SOMERSET, NJ - The fall high school sports season in 2020 was different to say the least. It was also challenging given the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to rage on.
While the start times were pushed back, less games and competition throughout the season, and many protocols to follow, Franklin High made it through.
The boys soccer team finished with a 5-9-1 overall record, advancing into the quarterfinals of the Central, West B, Group 4 regional state tournament where the Warriors lost to state-ranked Hunterdon Central on the road. Franklin defeated North Hunterdon in Annandale, 2-1, in the first round, and also beat St. Thomas Aquinas, Passaic Charter, Rutgers Prep, and North Hunterdon in the season opener throughout the last two months as well.
Leonardo Ramirez-Manzanaes and Julio Camejo Del Nogal each tallied four goals apice while Tyler Kobylinski, Kwaku Owusu, and Samari Parker each scored twice. Owusu led the team with three assists. Goalie Brett Pallay was tops with 65 saves.
Girls soccer went 4-10 and it also reached the quarterfinals of the Central, West C tournament where it fell to North Hunterdon. It beat Montgomery in the first round, avenging a loss just nine days earlier. The Lady Warriors also defeated Linden, Perth Amboy (9-0), and Rutgers Prep along the way. Jessica Shea netted a team-best four goals an deeper Victoria Petra made 47 stops.
The field hockey team went 1-6 with its lone win coming on Oct. 3 against North Plainfield. Girls tennis went 1-12 with the victory on opening day against North Plainfield as well, 5-0. Aditi Jacob held down the first singles spot all season and she registered four personal wins.
On the gridiron, the football team started on a high note and ended on a high note during its 2-3 campaign. Franklin defeated Edison, 7-6, in thrilling fashion on Oct.3 and capped the year with a strong 40-13 win over Perth Amboy. In the game, Samuele Mattia threw for 132 yards and two touchdowns to Abdul Kamara, who tallied 82 yards. Ricardo Folkes also brought back the opening kickoff 86 yards to the house, Quasim Ashford notched a 28-yard touchdown run and a 25-yarder, and Ashwani Stuart punched in a 5-yard score on the ground.
The girls cross country team finished in sixth place at the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 meet on Nov. 14 at Oak Ridge Park. Freshman Hannah Adhikari came in fifth place behind three seniors and a junior with a time of 19:29.10. Adhikari also led the Lady Warriors at the Skyland Conference XC Championships as she took seventh in 20:35. Franklin, at the Syland - Delaware Division meet, placed fourth with 80 points. Adhikari, again, stole the show with a second place finish with a time of 19:53.4. Nicole Tedesco, Miranda Mclean, Amber Shea, Reese Oliveri, and Nia Davis finished in the top 27.
As for the boys cross country runners, Franklin took ninth place at the N2G4 championships with Gavin Dawson having the best time on the course for the Warriors with a 17:44.60. At Skylands, Parker Ryan earned a spot and ran a 20:56. Franklin finished in fourth place with 98 points at the Delaware Divisional race with Ryan placing 16th with a time of 18:48.6.
Franklin sports will return in 2021 with the winter season as it has been delayed as of Nov. 19.
Basketball and bowling will start practice on Jan. 11 with games starting on Jan. 26. Swimming and winter track and field are slated to start practice on Feb. 1 with competition commencing on Feb. 16. Gymnastics, volleyball, and wrestling will start practicing on March 1 and began meets and matches on March 16.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.
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