Father’s spirit, family fuels Franklin’s running back to state semi-finals

Father’s spirit, family fuels Franklin’s running back to state semi-finals
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 5:51 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 5, 2022 at 10:37 PM CST
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FRANKLIN, Texas (KBTX) - The Franklin lions have now won 30 games in a row and are closing in on their third state championship appearance in three years.

While it takes a village, this season could not have been possible without star running back, Bryson Washington.

The Washington’s moved to Franklin when Bryson was in middle school, and he made an early impact as a Lion.

“He started for me ever since his freshman year,” said Franklin head coach Mark Fannin. “He’s got a lot of game experience under his belt. He is just a special kid.”

But off the field is where Fannin believes Bryson stands out the most.

“He is just a class act dude. His character is unbelievable,” said Fannin. “You can ask any teacher in the school building what they think about Bryson Washington, they’re going to tell you the exact same thing.”

This season the senior has stepped up, playing nearly every snap on both sides of the ball.

“He is pretty much going both ways, playing every snap and carrying the ball about 15 to 18 times a game,” said Fannin. “He has embraced that role well and has done a good job.”

The senior leads the Lions this season with 1,860 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns so far. But when you look past the stats, it’s easy to understand why Bryson is so motivated. He has a lot to play for.

“My brothers, my family, most definitely my dad,” Bryson said. “He passed away. He loved football. At first I didn’t really know too much about it, but once I got in high school I just fell in love with the game. Knowing that about my dad, he loved the game of football, and him not fulfilling that dream just made me want to go harder.”

Bryson’s dad was killed in 2007 when Bryson was just 2 years old. His mom, Sherita, was left to raise him and his three siblings.

“My mom means everything to me, honestly. She’s my world, she’s my rock, the shoulder I can lean on, everything,” Bryson said smiling. “I just want to see my momma happy. Get her a new house. I want to make her dreams come true.”

While his dad wasn’t in the stands last Friday, Bryson knew he was with him when he ran in the game winning touchdown to advance his team to the state semi-finals.

“I was praying in the huddle. My dad talked to me for a little bit and he said ‘I got it,’” said Bryson after the Lions 24-21 win over Columbus.

Bryson plans to leave Franklin after this semester and enroll at Baylor University early to continue his football career.

“It’s like home,” Bryson said about Baylor. “... the players on the team, they treated me like I was already their teammate and I just love it.”

No matter how this season ends, it’s safe to say Bryson left his mark while wearing green and white.

“These kids look up to him. He is very, very valuable to me and this team and I am not the only one that says that, even his teammates will say that about him. All of these coaches, everybody in this community. He is just such a great dude, comes from a great family and I couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Fannin. “Kids don’t come around very often like Bryson and I am just cherishing every second I got with him.”

Bryson and the Lions continue their playoff run this Thursday against Edna in the state semi-finals at Legacy Stadium.