It’s time to say “See you next year” to regular season basketball, swimming, and wrestling and get ready to welcome track and field, baseball, softball, tennis, and golf for the spring season. As we get ready for this new season, teams are reflecting on how last season went and what they can do to continue to grow their players and programs. With pre-season workouts already underway, and tryouts just around the corner starting on Feb. 27, the Franklin community has a lot to look forward to!
Franklin is known for our running programs. This season, Franklin can get excited about seeing state qualifying athletes return yet again. Junior Luci Kennedy-Wong explained how she appreciates that the program knows how to individualize their workouts for each person, helping everyone improve from the start to the end of the season. Head Track and Field Coach Jacob Michaels adds that “[track and field] is the team that can find an event for anyone and [help] develop athletic skills that are applicable to all sports!” He explained that the team is expecting to have over 100 Franklin athletes this season after last season’s numbers and looks forward to continuing to grow the program. Additionally, both athletes and coaches are excited to welcome new sprinting coach Conway Hill, who Michaels described as “highly experienced with great success in California.”
Nabaa Hussein, a junior who made it to state last year for a discus throw of 94 feet, explains that she has “very high hopes for this season and can’t wait for it to start,” adding that “there is a lot of talent on the Franklin Track and Field team and I’m expecting more people to perform at state championships then last season.” She explains that while the different sections of the team (throwers, sprinters, and long distance) are often split up, the community is super supportive for athletes trying to reach goals. “Everyone there is friendly and just wants the best for you, especially your coaches,” said Hussein.
Last season, the softball team made it to districts. After losing last year’s seniors, the team can expect to see new faces on varsity. Junior Phebe Doukas says she thinks “this season will be about rebuilding and … trying to fill the spots of the players we lost last year.” She explains that the team is tight knit and many of the girls have been playing together for many years. “The softball team is one of the most supportive groups of people I know, and definitely the biggest hype squad for each other,” says Doukas. The baseball team is also looking forward to another exciting season with their first jamboree on March 13. The team’s first league game is against Cleveland on April 4.
After an unconventional season last year, the boys tennis team is excited for the upcoming season! “Going into [last] season most of our players had never touched a tennis racket and had a tough time learning because of the lack of proper coaching. This resulted in less experienced players playing high varsity matches which was definitely a struggle,” explains senior tennis player Elliot Byrne. Going into this season, Byrne is excited to have a coach for the team from the start to support new players in preparation for the season. While the team didn’t have a coach from the start last season, Byrne explained that he saw strong improvement in players and is excited to see more growth this year. He and the team plan to keep good relationships with other schools to center a fun and positive environment for all meets. The team dynamic is described as fun and close knit as the team hangs out outside of practice and has team dinners.
Similarly to the boys tennis team, the girls tennis team is looking forward to another season full of positive attitudes! Senior Nina Roy explains that “Whether we won or lost [last year] we all had fun doing it so I count that as a win. We had so many new girls last year and it was so fun to watch everyone fall in love with the sport.” The team plans to continue traditions from last year like having everyone help out with snacks and fundraising to continue to be close as a community. Roy is excited about new opportunities of practicing on indoor courts. “Our team dynamic is incredibly resilient, welcoming and super fun. Even though tennis isn’t like soccer or football in the team sense, we are still just as much of a team. We have so much spirit and support for each other,” says Roy. Tennis can be an isolating sport, but the Franklin girls team is always there for one another. This year, they plan to do more outside of matches and practice to get to know each other better and continue to grow strong connections.
Senior Owen Pollack explains that last season was a year for growth personally, but that the overall boys golf team did pretty well. He explained that the team is “going to be focusing on trying to all improve together as a team rather than individuals so the whole program can grow.” The team plans to try new forms of practice beyond only going to the range and course. “I feel like the team dynamic strikes a good balance between being competitive and pushing each other while also allowing us to go out there and have a good time,” he said, adding, “This season I think we’ll be able to foster community through the way we practice and what we do as a team off the course.” Pollack and the rest of the boys golf team are looking forward to another great season with returning athletes as well as some new faces. The girls golf team is also looking forward to another great season coached by Mike Niece.
Athletes and coaches can’t wait for another great season of Franklin athletics. With both new and returning athletes, the Franklin community can look forward to another incredible full season!