The future of Franklin Football is looking brighter this year with three wins already this season. The existing coaching staff got an update this year with the arrival of the new head coach, Jamal Jones. Jones is originally from Arcata, California, where he played collegiate football from 2013-2015 at Humboldt State University— and kicked off his coaching career. Jones then secured the head coach position at Arcata High School for five years where he led the team to five consecutive winning seasons, five consecutive playoff appearances, two league championships, and two state playoff appearances.
Jones explains that what drew him to Franklin was the constant turnover within the coaching staff. “[I want] to give them and establish some foundation and consistency, […] something to build off of,” he also added that he wants to provide the players the consistency they need and aspires to be a mentor for his team.
So far this season Franklin has maintained a 3-0 record under the leadership of Coach Jones, beating Aloha 38 to 13, shutting out Cleveland 35 to 0, and annihilating Lincoln 35 to 14. These wins can partly be attributed in part to Coach Jones’ intense, but passionate coaching style which, according to football player Diego Galvez (12), was what the team was lacking over the past years. “I like that [Coach Jones] holds us accountable and that he makes us take responsibility for our actions,” football player Artai Hardnett (9) added.
Galvez describes Coach Jones as a “player’s coach,” denoting that they could laugh comfortably and play around with him. However, Galvez also emphasized how focused his practices are, adding that “he knows what he wants from the players.”
When asked for his main goal for the team, Coach Jones emphasized the idea of building—building the program’s skills and getting better at it day by day while also having fun. The players also expressed their optimism about heading to the playoffs with the lead of Coach Jones, to which he responded humbly saying, “I’m hopeful but I don’t know what the future holds,” adding that he’s still figuring out Portland football as well as his team.
“Well, obviously we are heading in the right direction. Over the span of the last three years, the Franklin Football Program has only won five total games. Hopefully, we will win more than five games this year,” Galvez reflects. “I think the future is brighter than before.”