my 10 published articles for JOUR320, and would be happy to write for your publication. Please let me know if there are any stories that need writers, or when the next assignment meetings are.

    Thank you!