Following a strong showing this past weekend at the Tim Brown Memorial tournament at Cal Expo, the Franklin Wildcats varsity boys wrestling team is as ready as it can be for their Delta League slate.
The Wildcats took home third place in the Tim Brown Memorial, an impressive team showing in an event made up of nearly 90 schools in the region. Franklin finished the meet with eight medalists, including two third-place finishers in seniors Hassan Khan and Desmond Williams. Additionally, senior Sam Samball finished in fourth place within his respective weight class.
“I think we had our best tournament showing so far this weekend,” Wildcats’ head coach William Calvert said.
Franklin entered this week hoping the positive momentum gained would transfer into league competition, which began this past Tuesday in a dual meet with Elk Grove and Sheldon, held at Davis High School. The meet took place after the printing of The Elk Grove Citizen. Heading into one of the most important times of the year, the Wildcats are optimistic about their chances to compete within the Delta.
“We feel pretty good,” Calvert said. “We start off right away with Elk Grove and Sheldon, probably the two toughest teams in the league.”
Last winter, Franklin saw its team put together one of the most successful seasons in program history, earning a second place finish within the Delta League. They would parlay that into a second place finish in the Sac Joaquin Section Division I tournament, which was the best showing in school history for Franklin at the event, and ultimately qualified 12 wrestlers for the Masters tournament. The Wildcats were the highest-ranked Elk Grove Unified School District school at Masters after earning a fifth place finish. Four members of the team would go on to compete in the State meet, capping off what was a great run for the Wildcats.
Calvert said that coming into the season he expected a slight dip in productivity due to a strong graduating class a year ago. But after the first month of their season, he has recalibrated his thinking.
“I would say our goals are about the same,” Calvert stated. “We lost a lot of seniors but a lot of our returners have stepped up. If we can get somewhere around the top five at Masters, then we’re still doing pretty well. With all the great seniors that we lost I expected us to take a little dip, but after this performance (at the Tim Brown Memorial), I’m thinking we can do just as well as last year.”
This Friday and Saturday the team will compete in the Sam Boyd CIT Invite at Morro Bay High School, before returning to league competition on Tuesday, Jan. 21 in a dual date with Davis and Jesuit at Jesuit High School.