Franklinton Excessive College has a really wealthy and deep custom in soccer. It’s a proud program of gamers, alumni and passionate followers.
The Demons received the Class 4A state championship in 2010 underneath Shane Smith, who’s now the principal of the varsity. He additionally took the Demons to the state title recreation in 2009. Franklinton bought to the 3A championship recreation in 1981, the primary yr of the Superdome Traditional, in addition to in 1969.
That’s the reason 2020 was maybe the hardest season within the historical past of the excellent program.
First, there was the pandemic, making issues troublesome to get going, notably with a staff missing important expertise.
Then, there was the belief of an 0-8 season which unfolded.
Coming into his fourth yr, 2003 Franklinton alumnus Jonathan Barber is decided to make it possible for something resembling 2020 and its season repeat itself.
“It was probably the most troublesome yr as a participant or a coach,” Barber mentioned. “It was very difficult. It was very taxing on all of us. We pleasure ourselves on having every single day matter and we misplaced three months of that. We had been continually making an attempt to play catch-up.”
The unfavorable expertise has given solution to a optimistic outlook.
“I believe it’s made our staff and gamers respect every single day, the grind and challenges it takes to have success,” Barber mentioned. “We have now embraced that this yr and look ahead to the competitors within the fall.”
The one key loss to commencement is Corinthious Dickerson.
Happily, many key gamers are again and higher than a yr in the past.
A number of starters return, together with 10 of 11 on offense. 5 of these are seniors.
The unit can be led by junior quarterback Zion Anders (6-0, 185). Senior working again Kendarius Brumfield (5-10, 220) and senior fullback Ethan Sharpe (6-1, 185) additionally return to hitch Anders within the backfield.
“Anders was solely in a position to begin six video games resulting from harm final yr,” Barber mentioned. “He’s made great progress. We didn’t venture him as a starter final yr so he didn’t have an offseason as he had been at free security. Being again and being our chief is nice. He has expertise and poise and is an effective athlete. Brumfield moved from protection and he’s bodily.”
All beginning large receivers are again as properly, representing three completely different lessons.
Senior Glen Mark (6-2, 155) is lengthy and a great goal as is junior Daniel Bryant (6-1, 175). Sophomore Kelly Daniels (5-11, 155) additionally returns.
“Each exterior guys are again and each are tall receivers in Mark and Bryant,” Barber mentioned. “Daniels began as a freshman and he’s explosive, a home-run hitter on each play he touches the ball.”
The offensive line returns 4 of 5 starters, together with senior heart Zach Wright (5-10, 300) and senior tackles Collin Penny (5-11, 195) and Adam Galloway (6-3, 285). Sophomore guard Kevion Ginn (5-11, 255) is the fourth returning starter and he can be joined on the opposite facet by junior Terrell Brumfield (6-0, 330), the one non-starter from a yr in the past.
“We have now a ton of expertise up entrance,” Barber mentioned. “We have now two or three guys within the combine for the fifth spot. We have now senior gamers and our sophomore, Ginn, could also be the very best of the bunch. We like this group.”
The protection is junior-laden however skilled, with seven starters returning, together with all defensive linemen in nostril guard Andre Callais (5-11, 180), together with ends Tradell Causey (6-2, 255) and D’Michael Ward (6-0, 185).
“We moved some items round however we’ve three guys who performed final yr set to begin,” Barber mentioned. “Causey anchors the group and has an opportunity to play on the subsequent degree. Final yr was his first yr beginning. He could make an actual affect for us.”
A pair of juniors man the linebacker spots, together with robust facet linebacker Khaled Wialigha (5-11, 195) and weakside linebacker Timarion Partman (6-0, 185), together with a stable, bodily senior in center linebacker Billy Gross (6-3, 220).
“Each of out inside guys, Wialigha and Gross, will set the tone,” Barber mentioned. “Khaled is a frontrunner and Billy is a bodily pressure who’s in actually fine condition now. Micah Wascom, who may also line up at security, and Partman are athletic on the skin.”
A pair of seniors will begin at cornerback, together with Dallas Kemp (6-0, 175) and Keyon Nelson (5-9, 165) whereas the safeties are junior Senqualon Conerly (5-9, 200) and sophomores Wascom (6-0, 175) and Micah Hart (5-10, 165).
“We have now a pair of seniors at nook,” Barber mentioned. “We misplaced our free security, Colin Williams, to a torn ACL for the yr. Conerly is the vocal man. He possesses the power to cowl and deal with and be a difference-maker. We really feel we’ve gamers who could make performs in any respect three ranges.”
Senior Cole Coletti (5-7, 140) will deal with punting and kicking duties.
The season opens at residence towards conventional rival Bogalusa on Sept. 3. A visit to Covington, one other conventional rival, follows, earlier than the Demons host Fontainebleau.
Franklinton then performs at Denham Springs after which hosts Belle Chasse and Tylertown, the Homecoming contest. The ultimate non-district highway recreation is at Pope John Paul II.
“What I like about our pre-district schedule is it can problem us each week,” Barber mentioned. “Bogalusa is a rival. Belle Chasse is within the playoffs yearly. We play Tylertown, which is at all times a problem. Touring to Denham Springs can be powerful. Fontainebleau can be higher. Pope John Paul has a brand new coach.”
District 9-4A play begins at at all times powerful Lakeshore earlier than the Demons host Salmen. The common season closes at Pearl River on Nov. 5.
“I anticipate everybody within the league to be improved,” Barber mentioned. “Lakeshore has set the usual the previous few years. Salmen has a whole lot of gamers again. Pearl River is at all times powerful. We really feel we’re higher. It will likely be difficult however we’re trying ahead to it.”
With a ton of expertise a ton of historic pleasure to lean on, the darkish reminiscence of 2020 must be erased in 2021 by Franklinton.
“Our aim is to make it at the very least to the quarterfinals,” Barber mentioned. “We haven’t received a playoff recreation in 5 years. We wish to host a playoff recreation and advance. I imagine we’ve the power to take action.”
Click here for extra CCS Prep Soccer staff previews (together with archives of previous season preview).