They held a sports banquet last week and everybody came.
It was for all the sports this past year at Franklin County High School, from the fall to the spring, and it attracted a packed cafeteria because of that.
Athletic Director Dirk Strunk emceed, and after soon-to-graduate with his classmates Brycin Huckeba offered up a prayer, everybody got to the business at hand, which was eating a large table of barbecued chicken, done right by Ashley Teat and a crew of volunteers that are of the kind that makes athletics work in a small school district such as Franklin.
Before any of the sports, and their student-athletes were honored, Superintendent Steve Lanier offered up an award of his own, a plaque of appreciation to Kenny Griswold, who has done play-by-play for Seahawks football since well before any of these soon-to-graduate seniors were ever in school.
Griswold was moved, and accepted with gratitude this token he deserves, not only for his dedication but for the quality of his skill with the microphone.
With her 9-month-old daughter Hadley slung in front in a baby wrap carrier, cross-country coach Kati-Morgan Hathcock opened the evening, sharing how the team’s participants had dropped from 23 to 7, and then down to three. While the two others on the team were absent, one on a class trip and the other ill, eighth grader Josiah Friddle was on hand.
Hathcock said the young man had advanced to the middle school regionals, and set several personal bests, including an 11:59 in the 3K, and a 20:14 in the 5K high school competition.
In the district’s 3200-meters, roughly equivalent to two miles, Friddle ran third, with a time of 12:00.45, which as the 19th best time in the region, qualified him to advance.
Next up was volleyball, coached by Tara Klink, now in her ninth year. She has been pleased to have assembled middle school, junior varsity and varsity teams.
On the middle school were sixth grader seventh graders Ansley Chipman, Brooklyn Klink and Peyton Jones, seventh graders Mia Thomas, Gracie Flatt, Alexa Pavon and Hailey Loesch; and eighth graders Shianne Shaw, Jazmyn Pavon, Maleah Bell, Breanha Fleming and Kaylyn McNair.
On the junior varsity, players included eighth grader Sarah Ham, freshmen Taylor Mallon, Joycelyn Escobar, Lexi McNair, Kayleigh Messer, Emily Patterson, captain Jostyn Tipton and Ansley Savage; sophomore captains Kylie Smith and Autumn Loesch; and junior Kaitlin Robbins.
Varsity players were eighth grader Ryan Brown; freshman Hannah Abel; sophomore Skylar Johnson; juniors captain Jahneese Brathwaite, Ariel Andrews, Sage Brannan, Myia Maxwell, Meredith Alford, and Jaelyn Tipton; and seniors captain Abby Johnson and Maliah Lockley.
While there was no girls team last fall, Mike Todd coached a small boys team, that didn’t have the numbers in which a foursome could compete at a meet. Colin Wefing and River Sheridan were saluted for their play, with Todd noting that Wefing had scored his first hole-in-one at the regional tournament.
Football coach Dirk Strunk closed out the fall sports portion of the evening by crediting his varsity players eighth grader Sheldon James; freshmen Cody Abercrombie, Amontae Austin, Gideon Dively, Reece Juno and Brayden McCall.
Sophomores include Wyatt Abercrombie, and Mason Moses. Juniors were Jimmy Adair, Cooper Bowden, Blakely Curry, Hunter Duval, Evan Stanley, Wil Varnes and Larry Winchester.
Seniors included Devin Daniels, Trey Jones, Lamarius Martin, Garyson Millender, Brycin Huckeba, Kelson Smith, and Charlee Winchester.
Martin was named top offensive player, while defensive players were shared by brother Larry and Charlee Winchester, with one tackle separating their season output.
Huckeba won top academic honors, and Stanley capture “Rookie of the Year” honors.
The Seahawk award was shared by Adair and McCall.
For the basketball team, assistant coaches Nathan Jones and Kelsey Jones handled the coaching announcements, as head coach Ray Bailey had a prior commitment.
First introduced was the middle school team, which included Sadiq Jones, Jeremiah Allen, Josiah Friddle, Jensen McCall, Ajaylen McNair, Seth Thomas, William Chastain, Marquise Pennamon, Ryan Sandoval, Drew Rickards, Colby Blackburn, J’Michael Miller and Brett Charles.
On the varsity squad was senior captain Eden Brathwaite, sophomore Jaiden Rhodes, senior Trey Jones, junior Jerymiah Stephens, freshman Ethan Kembro, sophomore Owen Poloronis, junior Jimmy Adair, junior Carter Kembro, and senior captain Lamarius Martin.
Martin was named both Best Offensive and Best Defensive Player, Poloronis got Most Improved and Scholar-Athlete honors; and Brathwaite was presented the Best Teammate and Most Valuable Player awards.
STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK FOR A LOOK AT REMAINING WINTER AND SPRING SPORTS