Franklin’s track and field is pictured above, along with the new gym building to the right. The track and field season officially started on March 2, 2020. (Photo by Jack McArthur)

Franklin senior Ben Bridges had an outstanding accomplishment this winter: he was the first Franklin male swimmer in fifteen years to qualify for state. He was also the only Franklin swimmer that went to state this year, for boys and girls. Bridges placed 16th overall out of eighteen swimmers at state. Although Bridges didn’t place as high as he wanted to, he still got a PR (personal record). “I kinda wanted to do a little better in state, just ‘cause I was the only [Franklin] person there. I’m pretty happy with the time— it was a PR. I was placed 16th out of 18—it’s not super high, but I’m really happy I still got to go to state.” Both Franklin boys and girls placed 5th overall in districts for swimming. Although Franklin placed 6th overall in districts, senior wrestlers Doré Young, Patrick Churchill, Micky Marchello, and Jose Frausto all qualified for state. Four year wrestler Doré Young placed 4th overall: the highest out of all Franklin wrestlers this year. Young was the only Franklin wrestler who made it to the 2nd day of state. Young reflected on her high school wrestling experience, saying “It was really good. Throughout the four years, I got really close with some of the team, and it definitely gave me something unique that I would definitely not have had in high school otherwise.” Senior Jose Frausto, a first year wrestler, enjoyed his time with the team, even though he fought through numerous injuries throughout the season. “I had to wrestle the entire season with at least one injury,” Frausto said. When asked how his season went overall, he said, “I ended up qualifying for state, so it was pretty good.” Franklin men’s basketball barely missed qualifying for the playoffs, placing 4th in the PIL(Portland Interscholastic League). with an overall record of 13-11. The Lightning lost to their southeast rival, Cleveland, by three points on February 25, in their last regular season game. “We started off really strong and then we lost a few guys to injuries and a few guys quit and then we started to go downhill towards the end. I think it was a fun season; I had a good time,” said senior small forward, Jake Roe. Despite Franklin’s unsuccessful ending to the regular season, starter Tucker Pellicci (12) recently officially signed with Hawai’i Pacific University to play Division 2 basketball. Franklin women’s basketball went through a coaching change just over halfway through the season. Health and weight training teacher, JV baseball coach David Jaynes was named as the varsity women’s head coach on January 15. When I asked Jaynes how he felt when he was named as the new women’s head coach, he said, “I felt very honored. It’s a job that I hold in very high respect. My dad was the Franklin varsity women’s head coach for a number of years, and took them to the state playoffs five times.” Although Franklin women’s basketball finished the season with a record of 10-14, Jaynes went over .500 (he had more wins than losses) with a record of 6-5 as the new women’s head coach. Jaynes reflected on the season, saying, “I think it was a good step in the right direction. I thought a lot of our young players really improved. We’re a very young team: we had eight juniors [on the team,] two seniors, and two sophomores. When you look at how competitive we were against the teams that were above us, I think we’re right there and ready to make that next step into state playoff contention next year.” Franklin men’s tennis has five returning seniors, including Hamilton Truong, and the tennis twins, Ian and Ari Strauss. When I asked three year Varsity tennis senior Hamilton Truong how he feels about this season, he said, “As a senior, the stakes are higher and my confidence is even higher since it’s my last year. This year we have a lot of newcomers. Some strong ones and decent ones. As a team, if we meticulously plan on improving our play style, we will prevail and become more triumphant.” Spring sports, including tennis, baseball, golf, dragon boating, and track and field officially started March 2, with a coaching change for Franklin’s track and field program. Long distance coach for track and XC (cross country), Jacob Michaels was named the new head track and field coach for Franklin, replacing Jim Hennesy, who retired after the end of the 2018-19 track and field season. Kai Fontenot is a junior, 2nd year track star, and a sprinter. He does the 400. Fontenot believes that there will be drastic improvement in the performance of the team this year. He said, “I think this year overall as a program, we’re gonna be a lot better than we were last year because everyone’s gonna be more experienced.” Junior Will Dillender-Kinaust is a middle and long distance runner, who has been doing track since his freshman year. “I think this year we’ve got a lot of experience,” said Dillender-Kinaust. “We’re coming off of a state title in cross country, so we’re really ready to tear up. Both Fontenot and Dillender-Kinaust believe that there will be plenty of PR’s this season. Cody Rounsville is a senior thrower, entering his second year of track and field. When I asked Rounsville how he prepares for the season, he said, “I have two weight training periods, so I’ve been using those to really bulk up, and to get myself in shape for throwing. Now I got coach Mac coming back coaching me, so he’s getting me mentally prepared as well.” Franklin also has two freshman phenoms, who are both sprinters: Daivon Hendrix and Owen Wright. They both run a sub-12 second 100 meter: Hendrix runs a 11.5 second 100 meter, and Wright runs an 11.8. There are four returning seniors for men’s golf: Simon Eckel, Michael Smoyer, Jake Roe, and Clay Raphael. Last season, Franklin varsity men’s golf team placed 4th overall in the PIL and qualified for regionals. Three year varsity golfer Simon Eckel said that he is very confident with his team’s ability to go far this year: “We have a great group of guys and I feel we will be in contention for first place in the PIL and an automatic qualifying spot in the state tournament.” Franklin varsity softball starting second baseman, Claire Weaver (10) is ready for the softball season. She says, “I feel very confident. Especially because I started as a freshman, I have a lot of experience.” Franklin’s varsity men’s baseball team looks to make the playoffs this year, after missing the playoffs by one game last season, finishing as the 5th seed in the PIL. Four year starting varsity pitcher Max Power reflected on last season, and shared how he feels about this up-and-coming season: “I feel good. We have a lot of skilled players, and I’m feeling confident. Last year we were just there: we barely missed playoffs, so I think this year for sure we can make playoffs.” Even though a lot of senior baseball players graduated last year, Power is excited about the massive amount of incoming talent that Franklin baseball has this year. Franklin’s dragon boating team, named Zamboanga, has 45 paddlers total, with four to six races each season. They placed 7th in the youth A division at the Canada race last year, which represents the best teams in North America. Three year dragonboater, Kamen Schaefle (12) is ready for the season; “I’m feeling pretty confident about this season, it’s my last one with the team and it’s shaping up to be a good one.” Congratulations to all of those who participated in winter sports: have a great spring sports season!

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