The Franklin Admirals had a season they would like to forget last year, tallying only one win. They will look to bounce back and improve in tough 6A competition.
“Last year was motivation for us seniors, because we have been through that losing season, and we do not want that to happen again,” said Franklin senior wide receiver and linebacker Regan McClosky. “We have been gaining confidence through scrimmages and practices leading up to week one.”
“I think our team is just focused on this year and putting the past in the past,” said Franklin senior wide receiver and defensive back Cooper Brown. “We have new players at new positions. We are just a new team this year.”
Alex Melton has been an assistant at Brentwood, Summit, and Centennial. He feels that those coaches helped him have a smooth transition to being a head coach in his second season.
“It is obviously different; there are more emails and responsibilities in this role,” said Melton. “When you are an assistant, hopefully you are looking at all aspects of it. I have been fortunate to work under some really good coaches: Ron Crawford, Brian Coleman, and Brian Rector at Centennial. You learn from those guys and pick up how they handle certain situations.
“I never been the person to chase titles,” continued Melton. “I feel like people jump to a certain thing just to grab a title. I think it works best if you just work your way through and then eventually move on up.”
Franklin will bring back former head coach Donnie Webb in the assistant coach role and add volunteer quarterback coach and former Tennessee Titan, Kerry Collins, to their coaching staff.
“Coach Webb will be coaching our d-line this year,” said Melton. “He is great to work with and is one of the best defensive coaches in the area.
“Kerry is a guy that can go anywhere, and (believed) the timing is right,” continued Melton. “He has played at every level and done a great job. They (quarterbacks) love being around him and the rest of our coaches.”
Franklin will have to replace graduated running back tandem Bryce Sparks, who led the team in rushing yards last year with 87.4 yards per game, and Ashton Orton, who led the Admirals with seven total touchdowns. Franklin will also need to fill the gap left by linebacker Ian Arney. He was the team leader in tackles with 7.7 per game last season.
The Admirals will return three senior leaders on their team. Brown will transition to wide receiver after leading Franklin with a 54% completion percentage at quarterback. Senior strong safety Gage Wilson is coming off a season leading Franklin in fumble recoveries with three.
Admiral's quarterback battle will be between junior Luke Critchlow and sophomore Brewer Wilson.
Franklin will open their schedule against Riverdale at home to begin their season.