Varsity athlete Stella Holt Dupey making a layup in a game against the Roosevelt Rough Riders. Women’s Basketball is one of the returning winter sports this year. Photo by Darby Winter Photos

Franklin’s Fall Sports season just ended, consisting of Cross Country, Soccer, Football, and Volleyball. For the coming winter season, Wrestling, Swimming, and Basketball are on the rise.

Last year, the Franklin Wrestling team consisted of numerous young, dedicated athletes. According to Team Captain Abram Redlock (12), “freshman placing in districts [last year] was really exciting to see.” Of the 15-16 freshmen on the team, 10 of those placed in districts. Despite having a young team, Redlock believes they have a really solid group this year: “We have a district contender in every weight class.”

As well as being a captain, Redlock is an excellent athlete on the team. He placed as two time heavyweight runner up for the past two years at districts. Along with Redlock, Sophomore Dane Hartman is a tough player on the team and placed 4th at Districts last year. 

Redlock has clear aspirations for this year. “I hope to bring the team to some college wrestling meets,” he says. Along with developing their athletic skills in the sport, Redlock hopes to grow the team’s knowledge about what wrestling could look like after high school. 

The Franklin Wrestling team has school-wide support from many different members of faculty. Rob Jamieson and Steve O’Neill serve as the main coaches, along with coaching and chaperone support from Grady Holt-Seavy, Kilsi Naanee, and Tim Itami. With lots of staff support, we can expect the team to do great this year! 

The Franklin Swim team has been “a more quiet sport in our community” according to Captains Riley Doty and Cooper Long, but nonetheless, they are doing great! Last season, the women’s team was 0.8 seconds away from qualifying for state at their district meet in the 200 yard freestyle relay. However, sophomore Amos Crafts qualified for state in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke and 50m Freestyle during districts. 

Doty and Long are excited for what the swim team has to offer. Their main goal this year is to make swimming accessible to all students. “Competitive swimming is a predominantly white sport,” say both Doty and Long; “coming into the last year we have done our best as a team to reach out to as many people as we can [to offer] inclusion in swimming.”

This season, freshman Noah Norton is “definitely a swimmer to watch out for,” say both captains. Norton has been on numerous club swim teams with Franklin upperclassmen on the team and has thoroughly impressed them. Additionally, Senior Selma Biberić has been on varsity all four years, also having been the fastest on the women’s team all four years. She has been a vital member of the Women’s Relay team. Another swimmer to look out for is senior Anika Kasten, who is a strong leader as she has been a part of the team for all four years. 

Doty and Long aspire to integrate the swim team further into the community this year. They hope to attend Harvest Festivals and other community events, as well as host fundraisers throughout the year. “As the team is growing, so should our supporters,” say Doty and Long. The Franklin Swim team has accumulated over 80 swimmers for the 2022-23 season through their outreach and hopes to add the same amount or more supporters. Make sure to stay up to date by following @fhsswimming on Instagram to see all future events and meets! 

The Franklin Basketball Program, both women’s and men’s, had an underachieving season last year. The women’s team had a 5-17 record and the men’s team had a 9-16 record. Both teams struggled on offense and defense as well as maintaining a united team, but this year is looking different for them. Both teams have new coaching staff and players on the team that we hope can bring back Franklin to a successful season this year.

Currently, the men’s team is in Fall League with fellow high schools where they have been able to marry their team prior to the big season and even made it as far as playoffs. Junior Dominic Papworth has been a varsity starter and a considerable leader on the team. He has proven himself to be a great midrange shooter and is skilled at balancing the team’s harmony between offense and defense. Senior Antonio (AJ) Foster has affirmed his position as a strong offensive player, always finding creative ways to get his shot up. Junior Kwaje Liala has been a solid shooter for the team and a dependable post on defense. While these are just a few of the stand-out players on the team this year, “We have a good group of young, athletic players,” according to junior Izrahiah Fletchner, who has played both on JV and Varsity.

Similar to the men’s team, the women’s team has made significant strides in shifting to a winning mentality; “We have a strong returning varsity team….many of us have played together prior to high school,” according to varsity players Isa Hensley and Lilah Chu. This new-found enthusiasm has been met with new head coach, Erin Brunton, who has “great experience and a multitude of qualifications,” according to both Hensley and Chu. Brunton plans to utilize the height and athleticism of her players in her coaching strategy. 

As well as proving to be a great leader on the team, Hensley is leading the game statistics continuously. She is a strong power forward, both on offense and defense, leading in shots and rebounds. Junior Maya Sanders is a fundamentally strong player. She trains everyday and uses her smaller size to her advantage on the court. When she’s not at practice, you can find her working on her skills at Clinton Park. This season, the team has set a goal to “achieve a winning record for the first time since the mid-2000s,” according to Hensley and Chu. 

With all of these teams facing battles last year due to the transition back to in-person school and COVID, we are so excited to see these athletes back in action. 

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