Hometown Heroes: Franklin Lions

Mark Fannin takes over the program from legendary head coach Mike Hedrick
Published: Aug. 23, 2020 at 4:56 PM CDT
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FRANKLIN, Texas (KBTX) - As Mark Fannin steps up to the head coaching job, he inherits an experienced, but still young group of Lions, and retains the same season-long toughness that typifies a Franklin schedule. Fullback and outside linebacker Seth Spiller is a key two-way player, sharing the bulk of the carries with Bobby Washington. Spiller rushed for 821 and made 87 tackles to lead the Lons in both categories. The Slot T backfield also returns tailback Malcolm Murphy. Keegan Wilson is the center of attention in the offensive line. Another two-way player who will be a key to the Lions’ success is defensive back Bryson Washington. He’ll also benefit from the up-front play of Ashton Ferguson. Six of the seven teams in 13-3A Division II had playoff seasons last year, and the non-district schedule is stuffed with tradition-rich teams. The Lions will host the Lorena Leopards, moving down from 4A, along with the Cameron Yoemen (11-2 last year). Franklin also plays at 3A Division I’s returning quarterfinalist Troy (12-2). The Robertson County rivalry game with Hearne remains on the non-district slate.

Fannin has served as the Offensive Coordinator for most of the last decade and says he is not going to change much since Franklin’s 3 yards and a cloud of dust has averaged 10 wins a season, but they might try to throw it a few more times. His familiarity with the players and the culture in Franklin has made the transition pretty smooth, but it’s still going to be hard to follow a legend in Mike Hedrick.

“It’s going to be hard to follow coach Mike. He is a legend around the state and I am very fortunate to have been able to learn from him and under his guidance. All he has done is made me a better football coach and a better person,” said Fannin.

“Well I’d say it’s been a pretty great transition. Coach Fannin has brought a lot of new intensity to the practices and it has really brought the team together to honestly,” said Franklin running back/defensive back Nick Hrncir.

“I wouldn’t say it was a big transition because he was already deeply involved in the play calling and all that kind of stuff so we are kind of already used to him,” said Franklin offensive tackle/defensive end Keegan Wilson.

The Lions have their sights set on a trip to AT&T Stadium in December and know that bus ride is exactly 164 miles. Franklin opens up the season at home against Lorena next Friday.

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