With a loss to Davis High School, two weeks ago, the Elk Grove Franklin Wildcats hopes of a playoff berth was put to rest. The Wildcats fell short in its bid for a third consecutive postseason presence. What was expected to be a blow out win for the Wildcats turned out to be one of disappointment for the team and their fans. The Wildcats lost in the final seconds of the game by what must have been a 47 yd field goal by Davis. This put Franklin in a third place tie with Davis, and only the top two teams move on to the playoffs.
Sometimes it comes together for a team, sometimes not. Davis High School made it to the first round of the playoffs last year, to only be defeated by Pleasant Grove High School. This year Davis High School struggled with only 2 wins this season and an almost guaranteed loss this Friday against powerhouse Nevada Union High School. Somehow they found it in themselves to beat Franklin High School last week.
The Franklin Wildcats season was sort of a roller coaster ride this year. The team had several big wins, such as their man handling of Elk Grove High School in a no contest decisive victory. Yet, they fell short in a must win against struggling Davis High school. Who's to blame ? The Wildcat offense for not producing more on the score board, or the defense for not holding the line ? Or was it the coaching ? I've watched two of the Wildcat games where they just seemed to dominate on both sides of the line, offense and defense. I've come to admire the team and especially their Quarterback, Adam Kennedy.
I had the pleasure of watching Adam Kennedy, a dual threat quarterback, he can pass and rush. He leaves the other team guessing as to what he's going to do. Just watching Adam play is worth the price of admission. I've forwarded the link of his highlight video, available on his Scout.com profile page, to other sports writers/scouts and one highly respected writer simply said " He's a player – definitely should play at the next level", another wrote back "Yes, Adam reminds me a bit of Colin Kaepernick - the Nevada QB". Very nice compliments given to this work horse of a quarterback.
I wrote an article on Situational Awareness on Pleasant Groves High School's Coach – Joe Cattolico. About him knowing what to do and when to do it, when it comes to winning a game. Some of the parents thought the Franklin coaches lost the game against Davis and were a little rough on the coaching staff after the game. I don't think any coach plays to lose. Sometimes poor decisions are made in a highly stressful situation, which this one was. What might seem obvious to you or me may not be on the coaching staffs' radar. In the end the expected outcome is to win the game. That's what competitive sports is all about. Unfortunately for every winner there must be a loser, and last week Davis High School came out the victor.
Anyway, I'd like to give some props to some hard working Franklin Wildcats Seniors. These players were voted by their team mates to be leaders on and off the field(backed up by what they do ob the field) :
DREW MORSE #65, OT/DT
Position: left guard
Height / Weight: 6'3" - 275#
Future Plans: playing football in college
Favorite Teacher: Mr.Weinstock
Favorite College Team: Oregon ducks
Favorite NFL Team: Green Bay Packers
Favorite Food: Thai food
Favorite Music: rap
Favorite Movie: the green mile
Memorable quote from a coach: if you fear failure, you will be successful
What do you love about football: "hitting people"
Being heavily recruited. The emotional leader of the team.
AARON MATTHEWS #3, RB/DB
Position: Slot / RB
Height / Weight: 6'1"
Future Plans: Go to college, maybe play in the NFL
College Plans: Univ of Georgia
Favorite NFL Team: Atlanta Falcons
Favorite Food: Spaghetti, Pizza
Favorite Music: Rap, R&B
Favorite Movie: Boyz n the Hood "Menace to Society"
Memorable quote from a coach: "If you don't settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your life." Vince Lombardi
What do you like about football: "Getting to know my teammates and coaches better. Just playing the game of football."
Has 96 carries for 564 yds, with an average of 5.88 yds per carry. Also, 11 receptions for 178 yards – 16.18 yds per reception.
ADAM KENNEDY #4
Height / Weight 6' 5" / 205 lbs
Favorite Teacher Mr. Johnson
Favorite College Team: Michigan Wolverines
Favorite NFL Team: San Francisco 49ers
Favorite Food: Lumpia
Favorite Music: No favorite, like it all
Favorite Movie: Gladiator
Memorable quote: "Everything is possible, the impossible just takes longer."
What do you love about football: What isn't there to love?
Future Plans: 4 Year College
Dual threat quarterback . Has thrown for over 1000 yards – avg. about 120 yds per game. Has rushed for over 330 yds, averaging 4 yds per carry.
Adam Kennedy and father Bill after a big win against power house Elk Grove H.S.
ANTHONY CROSS #57 – OT/DT
Height / Weight: 5'9 / 225
Favorite Teacher: Mrs. Ricks and Sr. Guevara
Favorite College Team: Hawaii
Favorite NFL Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Favorite Food: Grilled Chicken Breast
Favorite Music: Talib Kweli and The Roots
Favorite Movie: Apocalypto
Memorable quote from a coach: "Fatigue makes cowards of all of us."- Vince Lombardi
What do you love about football: "I love the constant strive for success that each player puts into the team, working to become stronger mentally and physically to work perfectly as one unit."
Future Plans: Attend a Four Year University to major in Kinesiology or Communications while competing in athletics.
Strong competitor, great run and pass blocking.
JUSTIN ADAMS #73 –T/DT
Position: Right Guard
Height / Weight: 6'4/260
Future Plans: college and a mission
Favorite Teacher: MR Widler
Favorite College Team: CAL
Favorite NFL Team: San Francisco 49ers
Favorite Food: Meat
Favorite Music: Rock
Favorite Movie: The Dark Knight
Memorable quote from a coach and name of the coach: Do the ordinary extraordinary
What do you love about football: Getting to hit people
Great QB protection as well as creating openings for running backs to head through.
Another player of note:
ETHAN WESTBROOK #81
Defensive End / Tight End
Nicknamed "Big E"
Has 2 touch downs, 6 receptions for 95 yds = 16.14 yds per reception, 30 tackles – 3.8 tackles per game, 1 sack for a loss of 12 yds, Currently being recruited
The Wildcats played for pride this past Friday. It was Senior Night. The very last game of their careers for many of these seniors. They've proven that they know how to place points on the board. They are a very competitive team. The coach proved that he knows how win.
In what would be considered classic high school shenanigans, Laguna Creek supporters trashed the Franklin campus the day of the game. The Cardinal fans came over and put up signs all over the Franklin campus. Taking jabs at the Franklin football team – bad move. The game was a dominating performance by the Franklin Wildcats. The end of the game was a stunner though, with Laguna Creek almost pulling it through.
It would appear that Franklin High School had the game won. They just had to kick a field goal to put the game out of reach with a 10 point lead. Instead they go for it and get stopped short. Laguna Creek had one of the biggest linemen I'd ever seen come out to stop the play, and it worked. This is one game worth watching again on film. Besides being an exciting game between two explosive rivals, it can be used for a coach/referee clinic. You had your fill of bad calls by the referees, as well as questionable play calling by the coaches on both sides.
When Size matters Laguna Creek sends out Erik Thomas, # 72 – a senior weighing 325 pounds @5'-10", to hold the line, and it worked for the most important play of the game.
The Franklin High School varsity football team is not headed to the playoffs this season. They had a rollercoaster of a year, beating some powerhouse teams, including number 3 ranked, by the Sacramento Bee newspaper, Laguna Creek High School last week. Laguna Creek Cardinals is their cross-town rivals. Franklin High School defeated the Cardinals 21-20, in what was a thrilling game. They ended the season with a huge victory. They ended the season as winners.