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Franklin High School's men's tennis team has seen better days than the ones from this season, but off years are often a part of sports in general and especially in school sports when players cycle out every so often. This season, the team has posted a 1-13 record so far with their lone win coming against a non conference team, leaving their conference record at 0-10. With two games remaining in the regular season, they still have a chance to add to their win column.

“This is a rebuilding year for us,” said Head coach Sammy Gunter. “Half of the team has never played tennis before so we have struggled this year. We have four returning players from last year’s team and four new players.”

According to Gunter, returning players Chris Richards, Andrew Karcher, Brendon Karcher and Zach Deptola have all looked good “but can be inconsistent and over-hit the ball.”

“Three of the new players, Jonas Kolousek (9), Noah Henderson (9) and Jonathan Mathis (10) have all shown great improvements in the past two weeks,” he said on Tuesday as the team enjoyed a break from games as a result of the FHS' spring break.

Despite the team's less than sterling record, they have had some bright moments. One player in particular, Spencer Phillips, has really turned it on late in the season and has made it difficult for opposing players to steal wins from the Panthers.

“He has been like a backboard and given the opposing players fits with his consistency,” Gunter said of the junior.

This year's regionals match will take place in Brevard following the 2A WNCAC conference tournament that is scheduled for May 2 and 3. Since Brevard is the only other 2A team in the conference, Franklin will play their players for the four available spots. If any of the players win their first match, they will qualify for regionals. The second match of the tournament will determine if they are number one or number two for the conference.

“Chris [Richardson] who made it to regionals last year in doubles will have a good shot in singles if he serves well. I haven't made the final decision on the other single and doubles combo yet but anything can happen in a tournament,” he said.

But with that being said, the regular season isn't over. The rested team will travel to West Henderson on Monday for a conference match and will play at home on Wednesday against the Tuscola Mountaineers, in another conference match.

“The guys have not given up and are still having good practices so we can finish strong going into our last week of play,” said Gunter.

Other sports results

FHS varsity baseball played at McCormick Field on Tuesday against the 12-0 Pisgah Bears. The Panthers were riding a two game winning streak entering the game. The last time the two teams met in Franklin, the game was competitive with the Bears edging out the win 5-4. There would be a different result this time around. Amid the snow and the wind, Pisgah was able to capitalize and take home the win 9-0.

Franklin's next home game will come next Tuesday at the Macon Middle School when they take on conference rivals the Smoky Mountain Mustangs. The Panthers will look to avenge a 1-0 loss from earlier in the season.

FHS Boys' Track Team wins 2A WNCAC Conference

Boys' team scores: Franklin 165.5, East Henderson 164, West Henderson 138, North Henderson 65.5, Tuscola 62.5, Pisgah 40, Smoky Mountain 23.5, Brevard 17.

FHS soccer has week of ups and downs

The Franklin High School women's soccer team played the Tuscola Mountaineers last Monday, April 7. The contest was closely matched as the two undefeated WNCAC teams looked to hand each other their first loss in the conference. At a score of 2-0 it was Tuscola who pulled off the win.

The Panthers were able to bounce back the next Tuesday, April 8 when they took on the Brevard Blue Devils on their home field at Macon Middle School. Franklin looked flawless against the winless Blue Devils as they quickly scored in the opening minutes. They kept up the pace and won the game 4-0.


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