Franklin's determination gives him a senior season
ABILENE, Texas —
"I've grown a lot."
All Abilene High's Terrell Franklin could do was sit and wait. Stand on the sidelines and cheer on his teammates instead of playing in the games with them.
It's not how he wanted his senior football season to go. Life has a way of throwing curveballs, but it's about how you respond to the pitches.
Franklin answered the call, coming back from a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee to get back on the field for baseball season.
"My goal was to be back on the diamond playing with my teammates," said Franklin. "I'm not missing baseball."
The three-year starting catcher for the baseball team was set to be a key two-way player for the Eagles during football season.
Franklin's injury against Midland Lee in the second week ended his year, but pushed him to make it back for the spring sport.
"I was distraught to lose your returning All-District catcher" head baseball coach Ryan Lewis said.
"He said, 'Coach, I'll be back.' I was like, 'Yeah, whatever. You're not going to be back. You're a catcher, man. It's your knee.' And he said, 'Coach, I'll be back.'
"Sure enough last Tuesday he was back and braced up and ready to roll."
Franklin was cleared by doctors to play with a brace on his left knee. He is not only back playing, but has returned to his high-level of play with powerful hits that drive in runs.
"It was awesome," said Franklin on the feeling of being back in competition.
Abilene High is 6-4 this season, but has won five of its six games since Franklin returned including a 4-1 trek through the South Grand Prairie Tournament.
Franklin put in lots of hard work, rehabilitating his knee before and after school for months.
"Pretty impressive for a young man to do that and I'm happy for us. It makes us a better team as well," said Lewis with a smile knowing his team has one of its best weapons in the line-up again.
Leaning on crutches, forced to watch his friends play out his senior football season, Franklin was still able to find a way to improve himself.
"I became a leader," he said. "That's a different role for me, on the sidelines. I've been a leader on the field, but from the sidelines, I've grown from that. It's a positive way of that.
"I've grown a lot."
The Eagles play at Midland Lee on Tuesday afternoon, then take part in the Abilene ISD Invitational with games at Blackburn Field running Thursday-Saturday.