Franklins boys track team runs into classroom snags
- Cliff Pfenning
- Portland Tribune - Sports
Time and PIL Relays will tell where school stands next to its peers
Franklin track and field coach Dan Kendig thinks his boys team might be a contender for the state title if all of the athletes get motivated to that end and overcome indecision and academic troubles.
The Quakers have one of the top javelin throwers in the state in senior Daniel Brant. They have two elite runners in Jon Marcus and Collin Stark-Benz and high-quality sprinters in Anwar Jones and Ronald Richmond. And they have a number of other athletes who could help the school win the city title and qualify for state.
'We have the best talent in the state,' Kendig says. 'But we're struggling in the classroom, so I'm not so sure how good we're going to be.'
The district's 10 schools are set to get together for the PIL Relays next week at Madison. Franklin will find out then where it stacks up within the city.
Brant, the PIL champion in the javelin last year, already has thrown 204 feet using the new javelin, which is not producing longer throws than last year. Brant threw 196 and 204 on his first day this spring, and Kendig has him working on his technique to be able to throw farther.
'He's straightening out some flaws, so he might not throw as far for the next couple weeks, but it'll be better in the long run,' Kendig says. 'But he's a big kid, so who knows what he can do on a given day. When he gets all excited about a throw, look out.'
Marcus and Stark-Benz helped the Quakers finish third at the state cross-country meet in November.
MORE QUAKERS: Franklin's softball team, which tied Cleveland for the PIL title last year, scored a key, 1-0 victory over Benson on Monday. It is 3-3 overall in league play heading into games with Wilson and Grant, teams that figure to contend for playoff spots.
The Quakers got a complete game from junior Holly Marlow, who teams with catcher Angela Roberti, a senior, to form what might be the league's top battery.
Franklin benefited from a trip to Modesto, Calif., during spring break.
'It was a fun, bonding experience,' Quakers coach Lisa Feuz says. 'We learned a lot about ourselves.'
MORE SOFTBALL: Roosevelt opened its PIL schedule with a 9-1 victory over Lincoln before losing 8-2 to Marshall, giving up eight errors in the loss Wednesday.
First-year coach Jeff Tollefson says his team might be able to upset a top team, though, and has hopes for the future. He coaches a summer ASA team and has coached a number of girls on the Roosevelt roster before this season. The Roughriders are 4-2.
'If people overlook us, I think we'll beat them,' Tollefson says. 'We've got a lot of sophomores on the team, so I can see us being very competitive in the next couple years.'
Roosevelt's leader is junior Terri Robinson, who plays in center field.
MORE BONDING: Wilson's baseball team also did plenty of bonding on its trip to Palm Springs, but coach Mike Clopton was interested in winning games, too. The team went just 2-5.
On its return to Portland, the Trojans have struggled with fielding, giving up five unearned runs in each of its first two games. And Wilson plays defending league champion Franklin today.
MORE BASEBALL: David Douglas opened its season at 5-6, but coach Mike Fitz has high hopes that team members are pulling together the same way they did last season, when the Scots closed with 14 wins in 15 games to finish as co-champions in the Mount Hood Conference.
The Scots feature lefty starters Kelly Tappenbeck and Brandon Jeffers, both experienced seniors, and return catcher Justin Snoderly. Sophomore Marc Hamel has been impressive at first base.
'We're starting to pull together and play like we have the last couple years,' Fitz says. 'If we can get to a two-man rotation, we should be pretty tough.'
The Scots play Barlow on Monday.
MR. OUCH: Fitz says one of his players, Jeremy Costello, is on his way to inventing a team record this season Ñ for most times being hit by a pitch. Costello already has been hit nine times in 11 games. Fitz says he can track records for the program back to 1975.
'I'm going to look this up,' he says. 'It's amazing how often he gets plunked, and he's not crowding the plate.'
TENNIS CONTENDER: Lincoln's boys tennis team finished fifth at the state tournament last year, and the Cardinals are hoping to improve this year behind freshmen Joel Kincaid and Charlie Cutler.
The two newcomers are the top singles players for the Cardinals. That means David Boyer, who reached the district final last year, may switch to doubles to help increase the team's chances for a state title.
Lincoln, which beat Westview 10-0 Wednesday, also has a strong freshman doubles team.
'We're deep,' coach Geoff Pohl says. 'We have a lot of talent at the heart of our team, so we can do a lot of different things with singles and doubles combinations.'