Benefit for Caleb Watson :: Saturday, January 31 at South Macon Elementary School :: Click here for more details

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Franklin resident named World Series MVP

The local mens softball team, Benny and the Jets, won the World Series for division ‘D’ of the ISA (Independent Softball Association) last weekend in Aikens, SC.

Benny and the Jets competed against 38 teams ranging from areas such as Tennessee, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.


The Panthers did not play around with the visiting Black Bears of Pisgah last Friday night at the Panther Pit, putting away the preseason conference favorite early in the first half. Franklin scored on their first four possessions of the game to take a 28-0 halftime lead and never looked back. Nathan Raby had a huge game for the Panthers, rushing 18 times for 204 yards and three touchdowns.

Franklin’s defense was outstanding yet again, holding Pisgah to just 170 total yards on offense. The majority of their yards were attained late in the game against Franklin’s younger players.


The Highlands varsity volleyball team is coming off a great season last year, where they were able to get to the third round of the state playoffs before losing to the eventual staterunner up Rosman Tigers. It was the deepest run of any previous Highlands volleyball team.

Now the Lady Highlanders are trying to rebuild after losing many seniors from that dynamic team a year ago. “It’s been a learning process for our team. We are very young and we are having to play a lot of freshmen, so that inexperience is definitely a factor,” said eight year head coach Kyle McKim. “But we are improving and they are still fighting, but it’s not something we are used to. We are losing to teams that we have not been beaten by in a very long time, but we just have to keep getting better and keep fighting,” he said.


In only their second season as a program, the Highlands girl’s golf team is playing remarkably well so far this season. Led by Senior Stephanie Smart, the girls have a 3-2 overall record, exceeding even their own expectations. Because of their strong play early on, the team is looking forward to doing big things later this season, as the team may have two players representing Highlands at the Regionals match later this fall.

“Everything is going really well. We have made incredible progress so far this season, and I am proud of what we have accomplished so far,” said head coach and Highlands athletic director Butch Smart.

Complementing Smart is sophomore Emily Gabbard, who has made enormous strides with her swing throughout this season. “Stephanie and Emily qualified for Regionals and are really playing well for us,” said Smart. “It’s only our second year as a program, so we were new to it all last year. But we are really coming along well this year, and those two girls have been really important to our team,” he said.


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