Thursday, August 30, 2007

Franklin's Breakdown Against Murphy

By now you have seen that Franklin fell to Murphy on Friday to move to 1-1 on the football season. The game was nothing short of a heartbreaker. Franklin held an 11 point lead in the 4th with about 4 minutes left and let it slip away. Murphy took home the win 27-24. It was a tough one to watch.

That said, I was thinkning last night and I wondered, "can a loss be a good thing?". What do you think? Post you thoughts on the comments section.

The reality as of Friday night is that our passing game and pass defense is struggling. But, both of those, especially the passing game, can improve quickly. This loss could end up being a great thing for this team. Talk about motivation and wanting some redemption the next 2 weeks against other Smoky Mountain Conference teams (Robbinsville and Swain County). Knowing Coach Brooks, he won't let this ruin the season. The boys played their hearts out and now know the things they must take care of to hold on to leads and win games in the 4th quarter.

One other note: How impressive is our O-Line and RB Josh Young? WOW! The kid runs for 300 plus the first week against Hayesville. Murphy comes in and you know they are going to try and shut him down and he still gets 250 yards! Amazing running by Young and even more credit to another wonderfully organized O-line for the Panthers.

We will see what Friday holds against Robbinsville at Big Oak Stadium for our Panthers. If the Panthers hold a lead in the 4th, I don't think you'll see it slip away this week.

Go Panthers!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Panther Country Is Alive And Well

The first week of high school football in the mountains has been electric. Week one was a "W" for our Panthers as they downed hayesville 35-16 at the Panther Pit.

RB Josh Young had an amazing game. He was just 10 yards short of breaking the single game rushing record for Franklin. I am sure if Coach Josh had known he would have let Young stay in to break the record. Iit would have been nice to be there and witness it.

The offensive line looked pretty strong on Friday. I guess that is evident from Young's 313 yards rushing. The passing game needs some work, but it was slow out the gate last year. After a few games I'm sure QB Vose will have no trouble connecting with his recievers.

Panther Country is alive and well. The community is excited about another fun season and the coaching staff is as good as ever. We are lucky to have such a deep and committed staff for the program.

Keep checking out the Panther Country site at We will keep the stories, audio and videos coming.

Go Panthers.

Friday, August 10, 2007

FHS Football vs Cherokee (scrimmage) Tonight

The Panthers get to put on the pads and hit someone tonight as they scrimmage 1A Cherokee. It is going to very hot tonight as it is currently 88 degrees in Franklin and rising. This will give Coach Josh Brooks a good look to see where his boys stand after preseason workouts.

The first game is just 7 days away! The Panthers matchup against Hayesville at home on August 17th. Be sure to check back at Panther Country for full stories, audio, video and more online at

As always, you can also listen to the game live on 96.7 WNCC in Franklin next Friday night or online at their website The Streaming audio is only good live during the game.

Go Panthers!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

FHS Principal Sheilds Honored By NCHSAA

Gary Sheilds was awarded "Principal Of The Year" by the NCHSAA. He is in Raleigh to recieve the award today.

Mr Sheilds is a wonderful principal. Some of us from Panther Country went to FHS under his watch. You will find that almost every student has nothing but positive things to say about Mr. Sheilds. He is friendly and caring about the students, but it also very clear about what he expects from you.

When it comes to athletics, Sheilds is a great supporter. He has allowed Franklin to compete with the best teams in the mountains by setting high on feild and in the classroom standards. He has also been instrumental in hiring the type of coaches that Franklin currently has that work hard to win but do it the right way.

Sheilds fondness for FHS's students and teachers is evident. It will be a sad day whenever he does decide to retire. Someone will have some big shoes to fill.

Asheville Citizen Times Story on Gary Sheilds

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Colin Chapman Places 2nd at MAC Golf Champioship

Franklin's Colin Chapman had a great round of golf yesterday with a 70 adding to his first round 76 to give him 2nd place at the MAC Golf Championship. Colin finish with a 16, 9 strokes behind Tuscola's Drew Page.

Page and Chapman have played the best golf in western North Carolina all season long and now both with take their clubs to regionals to take on the best in the region.

Good luck to Colin at regionals and congrats to Franklin on another solid golf season.

Now if only we could all hit the ball like Colin!

Friday, April 27, 2007

We Work What Info We Can Get

It seems as though almost weekly we at Panther Country get emails about how we neglect to include information on this sport or that sport. None of this is ever done intentionally to leave out a certain group of sports. The biggest problem is the lack of information available on those sports.

After a recent post about baseball here on the Panther Country Blog we were left a message that baseball is not the only sport going on right now. That is true. Not only is baseball in high gear, but so is golf, soccer, tennis and oh yes, track and field. There is no conspiracy here at Panther Country to not include other sports other than football, basketball and baseball/softball. In fact most of us (currently 3 volunteers) have either competed in sports at FHS or have family members who competed, including track and field.

Please remember that this blog and the website are all done by volunteers and we mostly work with what information we can find online and in the papers. The coaches are very busy people as well and it is not always possible for them to write stories and email stats to Panther Country for us to post. Not only do they coach, they also teach. (Big props to all the FHS coaches. You all do what you do because you love the game and the kids.)

FHS is an amazing school fully of great coaches and kids. Panther Country works hard to try and recognize each sports as much as possible and as much as time allows between our real jobs of work, family and church.

Please be patient with us and remember where we are coming from before you gripe about the lack a certain sports coverage on here. If you want to really complain, call the Asheville Citizen Times sports or the Franklin Press (although Andy does a great job covering all FHS sports).

Thanks for reading the Panther Country Blog.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Erxleben Throws NO HITTER for Franklin Baseball!

Wow! Franklin's Jason Erxleben threw a no hitter last night. The Panthers defeated Tuscola 7-0. Jason struck out 9 and walked 2 batters on his way to the no-hitter. Franklin is now 6-13 overall and 4-7 in the MAC.

The Panthers are playing some very good baseball in the last week. Last week they defeated top ranked TC Roberson and now they get a no-hitter. Looking at the Panthers overall record is definitly misleading. The Panthers have let several games slip away after leading for more than half the game. Coach Graham has said all season long that if they can keep from shooting themselves in the foot, they can win every game.

The Lady Panthers defeated Tuscola as well las night. Congrats to both teams for sending the mountaineers home winless.


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Girls Soccer On "Best of West" Poll

The Franklin girls soccer team was listed as the #8 team in all of western North Carolina this morning by the Asheville Citizen Times. The Panthers are currently 8-5-1 overall. TC Roberson and Asheville hold the #1 and #2 spots respectively. Both of these teams are in the MAC, which Franklin competes in. It looks as though the Panthers are playing some great soccer and we wish them all the best the rest of this season.

Note:Picture is from the Franklin Press.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Jeff Graham Now Franklin's Winningest Baseball Coach

Last night the Franklin Panthers Baseball team defeated Smoky Mountain 12-7. On top of beating our rival Smoky Mountain, Franklin's Head Coach Jeff Graham got his 162nd win at FHS. Graham passed Coach Tom Raby with the win for the all time wins by a head coach at FHS.
He will be first to say that the credit goes to the kids who have played for him, but Graham does deserve a great deal of credit. He led Franklin to it's only baseball state title back in 2001 and has established Franklin as a contender in the MAC year in and year out. Frankin constantly goes against one of the best best baseball programs in the state in TC Roberson, but always stay in the hunt for a conference win and title run. He has also sent several players on to play at the college level and even in the pro ranks.

Congrats to Coach Graham for his hard work and this great accomplishment.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Franklin's Kyle Ward to Play Football at Brevard College

Congratulations to Kyle Ward on his recent committment to Brevard College to play football. Kyle was a key piece of the Panther's offensive success the past 2 years. Kyle was all-conference this year in the MAC and led Franklin with 47 catches for 883 yards and 9 TDs.

Kyle was great fun to watch at "The Pit" and I am sure he will bring that Panther Pride with him to Brevard.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Franklin Golf In Full Swing

Andy at the Franklin Press wrote a nice article on the boys golf team in today's paper. Franklin has had a really solid golf team over the course of the last few years and looks as though they are continuing that this year as well. Here is the link to the online version of the article.

The Panthers fell one strole short of tying 2006 defending state champion, Tuscola High. If the Panthers can continue to stay competitive against other quality teams like Tuscola then the Panthers should look to have a great season.

Any chance one of us Panther Country blogger's can help coach the team? We just want to play free golf! Anybody got an in with Coach Tony Plemmons? :)

have a great weeekend. Go Panthers!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Varsity Girls Soccer @ Smoky

Good luck to the girls varsity soccer team tomorrow (Friday) as they play at Smoky Mountain. The Lady Panthers are sitting at 5-2 overall going into this game. There is almost nothing better than a win against our "neighbor" Smoky Mtn. It's another round in the "Battle For Cowee Mountain".

Go Lady Panthers.

2007 FHS Football Schedule

Head Football Coach Josh Brooks recently released the 2007 Franklin Football Schedule. Here's a look at who the Panthers will match up against in the fall:

Aug. 17

Aug. 24

Aug. 31

Sept. 7

Sept. 14
Smoky Mtn.

Sept. 21
TC Roberson **

Sept. 28

Oct. 05

Oct. 12

Oct. 19
North Buncombe**

Oct. 26

Nov. 02

Nov. 9
1st Rd Playoffs

**Denotes--Conference Game

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

FHS Football Lift-A-Thon


The Panthers Football team is holding their annual Lift-A-Thon tomorrow (Wednesday, March 21st) at the feildhouse at Franklin High. The boys have been gathering sponsors to pledge money according to how much they can life on bench press, squat and power clean. All the money they raise will go towards upgrading the field house and weight room.

If you would like to pledge money call the high school and talk to Coach Josh Brooks at 524-6467.


The baseball and softball teams lost their games yesterday at TC Roberson, but both played well from what we hear. Many folks have said the softball team has a greta group of players and should be right in the mix all year long. Good Luck to the Lady Panthers. We are rooting for you.

The baseball team is playing well too. They lost 4 - 2 to TC who is one of the top ranked teams in 3A baseball in North Carolina.

We look forward to seeing what the Panthers and Lady Panthers continue to do on the diamond.

Go Panthers!
NOTE: Picture is from

Monday, March 19, 2007

FHS Boosters Club

If you have ever wondered how you can help the Panther Athletic program, one great way to do so is through the Boosters Club. They help raise money to benefit the whole athletic program's activities. You can see more information about joining by clicking here.

Panther Country Gone Big Time

Panther Country has now gone big time! We have a blog for all you Panther crazed fans. Thanks stopping by and checking it out. We will be posting at least once a week so please bookmark us and check back often.

Spring sports are in full swing. We are doing are best to cover the spring sports on the Panther Country website at In fact, we just added a story this weekend with the Lady Panther's softball win. We included a story and video highlights! Be sure to check it out.

Go Panthers!