PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Soccer is a team sport and championship clubs have all kinds of stories, and FOX 12 took a look at the history-making boys from Portland's Franklin High School.
Year one of the name change at Franklin High has been lightning in a bottle.
Not since Steve “Snapper” Jones led the FHS boys to the 1959 state basketball crown had any Franklin team been at the top of the mountain.
Sixty years later, the Franklin High boys cross country and soccer teams have some hardware to slide into the old trophy case on back-to-back weeks.
On the pitch, the Lightning struck to make a little history.
Where there’s overtime, there’s lightning.
“It’s not a small thing to win a state title,” said Franklin boys soccer head coach Ty Kovatch.
The Franklin boys became first-time state champions last Saturday night with a thrilling 2-1 double overtime victory over Summit in the 6A title match.
“The way any team gets there has so many ingredients, so many participants and so many little butterfly effects that lead to the place where you have the confidence and you have the system of play and you have the caliber of players that you have the ability to deliver over and over and over as the playoffs dictate,” Kovatch said.
Franklin dictated its own path to the cup, pulling down a share of its first Portland Interscholastic League title in 14 years to earn the 14th seed at state.
“A lot of people say it’s lucky because we were the 14 seed, but I think that is all heart right there,” said sophomore Darren Green.
The pulse of the Lightning is team – building for this moment and making the playoffs four of the past five years.
Adding to Franklin’s electric mix was the fastest kid on the grounds: 15-year-old Green.
“I always feel welcomed at this school and it helps me a lot,” he said.
The starting attacking midfielder didn’t turn out for soccer his freshman year. Green didn’t have the grades if he even wanted to.
“I didn’t have a reason to be too good in school but now everyone is pushing me on my team like, Darren, you need to get this right. You need to be a good student, so I am really pushing myself to be a good student this year,” he said.
Held accountable by so many through his mentors, his club team, his church and his teachers, this season has seen a new shade of Green as a varsity starter and honor roll striving student.
“Me being on the good side, I don’t want to be on the bad side anymore,” Green said.
Currently holding down a 3.4 GPA while going further in high school than anyone in his immediate family, Green is chasing down that college scholarship dream.
“That’s my push right there,” he said. “To be the first person in my family to go to college would be pretty great and every day I wake up with that mentality of being the best person I can.”
Green is thankful for another chance.
“I think your why, why you do what you do is very important,” he said. “I do it not just to better myself, but I want the people around me to be happy and I feel like I would be letting them down if I wasn’t doing my best.”
A good kid, great program and wonderful leadership on and off the field at Franklin High, plus, the mentoring Green receives through Faithful Friends Portland.
Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.