by Jonathan McNamara
FRANKLINTON — Football season has returned once again and Franklinton High football is sure to bring joy to a lot of folks as they kick-off the 2013 season.
The Red Rams have some high expectations to live up to as well as stepping into some big shoes.
Last year, Franklinton went 9-3 overall and 6-1 in conference — a solid season with room to improve.
However, the Red Rams lost enough starters to make this year an uphill battle.
“We lost 83 percent of our offense from last year and look forward to new athletes moving into those roles,” said head coach Jeremy Buck about the fresh talent on his field.
“The team is inexperienced in many areas and is going to rely heavily on veteran players to get us through the rough waters,” he added.
Returning starters will be Daquan Neal at quarterback, who is also utilized at defensive back.
After breaking his thumb late in the season last year, Neal is anxious to be a key player for his team.
Seniors Joshon Perry, offensive line and defensive line, Domonik Cotton, defensive end, Thomas Lauria, offensive line, Derryan Henderson, rightback, Travon Judkins, utility player and defensive-back, Jackson Hooten, wide reciever and defensive-back and Kyrell Wright, linebacker, will be some of the experienced players to help lead the charge for the Red Rams.
“We feel we can be competitive this year if we increase our mental toughness and physicality,” Buck said.
This year’s conference realignment brought in tough South Granville and Southern Vance teams which will help make the Northern Carolina 2-A conference even more solid.
“There is really not a weak team in the conference,” Buck added.
The Red Rams have a tough schedule this year facing six well-manned non conference teams before their first conference game against South Granville, Sept. 27.
Franklinton begins play Friday at home with the always physical and fast Goldsboro High. Advancing to the third round of the playoffs last year, Goldsboro will provide a good indicator of the season ahead.