Published 11:41 am Friday, December 7, 2012
BY ANDREW FAISON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
FRANKLIN—Franklin Coach Darren Parker on Tuesday reflected on the Broncos’ football season, which ended with division and district titles and coach and player accolades.
After going undefeated in the Tri-Rivers District and taking the Eastern Section Division I title, the Broncos on Saturday fell one game short of a berth to the state title game. Franklin lost 27-21 to George Wythe in the semifinal round of the Virginia High School League Group A Division 1 playoffs
“We didn’t win the ring that goes on our finger, but we have seen so much growth within these young men, and that’s what’s important,” Parker said.
After being down 27-7 at the end of third quarter, Franklin rallied in the fourth with two touchdowns and threatened for a third score.
“(The) kids kept fighting, I’m very proud of them,” Parker said.
When Parker was named the coach in 2004, he and his staff set out to develop a program.
“When you get to this level, and every year your expectations are to win a state title, you no longer have a team; you have a program,” he said.
Named the 2012 Region A and Tri-Rivers District Coach and Staff of the Year, Parker and some of his staff members have been together for nine years — a few for four to five years.
“I have an awesome staff,” he said. “The consistency in staff has been real big for us.”
Broncos senior Travis Brown was named Region A and District Offensive Player of Year. Brown was also named first team offense and first team defense for the region.
Javonte Blacknall was named Region A and District Defensive Player of the Year, and first team defense for the region.
Other Franklin regional honorees were Xavier Taylor, Nathan Jones, Dominque Gainey and Zackary Hopkins, first team offense; Raequan Wright and Xavier Freeman, first team defense; Marcus Stephens, first team defense and second team offense; Angel Padilla, second team offense; and Malcolm Walker, second team defense.
“The kids that didn’t get nominated to this team, they are just as happy as the kids who were nominated,” Parker said.
He said the team is a family.
“The whole team can’t be up here, but those guys that are up here, they realize they wouldn’t have gotten there and got their honors if it weren’t for the rest of the team, the rest of the family,” Parker said.
Other district honorees were Atende Britt, Jason Nguyen and Rashard Sumblin, second team offense; Alson Cromwell, second team defense; Xavier Freeman, first team defense; Dominque Gainey and Corey Porter, first team offense, second team defense; Zackary Hopkins, Nathan Jones and Xavier Taylor, first team offense; Latrell Lane, LaQuadric Pittman and Terry Warren, second team offense, second team defense; Angel Padilla, first team offense, honorable mention; Devon Stewart, honorable mention; Marcus Stephens, first team offense, first team defense, second team offense; and Malcolm Walker and Raequan Wright, first team defense.
Parker thanked Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle, the school board, everyone in the school system and the fans for their support this season.
“We always enjoy playing in front of our crowd and hearing their cheers, it motivates us,” Parker said.