Unbeaten Franklin High School football team’s road to a tournament ruined by their own school district

Over the past weekend I broke the story on Franklin social media that the Franklin undefeated high school football team, rated 2nd in the entire state,  was heading to a post-season tournament.

WIAA FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT DIVISION I

Franklin vs. Menomonee Falls at Franklin Nov 13 at 7:00.

If Franklin wins they would face the winner of the Muskego-Arrowhead game on Nov. 19 at Muskego or at Franklin if Arrowhead wins.

After this news broke the Franklin school district announced the high school was going virtual for 14 calendar days starting Monday, November 9, and that all athletics were suspended. So a reader wanted to know:

Does this still happen with the shut down? Per their post no athletics. Just curious and truly don’t know.

I responded.

I posted the WIAA info before Franklin school district made its announcement which reads, in part:

Effective Monday, November 9th, Franklin High School, including athletics and in-person activities, are temporarily suspended for the next 14 calendar days.

My guess: Franklin can’t and won’t be playing on the 13th. They forfeit to Menomonee Falls who would advance in the tournament.

And that turned out to be the case. Outrage across Franklin ensued, and rightfully so.

This morning (Monday) I sent the following to Larry Gamble:

Larry Gamble, you are president of the Franklin School Board. I respectfully ask: Do you have a comment about the school district’s abrupt decision to make FHS go virtual for two weeks, but more specifically suspending athletics for 14 calendar days, essentially ending the football team’s undefeated season and depriving them of the opportunity to play in one, possibly two tournament games?

Gamble finally sent a response tonight:

Kevin, thanks for contacting me. By now many people have seen the TMJ4 interview and Franklin parents got the letter from the Administration. I understand the heartbreak of these players however our district developed the metrics to keep our students safely in the classroom before we returned to school. We listened to our families and came up with an effective plan. Up to now, it was working but timing can be fickle, and now is when the metrics triggered a short term converting to virtual learning. I stand with the Administrators who worked diligently to have our schools open and developed a plan to keep our students and staff safe. It’s not an easy decision, but it is the safe decision.

My response:

Thank you. In other words you will do nothing to intervene and try to fix this. At least we know.

This is horrible. Nobody in authority cares a damn about the kids.

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My Letter to the Franklin School Board:

The decision by the the Franklin Public School administrators to end the High School Football Season and potentially rob several other state qualifying athletes (Swim & Dive) is shameful and not backed by any scientific basis. Our Franklin Sabers, the #2 Ranked team in the state in Division 1, has, at this point, had to forfeit their game this Friday after amassing an undefeated season and doing all that was asked of them.If you have been around Franklin you know that the team has participated in the WIAA Playoffs every year for the last 19 years, making 3 Championship appearances, winning a State Title in 2006. You are robbing this capable group of hard working athletes of there opportunity to be part of this legacy. These athletes have worked much of their lives preparing for this run at a state title. If they are to be eliminated, let it be on the field to another quality team and not because a bunch of bureaucrats made them forfeit. Let the athletes move ahead on their efforts not bureaucratic apathy!This team has earned this opportunity and should be given the choice to compete!

Jason Kazmierczak

#LetThemPlay

2 thoughts on “Unbeaten Franklin High School football team’s road to a tournament ruined by their own school district

  1. Amazing how our immediate neighbors to the west in Muskego have managed to have continuous school, athletics, band and a Homecoming. Cannot imagine their kids are somehow immune to the virus. They seem to have taken the approach they are going to do whatever it takes or perhaps they are doing something different with the measurements. Absolutely heartbreaking to hear about the impact on the FHS kids. These are moments they need to have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (11/16/20) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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