Broncos depart for Salem after pep rally

Published 12:01 pm Friday, December 5, 2008

The Franklin High School football team got a huge send-off Friday morning as the Broncos departed for Salem, where they will play Clintwood on Saturday for the Virginia High School League Group A state championship.

First, the team was treated to a hearty breakfast served by Franklin City Schools’ central office staff members.

Assistant Superintendent Rick Clemons said the school system enjoys acknowledging the achievements of its students.

“It’s an exciting time for the players and the school,” he said. “We are happy to be a part of encouraging them. I for one am very proud of the accomplishments of all our students.”

After breakfast, students, parents and school officials held a pep rally. Coaching staff and players filed into the school’s gymnasium as the band played and well-wishers cheered.

“We are behind you all the way and extremely proud of your accomplishments,” Principal Sam Jones told the team.

Jones reminded the players that a victory wouldn’t belong only to them.

“As you go out on that field to play, remember you not only represent yourselves, but you also represent Franklin High School, your coaches, your parents and the entire community of Franklin.”

Head coach Darren Parker thanked the community for its support.

“We want all of you to know that we are taking this trip for one reason only — to bring the state championship back to Franklin,” Parker said.

He said the team never could have gotten this far without help.

“Whatever you do, wherever you go, someone else helps you get there. The team couldn’t have gotten here without each other or everyone’s support.”

Kickoff for Saturday’s game is at noon Saturday at Salem City Stadium.

Franklin last won a state championship in 2004.