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CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University crowned Hannah Blanton queen and named Adam Ray king of the 2011 Homecoming Court during halftime activities at WCU’s football game against The Citadel on Saturday, Oct. 22.

Blanton, a junior from Forest City majoring in communication sciences and disorders, was sponsored by Balsam Hall Council. A 2009 graduate of Chase High School, Blanton is the daughter of Janet and Jack Blanton.

Ray, a junior from Cullowhee majoring in social science education, also was sponsored by Balsam Hall Council. A 2009 graduate of Smoky Mountain High School, Ray is the son of Deb and Chris Ray.


Usually a school can boast about one or two of its athletic teams in a given season, but it’s rare when a community can brag about nearly every team simultaneously. FHS fans can do exactly that, as Franklin’s fall sports teams are rising to the occasion this season, with several teams jockeying for conference championships.

The Lady Panthers volleyball team has already established their prominence in the WNCAC, winning their first conference championship since 2007 after beating Tuscola last Tuesday evening.


Roller derby, which has been described as a mix between hockey and football on quad skates, has been around since the 1930s and initially began as roller skating races. The sport, which was popular for 40 years, dwindled in the ’70s but was revived again in 2000 when Texas Derby Teams started establishing player owned and operated organizations. Today, Roller Derby is America’s fastest growing sport.

JoLynn Bryant, 43, along with several other local moms, is looking to start a flat track roller derby league in Western North Carolina.”


It was an outstanding night to host Franklin’s homecoming last Friday night. Not only did Franklin fans get to see their team thwart another conference foe, they also got to witness Senior Ansley Taylor be crowned homecoming queen, with Sophomore Nina Astling being named runner-up.

The game was over in the first quarter and the Knights of North Henderson knew it. It was a strange game for sure, but the Panthers were impressive in their 64-27 walloping of North Henderson. The Panthers improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in conference play, and are off to their best start since 2006.


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