Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Men and Women Come Home with Academic Awards!

Congrats on the Men's and Women's Teams for their stellar efforts in the classroom! The Men finished with 3 players (Tim Hengst, Chris Plasa, and JR Davis) honored with ITA Scholar Athlete Award while also coming home with the All-Academic Team Award (team GPA average of a 3.2 or higher). This marks the 2nd consecutive year that the men have won this award. The women also had a great year with Kelsey Kushner and Sam Miranda being ITA Scholar Athletes

Monday, March 13, 2017

Welcome to the Family Mekenzie!

MeKenzie Bowman has a reputation for playing long tennis matches. If Franklin’s tennis team had to wait more than two hours to begin playing a doubles match, chances are it was because of Bowman.
“I always try my hardest,” she said. “If they get ahead of me, I’m not gonna let them keep going ahead of me.”

A steely mental fortitude helped Bowman rise from a beginner as a freshman to the team’s No. 2 singles player as a junior and senior. Now, she’ll look to use her refusal to give in at the next level.
Bowman will play tennis at Brevard College. A signing ceremony was held Feb. 22 in the FHS gym lobby, with family, friends, teammates and coaches in attendance.
“I’m really blessed that everyone could make it,” Bowman said. “I have some really great support systems. I know that I’m gonna continue to have that here and at Brevard.
“I’m nervous, but at the same time, I’m excited about it.”

Words of wisdom

After various groups took photos with Bowman, FHS athletic director Jay Brooks began the speaking portion of the ceremony. He said it’s a great opportunity for Bowman and wished her luck.
Coach Heather Bell pointed out that Bowman is the latest player to continue her career at the next level, following in the footsteps of Bell and her younger sister, Andrea Bell.
“It’s really cool to see the program continue to send players off to college,” Bell said.
Bell coached Bowman all four years. She looks forward to watching her play – albeit in blue and white instead of red and white.

“I’m very proud of her,” Bell said. “She’s worked very hard to get where she’s at.”
Assistant coach Rick Blanton said he’s very proud of Bowman, and it’s been wonderful seeing how she’s represented Franklin on and off the court.

“You’re going to have to work a little bit harder at Brevard,” Blanton said. “You’ve been given the skills, though, so you can do it. We’re gonna be supporting you and watching you play.”

Blanton also gave Bowman a piece of advice: to remember resources are still available to her. He recalled a time in college when something came up and he went to coach Tom Raby’s office to talk.

“Because I knew I could, and knew he had the answers,” Blanton said. “So you’re always welcome here at school, so never forget that.”
Principal Barry Woody stressed to remember the importance of academics.
“On behalf of the administration, we’re extremely proud of you,” Woody said. “I know you’re going there for your tennis, but let me challenge you to stay in academics. This is an avenue to enjoy something and get your degree at the same time. So my challenge to you is to enjoy it, work hard at tennis, work hard at academics.”
Aaron Bowman, MeKenzie’s father, thanked the coaches and FHS staff for their assistance, and for the newspaper for covering matches.
“It means a lot to us,” he said. “You’ve worked to carry her, and that’s why she is here. We thank all of you for that.” Tyler Bowman spoke directly to his younger sister.“You worked hard, you earned it, I’m proud of you,” he said. Teammates and friends were a tad shy. One team member spoke for the group by saying, “Congrats,” and a classmate spoke for Bowman’s friends by saying, “She’s a great friend.”

‘Excellent competitor’

Bowman played softball for 13 years, but tennis quickly became her favorite sport. She recalled being at the tennis courts hitting balls one day when Franklin was having tryouts.
“They asked me to come play, so I said, ‘OK,’” Bowman said. Bowman enjoys the endurance aspect that tennis provides, as well as the mental aspect. “It’s a game within yourself,” she said. “You don’t have to rely on other people.” Asked whether she prefers playing singles over doubles, Bowman joked that it depends whom her partner is for doubles. FHS plays at Brevard High School every year – sometimes twice if the conference tournament is also there. She fell in love with the college’s campus, and spoke with Brevard coach Evan Schreiner about playing for the Tornados.Schreiner knows Bowman will bring a strong mental presence to his team. “MeKenzie is going to be a great addition to our team in the fall,” Schreiner said. “I have seen her play in high school competition and I have always enjoyed watching her fight for every point. She is going to be an excellent competitor that will add a lot of depth to our program.” When she’s not on the tennis court, Bowman enjoys hunting and fishing, and spending time with friends and family. She plans on pursuing a degree in nursing. Brevard offers a pre-nursing program, and Bowman anticipates acquiring her bachelor’s before continuing her education at a university. She hopes to work in pediatric oncology.