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After a tough loss to Pisgah last week, the Franklin boys basketball team rebounded nicely with a signature win against arch rival Smoky Mountain last Friday night, followed by two convincing wins against Highlands and the Murphy Bulldogs.

The win on the road against Smoky Mountain, last year’s conference champions, was a statement game for the Panthers. “I was proud with how we played, how we handled their pressure,” said head coach Jesse Pinkston. “They threw a lot at us but we responded well and it was a big win for us,” he said. In their second conference road game of the year, in a hostile environment, the Panthers attained redemption against a team that beat the Panthers soundly last year, winning 61-51.

One main ingredient for Franklin’s success at Smoky Mountain was their ability to establish an inside game, utilizing their size advantage against a much smaller Mustang team.


Randy Eaton, former senior associate director of athletics at the University of Maryland, is the new director of athletics at Western Carolina University.

Western Carolina Chancellor David O. Belcher announced the selection of Eaton, who brings more than 20 years of athletics administration experience to the post.

Eaton’s appointment, effective Dec. 14, follows a national search conducted by a 14-member committee working with the assistance of Todd Turner of Collegiate Sports Associates, a North Carolina-based executive search consulting firm.


FHS varsity basketball teams expected to have fulfilling seasons

This sports season at Franklin High School has already been a memorable one, as the varsity volleyball and football teams shattered the record books during their respective fall campaigns. The trend continues this winter. Lindsay Simpson, who holds the record for most points scored at FHS, surpassed the 2,000 career points mark last Tuesday night against Pisgah.

The senior scored the first five of her team’s seven points in just four minutes to reach the milestone.The returning WNCAC player of the year and future WCU Catamount became only the 10th girls basketball player from WNC to break the 2,000 career points threshhold. She has scored 23 points in all three games this season.


In a matter of days, the Franklin High School Band will be heading to Jacksonville, Fla., to participate in the televised Gator Bowl parade and be part of the half-time show for Ohio State and Florida.

The band students and parents have been working very hard the past year to raise the needed funds for the trip, and are now trying to finalize the trip. The band is still in need of approximately $3,000 to finish out the transportation costs of the trip.


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