The New Franklin boys basketball team had its share of ups and downs in 2018-19.
While the wins and losses evened itself out in close games, according to head coach Ross Dobson, the Bulldogs still managed to finish the season with a winning season at 20-9 overall and 6-4 in the Central Activities Conference.
Along the way to recording a 20-win season, New Franklin also captured its first district championship since 2006 before losing to Skyline in a hard-fought game in the sectional round of the state playoffs.
This season with pretty much the same team intact, New Franklin is ready to make another run at the postseason in addition to the CAC.
“I’m looking forward to this season,” Dobson said. “We will be led by five seniors that have worked really hard to get to this point in their high school careers. They will be leading a younger group of players that will be relied on throughout the year. The conference race in the CAC is never an easy schedule. No matter that night, any team can win a conference game. Our non-conference games are going to be tough games as well. We will need to come to play each and every night if we want to have a successful season.”
With 10 years of coaching experience overall and seventh at New Franklin, third as a head coach, the Bulldogs have definitely flourished under Dobson at 40-17.
As for the 2018-19 season, Dobson said the team had a lot of close games they won and lost. “Each and every night was a battle against good teams,” Dobson said. “I thought that helped us for district time.”
New Franklin senior Jackson Dorson said what the team did last year was fantastic and they achieved many great things. “In order to move forward, however, we need to move past that and stay humble,” Dorson said. “I believe we can achieve many more great things as long as we stay together as brothers.”
Senior Carter Bailey said the Bulldogs had a really good season last year and accomplished many of their goals. “I am looking forward to this season and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish,” Bailey said.
New Franklin finished last season averaging 49.5 ppg along with 29.7 rpg. The Bulldogs also shot 40.1 percent from the field and 58.5 percent from the foul line, which will have to improve if the team is going to improve on last year’s win total.
As far as the conference this season, Dobson said the CAC is never an easy schedule. “No matter the night, any team can win a conference game,” Dobson said.
With five seniors and three junior making up the team this season, the Bulldogs should have plenty of experience returning. Included in that are all-conference and all-district selections from a year ago in seniors Tyler Perkins and Gavin Bishop.
Perkins, a do-it-all type player for the Bulldogs, finished the season averaging 13.5 ppg along with 4.9 rpg and 4.1 apg. Perkins also shot 46.3 percent from the field, 31 percent from the three-point arc and 65.9 percent from the foul line.
As for Bishop, the senior guard averaged 12.9 ppg along with 5.7 rpg and 1.7 apg. He also finished the season shooting 40.4 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from the foul line.
Other returning starters are seniors Carter Bailey and Jackson Dorson.
Bailey averaged 7.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 1.8 apg for the Bulldogs while Dorson averaged 3.0 pp-g, 3.5 rpg and 1.5 apg,
Other returning players are Crayton Gallatin, Tysen Dowell, David Brucks, Alex Grover, Tre’ Cowans, Caleb Hull, Sammy Marshall, Brett Boggs, Tiernan Hoover and Blake Evans.
Key additions this season are freshmen Clayton Wilmsmeyer, Keaton Eads, Owen Armentrout, Reidan Colon and Matthew Overall.