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Ten Franklin High Seniors Honored for Athletic Achievements

Jun 30, 2020 07:14AM ● By Ken Hamwey, Staff Sports Writer

Covid-19 has forced many athletic events to be canceled, but at Franklin High all systems were go to select the 10 recipients of the school’s senior awards.

The awards were for career athlete, athlete of the year, outstanding athlete, Paul Davey Sportsmanship, and Hockomock scholar-athlete. 

The recipients were selected after Athletic Director Tom Angelo held a “virtual” head-coaches meeting, specifically to choose the winners. Coaches nominated any male and female senior student-athlete who met the criteria for each award. Coaches then spoke about each student-athlete and every head coach voted for a male and female student-athlete whom they felt was most deserving in each category. 

The award ceremony was televised on Franklin Public Access TV and on YouTube on June 4. “We hope to present these major athletic awards to our outstanding student-athletes at some point in the future,’’ Angelo said. “Unfortunately, due to the current social distancing restrictions placed upon us, we felt it would be best to hold off on the in-person presentations for now.’’  

Angelo had high praise for the efforts, sacrifices and leadership the 10 recipients exhibited.

“I am always so proud of our senior athletes — especially those selected for these awards,’’ he said. “These student-athletes are the “best of the best” at Franklin High School. They have been chosen by our head coaches based on the criteria for each award. The common denominator of these student-athletes is that they all possess the characteristics and traits we hope to instill in all our athletes. They are young men and women of high character and will undoubtedly be successful as young adults and certainly within their chosen fields.’’

Following are the recipients of the awards with comments from Franklin High’s coaches:

Career Athlete Award

JACK NALLY (football, baseball) — “Jack was an incredibly dedicated and reliable student-athlete during his time at Franklin High,’’ said football coach Eian Bain.  “He became a pillar of excellence in the classroom and on the athletic fields.  He set the example of what a student-athlete should look like through his character and his actions. In the fall, Jack will be attending Wesleyan where he will be a two-sport athlete. His time on the football field and baseball diamond have created a long-lasting legacy at Franklin High.’’

GIANNA CAMERON (ice hockey, lacrosse) — “Gianna has left a lasting legacy on both the varsity girls’ lacrosse and ice hockey teams,’’ said girls’ lacrosse coach Kristen Igoe. “Since her freshman year she has been the lacrosse team’s starting goalie, and has helped lead the team to three undefeated Hockomock seasons and one sectional title. Not only will we miss her All-American play, but also her leadership, competitiveness, and love for the game and her teammates. We are truly thankful for Gianna and wish her all the best at Oregon.’’ 

Athlete of the Year Award

JAKE DAVIS (football, lacrosse) — “Jake was a two-sport captain and MVP in football and lacrosse as well as being named to the Hockomock League’s all-star teams in both sports,’’ said boys lacrosse coach Lou Verrochi. “Jake is an outstanding athlete, but more importantly, he’s a great teammate, leader, and an outstanding young man. He’s headed to UMass-Lowell on a full athletic scholarship, and he’ll be hard to replace next season.’’

RYLEE DOONEY (cheerleading, gymnastics, outdoor track) — “Rylee was a seven-time varsity participant, competing in gymnastics, fall and winter cheerleading and spring track,’’ said Paula Lupien, Franklin’s gymnastics coach. “Rylee was a natural leader, looked up to by her teammates. A hard-worker, Rylee has always been goal-driven and works hard to achieve what objectives she sets. A member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society, she’s committed to UConn, hoping to continue her cheerleading career.’’ 

Outstanding Athlete Award

TYLER BROGAN (cross-country, indoor and outdoor track) — “Tyler has been part of numerous personal and team accomplishments in his four years at Franklin High,’’ said Nick Bailey, the varsity boys cross-country coach who also is an assistant in track. “He has had a hand in almost every notable distance record and has been a major contributor in several relay records and accomplishments. Tyler has found success at the local, state, and national levels, earning many awards and achievements. His time as a high school athlete truly was outstanding, and he’s left a lasting legacy with his efforts, both on and off the track.’’ 

ALI BRIGHAM (basketball) — “During Ali’s time at Franklin High, she has helped her team win its first sectional title in 2019 as a junior and then, as a senior, she led our team to an undefeated State championship run,’’ said John Leighton, the girls’ basketball coach. “She has racked up many records at Franklin and graduates as the all-time leader in points and rebounds. Ali has earned many accolades, including the MBCA (Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association) “Player of the Year,” Boston Herald MVP, first-team All-Scholastic and Boston Globe first-team honors.  Ali will continue her career at George Washington University.’’

Paul Davey Sportsmanship Award

DECLAN LYNCH (unified basketball, unified track) — “Declan has been an active, dedicated, supportive, and integral part of unified sports at Franklin High,’’ said unified track coach Lisa Burger. “He has participated, advocated, and demonstrated leadership in unified sports since its onset and throughout his high school career. Declan helped us to become a unified champion school. Declan is a strong, passionate, caring student who gives his all in everything he does for the greater good of everyone involved. He cheers for his teammates, participates to his highest ability, thinks of others’ needs, cares about the overall well-being of everyone (teammates and coaches), and brings out the best in his teams. He’s also the recipient of the Franklin High Dean College Scholarship. 

ELIZABETH CLARK (field hockey, unified track) — “Elizabeth is an extraordinary young lady who defines what it means to display sportsmanship,’’ said field hockey coach Michelle Hess. “Sportsmanship is defined as ethical, appropriate, polite, and fair behavior while participating in a game or athletic event. Elizabeth’s sportsmanship, both on and off the field, is impressive.  She always displays a positive attitude towards her own team, coaches, a visiting team, official, or fans. Elizabeth is the teammate that everyone wants on their team.  She leads by example and is constantly thinking of others, going out of her way to make sure that her teammates feel included and supported at all times.’’  

Hockomock Scholar-Athlete Award

Rohan Herur (indoor track, tennis) — “Rohan was a three-year starter (last spring would have been his fourth year starting at either first or second singles),’’ said boys tennis coach Paul Parnell. “A two-year captain and a two-time Hockomock all-star, he played a kay role in the tennis program, winning over 40 games and helping the team qualify for the MIAA Division 1 South Tournament. In addition to being very talented and a solid leader, he also was a true sportsman. Quick to congratulate an opponent on a nice shot or a good match, Rohan always took time to talk to his opponent, win or lose, at the end of each match.’’ 

SARAH SPANEK (cross-country, softball, indoor and outdoor track) — “Sarah has participated in several sports while attending Franklin High,’’ said girls track coach Paul Trovato. “A competitive track and field athlete, she was a great ambassador for the sport and an outstanding role model for her teammates. Sarah was very successful, maintaining high expectations and high standards academically and athletically.”