The dribbling Grizzly

Senior Lilly Haines dribbles the ball near the football sideline at Faught Stadium last Wednesday. The Grizzlies are now 2-2. Photo by Maggie McGuire.

Disclaimer: As a Franklin College student and member of the cross country team, I am obviously biased. If that’s a problem, go read a different weekly roundup of FC athletic events.

Dear sports fans of Johnson County’s premiere liberal arts college,

Did you know grizzly bear trainer, John “Grizzly” Adams, had a bear named Benjamin Franklin?

And it was actually the bear—not the Founding Father—that signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783 to end the Revolutionary War?

Anyway, we had five days of action and some season openers so enough with the mountain man fun facts.

Volleyball: the winningest team thus far at Franklin

The volleyball squad traveled to Latin-motto-having Asbury University (How am I supposed to know what Eruditio et Religio means?) and won 3-1 for the second straight match.

Franklin dropped the second set but won the fourth and final set by seven points—their largest margin of the day. Freshman Kaitlyn Lavy had the most kills of anyone on either side with eight, while senior Billie Jarrett had five digs to accompany her team-leading 17 assists.

On Tuesday, the Grizzlies dispatched Wilmington College—whose last non-losing season was in 2008 when they went 15-15—by winning three straight sets. Lavy led the team in kills again and freshman Hope Moring filled up her stat sheet with seven kills, three aces and three blocks.

The team currently sits at 4-3, with a tournament at Manchester University coming up. Volleyball is the only Franklin team with an ongoing winning streak.

This isn’t new for them—last year, volleyball won four matches in a row, twice—but also had two losing streaks of five matches.

Whether they can put the habit of multiple losses in a row behind them is yet to be seen, but at least for this week, The Grizzlies’ motto was Victorem Victorem Pullum Cenam.

Cross country wins HCAC battle, loses war

Both cross country teams competed in the Hanover Invitational on Saturday, and each emerged as the top Heartland Conference team for their respective races. The men finished second behind Centre “No, That’s Not a Typo” College, while the women placed fourth behind three out-of-conference teams.

Sophomore John Asplund finished second overall and the four other runners scoring points finished in 17th, 18th, 19th and 24th, with only 13.9 seconds separating 2nd from 5th. They beat Earlham—picked to finish 2nd in conference—by 23 points and Hanover College by 56 points.

The women eked past Hanover by two points, beating the Panthers at their home meet for the second straight year, as senior Jill Anspaugh led the way and finished in 20th place.

Football off to worst start since 2019

Franklin’s football team is whatever the opposite of road warriors is—road pacifists, maybe—having started their season on the road and 0-2.

While last week the Grizzlies faced a good team and barely lost, this week they’re mixing it up by losing to a good team by a lot. Aurora University handed Franklin a 49-16 loss.

The Spartans scored a touchdown on the first drive of the game, but then both offenses stalled for the rest of the quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Kai Ross threw his second intercepted pass which Aurora defender Ben Slatcoff returned for a touchdown.

Down 14-0, the Grizzlies drove down the field for a Garret Cora touchdown by way of the ground. That was the only touchdown they would score however.

Aurora went on to find the endzone five more times, as Franklin’s sophomore kicker Derek Baldin went 3-for-3 on field goals.

The Grizzlies’ faceoff against Trine University Saturday, a team allowing only 163.5 yards a game, will be the last test before they begin playing conference teams. Franklin will need to score touchdowns when they get in the red zone—they’re currently four for 10—if they want to keep up with the Thunder.

Women’s soccer delivers shutout

Franklin traveled to St. Mary’s College Thursday, and hopefully the saint wasn’t in the stands because the Grizzlies delivered an efficient second half rout of the Belles, winning 3-0.

St. Mary’s more than doubled Franklin in shots, yet it was the visiting team with more shots on goal and, most importantly, more goals.

All the scoring took place in the second half, including a final nail in the coffin from freshman Abby Bryant with three minutes remaining.

Sophomore goalkeeper Makenna Mundy continues to improve her save percentage and is now averaging only one goal allowed a game. 

The Grizzlies are now 2-2, going back and forth between winning and losing. The pattern dictates they’ll lose to Albion College Saturday, and at 2-0-2, it’ll be a tough match for Franklin.

Biggest loss of season for men’s soccer

For the 7th straight year, men’s soccer have gone at least four games without recording a win.

The Grizzlies lost 6-1 on Saturday to University of Saint Francis and are now 0-5. Junior Eddy Yousak scored for Franklin and now has three goals on the season. (Franklin has a total of four goals.)

Junior goalie Ian Rowe slightly outpaced his six goals allowed with nine saves and has a save percentage of 69.4% for the year.

Next up is Berea College. They’ve gone 2-1-2 against HCAC competition so far and that’s very similar to how Franklin fared in conference play in 2021. The Grizzlies also beat the Mountaineers 2-0 last year. I’m looking into my crystal ball and seeing a tied game halfway through the 2nd half before Yousak nets one, and leads Franklin to its first win.

Doubleheader, double loss for women’s tennis

The Grizzlies, who finished last year 4-7, fell to Trine University Saturday morning and then Webster University hours later.

In the first outing, Franklin lost 9-0 with the No. 2 doubles team of junior Maecee Terhune and freshmen Emma Back giving Trine the toughest battle. Against Webster, the Grizzlies fared moderately better, with the No. 2 doubles team and Back at No. 2 singles winning. The Gorloks won 5-2—and I’ll let Wikipedia explain what a Gorlok is.

On Saturday, Franklin will look to mimic what happened last year: destroy Manchester 9-0 after not having won a match prior. And because the Spartans are currently 0-5, there’s a strong possibility that happens.

Out of season roundup

Three teams—men’s tennis and both golf teams—are competing, even though their HCAC Championships aren’t until the spring. So, they won’t be getting the full Jack Sells Recap Experience™. I mean, if I do that then, next thing you know, I’ll be covering baseball’s fall practices.

Men’s tennis played twice on Saturday, losing to Trine 8-1 and then again to Webster 6-0. The No. 3 doubles team of sophomore Nathan Jarboe and sophomore Owen Pickerill were what stopped the Grizzlies from laying two goose eggs. (I looked it up and a bear laying a goose egg is zoologically and anatomically impossible, so I apologize for the bad analogy.)

Women’s golf spent the weekend on the University of Kentucky’s golf course, competing in the Transylvania Invitational. They finished 12th out of 13, and landed behind three conference foes—Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Transylvania University and Mt. St. Joseph College. Freshman Esther Etherington tied for 28th place overall as Franklin’s No. 1.

Men’s golf attended  their own two-day sporting event, but it was their Sunday and Monday that were booked up. The Grizzlies placed 9th out of 12 in Hanover’s Battle at Belterra, beating Anderson University and Earlham, but losing to five conference teams. Braxton Christie, a freshman, tied for 27th.

The end part

Well, that’s about all the typing I’ve got left in my fingers. 

A week in and The Franklin still doesn’t want to pay me. If this continues, I’m going to go out on Dame Mall, read my column aloud to passersby and leave a hat on the ground for them to throw change in.

See ya next week.

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