2021 Fall Season Playoff Round 1 Recap


Sammy Patel

Franklin High School Sports are looking good through round 1, with most teams eyeing the State Title

With the first round of the playoffs done for Franklin Athletics, it’s a good time to take a broad look at what happened in all the sports. The Franklin Panthers have succeeded in most sports and are moving on to the next rounds, resulting in the build-up of much anticipation. All of these teams have a chance of making a deep run and even winning the state titles. To make it even more convenient, all of the games are taking place at home, making it easy for FHS students to go cheer on their sports teams. If you are planning on going to one of these playoff games make sure you purchase tickets from here or pay cash at the door, otherwise you won’t be allowed into the games. 

#26 Boys Varsity Soccer

Unfortunately, the boys’ soccer team is the only sports team not remaining in the tournament. This was a resilient group, going on a hot streak towards the end of the season. They also were able to help Coach Bositis earn his 500th win, a truly special achievement. Due to being a lower seed in the playoffs, they had to play in the preliminary round against #39 Malden. The Panthers were able to roll through them, winning decisively 5-1. Sophomore Rex Cinelli highlighted the scoring cards with 2 goals and some great defensive plays. They then moved onto to play #7 Framingham. This would, unfortunately, be the end of their playoff run as they lost 2-1. Sophomore Sean O’Leary scored the only goal in the game, notching a goal in the last 2 games of the season. Though they lost in the first round of the playoffs this was a team that played with passion and grit. They played their hearts out till the very last minute.

The team that earned coach Fran Bositis his 500th win (Sammy Patel)

#4 Girls Varsity Soccer

Now you have the other soccer team. This has been a group that has been high scoring, and stout on defense since the beginning of their season. Their offensive attack has been led by Sophmore Anya Zub and Senior Stella Reagan. Zub notched 20 goals in the regular season. On the other side of the field, you have Sophmore goalie Rachel Welch who was the best goalie in the Hock – only letting in 7 goals all season- leading the Panthers to become the Kelly Rex champs and a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs. They got a “bye” through the preliminary rounds and were set up to face #29 Reading on Thursday night. It was a hard-fought game, with both teams showing massive amounts of spirit in the cold.  90 minutes couldn’t settle this matchup so they had to go into sudden death to figure out a winner. Franklin wasn’t ready to go out in the first round, winning 1-0. The game-winner was a header by Freshman Kelly O’Connor off of a beautiful cross by S. Reagan. It was quite a cinematic way to send the Panthers into the 2nd round.

Girls Soccer will play #13 Brookline at home on Tuesday at 6:00 P.M. (Pisini Stadium) 

#4 Girls Varsity Field Hockey

This team seemed to have copied the strategy of the girls’ soccer team (or maybe it was the other way around). Regardless, this has been an explosive team that has only let in 8 goals all season. That is thanks to the stout goalie play by Junior Megan Sullivan and Freshman Chole Strassner who have only let in an average of 0.44 goals. On the other side, Franklin possesses the top scorer in the hock (Junior Kaitlyn Carney) and #3 scorer (Junior Shaw Downing). They both have combined for 51 goals and 24 assists leading the scoring attack of the Panthers. The only loss this team faced was against #2 Walpole. It was a hard-fought 1-0 loss that could have gone the other way if the two teams faced off again. Franklin looked to avoid a loss in the first round against Beverly. All they had to do was replicate their winning formula. They did exactly that. K. Carney led the scoring attack again with 2 goals and 1 assist, and Sullivan notched 3 saves, allowing for a 6-0 win. This team has come into the tourney as a favorite and they have only solidified themselves as a contender in the first round.

Girls Field Hockey Will Play #13 Central Catholic at home on Tuesday at 5:00 P.M (Beaver Pond Field) 

#1 Girls Varsity Volleyball

Now we have the first of the 1 seeds. The Franklin volleyball unit certainly earned their one seed this season. They rolled through most of their opponents with what seemed to be great ease. There were only 5 games where this team had to play more than 3 sets.  The Panthers are led by Senior Cailyn Mackintosh, who is the setter of the team. During their matchup against Stoughton, Mackintosh secured 1,000 assists in her high school career. She has been the glue that has brought this entire team together. On her outside, the offensive attack is led by Sophmore Taylor Lacerda who had 155 kills in the regular season. The Panthers shared the Kelly-Rex crown with KP after an absolutely electric win in their final game of the regular season, avenging their loss earlier in the season to KP. They did not fail to disappoint in the first round with a quick 3-0 sweep over #32 Lynn Classical. It was an absolute rout with the Panthers winning each set by at least 7 points. I will say this: out of all the teams, they have one of the biggest chances of winning the state title.

Girls Volleyball will play #16 Shrewsbury at home on Tuesday at 5:00 P.M (FHS Gym) 

The Panthers celebrating after a win against rival KP (Siddharth Chandra)

#1 Varsity Football

Last but not least, you have arguably the best team this year for FHS sports: the football team. This team has been on an absolute tear throughout the season, becoming the only undefeated team on this list. I like to think of their offense as the Tennessee Titans offense, with Russell Wilson at QB. Jared Arone is a lot like Wilson with his playing style, Derrick Henry and Mack Gulla are both dominant downhill runners, and Shane Kindred and Will Tracey are deep threats just like Julio Jones and A.J Brown. The only difference has been Franklin’s offense has been much more explosive than the Titans. They showed off this offense on Friday night against Braintree where they put up 42 points in the first half alone. This put them on the radar (once again) of all high school journalists and teams. FHS looks forward to watching them hold up the state title.

Football will play #8 Methuen at home on Friday at 7:00 P.M. (Pisini Stadium) 

Franklin Football made the Braintree Wamps look like a middle school team via a 42-6 blowout win (Sammy Patel)