A Preseason Guide to Franklin Prep Football
Although the leaves haven’t turned to vibrant shades of red and orange, and the air is more thick than crisp, a new season is upon us. A new sports season, that is.
The coaches and players of Franklin area high schools have put in the time and work this offseason, and are ready to prove it under the Friday night lights.
Centennial High School
At Centennial High School, Matt Kriesky enters his first year as head coach. Already, his new team has impressed and is gearing up for a great season.
“We are trying to build a family atmosphere with this group of guys so on Friday nights they will go out and do whatever it takes for their brother that’s lined up beside them each play,” says Kriesky. “We are looking for strong leadership out of the senior class this year. When your seniors are leading in the right way and doing all things they are supposed to, then everything else takes care of itself.”
The leadership comes from standout seniors Eli Katina, Nick Bell, Tony Wall, Clay Carder, Devious Christmon, Senturian DuReaux, Austin Waddell and Nolan Daniel.
Not to be outdone, underclassmen Tavion Fleming, Jacob Spears and Trevor Jones have also earned recognition from their coach for stellar performances.
Hard work is a reoccurring theme with the Cougars, and Kriesky is excited to see it pay off. “We feel like if we can keep getting better each week in all areas of the game, then we should be able to accomplish our goals for this year.”
Franklin High School
Over at Franklin High School, Head Coach Donnie Webb is eager to get his team, led by 24 seniors, on the field.
“They have a good work ethic that has been instilled in this program from many of the coaches and seniors before this class,” says Webb. “We are always pushing our seniors to be more successful than the class before them.”
Webb’s list of impressive seniors is not short: Caden Williams, Vaughn Hamill, Ben McLendon, Wes Patterson, Alex Gaca, JP Batarseh, Gentry Neese, Max Page, Mitch Rossi, Conner Palk, Harrison Brown, and Zach Polisky.
Notable juniors include Max Wray, Carter Hendry, Landon Carter, and Christopher Miller-Hill, all of whom are expected to figure prominently in the Rebels’ scheme.
“It is the second year in our new region,” says Webb. “We finished second last year to Ravenwood and we are excited to see if we can push them, and the other talented teams in our region, for a championship.”
Page High School
This year, Head Coach Charles Rathbone is looking forward to seeing which of his young players step up their game to land spots on the varsity roster at Page High School.
For his seniors, Rathbone has set the bar high. Expected to have standout seasons are Daniel Callicoat, Josh Cramer, Tyler Gardner, Cruze Kerrigan, Rafe Erisman, Turner Smith, Chris Dahl and Andrew Metkler.
On his senior group, Rathbone says, “All work extremely hard and are excited to play their senior seasons.”
Like the seniors, the junior class will play a crucial role and Rathbone anticipates a breakout season from the linemen, as well as key battles for the quarterback and running back positions and in the secondary.
“This year’s team has a very good work ethic,” says Rathbone. “They put in the time and effort to get stronger.”
Battle Ground Academy
Battle Ground Academy is preparing for another season under the guidance of Head Coach Roc Batten.
“We have a young team that’s ready to work and that’s excited to work on getting better,” said Batten. “It’s a good group with a strong group of senior leaders.”
Of those seniors, Batten is singing the praises of Joseph Pasley, Brad Lasher and Joseph Altshuler.
On Pasley: “He’s a multitalented kid. We want to find a way to get him the ball and allow him to make plays on defense. We’re really excited about his leadership on the field and what he will do for our team.”
On Lasher: “Really tough kid, hard-nosed. Plays well, great leader. Just a really good football player.”
On Altshuler: “Tough kid. Plays hard. We’re looking for exciting things from him.”
The list of players to watch doesn’t stop there, however. Jaylen Frierson, Jake Holloway, Drew Martin and Tomas’ Hawkins are also names to remember.
“We’re off to a really great start to our year,” said Batten. “It’ll be exciting to see where we go from here.”
The excitement begins on August 19.