The 655 Franklin Cougar graduates spread across their very own football field on Wednesday ready to walk the stage and claim their diploma for what will be the first-ever commencement on home turf for the West Side school.
The class, led by valedictorian Yuko Isabel Ward and salutatorian Shakila Edalatpour, took in nearly $16 million in scholarships. Most notable is the prestigious QuestBridge Scholarship awarded to Laurine Kim, who will attend Vassar College on a full ride.
Remarks kept focus on their theme: “Today is the tomorrow we dreamt about yesterday.”
“We stand, gathered together to celebrate the accomplishments of the most resilient class in the history of secondary education,” said Edalatpour. “These days have passed by much too quickly, it’s almost impossible to believe that we’ll be in college the next semester we step into a classroom. These times have been uncertain, and it’s okay to say that we truly have been robbed of the best time of our lives.”
On a lighter note, she added: “I speak on behalf of all of us that when we said, ‘Senior Ditch Day’ – this is not what we meant.”
Ward reminisced about her days on campus, and how the events and obstacles helped them grow over their four years.
“Through it all, we learned and grew into the people we are today,” Ward said. “Every minor inconvenience, every challenge overcome, every good memory has shaped us. When we leave here today, our high school career is truly behind us. We will face new challenges. And, as we learned to do in high school, we will succeed.”
Also speaking during commencement were All Franklin Boy Fabian Ramirez and All Franklin Girl Summer Sullivan. Senior class president Lauren Menchaca led the tassel turning ceremony, encouraging her classmates to toss their carnation in the air to symbolize their official end to high school.
“We did it,” she said.
Story by Gustavo Reveles | Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD
While the fall chill was in the air at the Gem in Far East El Paso – Socorro ISD’s SAC – two of the city’s elite teams heated up the gridiron under the Thursday Night Lights.
However it was all Rams from the opening kickoff, as Montwood took the ball and scored on their opening drive. With the help of their defense, the Rams never looked back and pulled away from the Cougars to win the contest 36-16.
With the play of Rams quarterback Sebastian Galvan and running back Christopher Ramos the offense was firing on all cylinders.
On the other side of the ball, the Rams defense forced turnovers at key times and stopped the Cougar offense for much of the night.
Our very own Ruben R. Ramirez was at the blustery contest and we bring you his view via this ‘Game in Many Pics.’
The Socorro Bulldogs hosted the Franklin Cougars on a chilly Friday night in the Lower Valley.
Tension, adrenaline and energy coursed through the air, as the fans filed into the stands. With so much anticipation, there was no doubt that this would be tough contest for the Bulldogs, who were still looking for their first win of the season.
Socorro fumbled on their first drive, but stopped the Cougars on 4th and goal, after Franklin opted to go for it early in the first quarter.
The Bulldog defense played tough and was able to hold Franklin on their first offensive snaps, but Franklin made some quick adjustments to make it 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, with an impressive ground game.
Early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs found themselves inside the Cougar 5-yard line, after a spectacular 40-yard run by QB Damian Williams. Running back Nicholas Reyes pierced the middle of the Franklin D-line and scored on the following play, but the point-after attempt was blocked.
By halftime, Franklin led the home-standing Bulldogs 34 to 6
Late in the fourth quarter, Socorro scored again, as senior Anthony Martinez was able to break the goal line for the Bulldogs.
Although the Bulldogs were able to recover two pooch kicks on special teams, the small sparks were not enough to lift them past the unrelenting Franklin team, as the Cougars won 48-20.
“Tonight’s game is certainly a blessing,” senior wide receiver Edward Granados said. “Although I myself, along with some teammates, were injured, we still put our all into the game, and at the end of the night that’s all that matters.”
Story and Photo by: Briseida Rivera (SHS Journalism Staff)
Going into their first 1-6A district game this season, Pebble Hills wanted to avenge last season’s 53-28 loss to the Franklin Cougars, and they wanted to answer any questions regarding how they would do against a district opponent.
Opening with a three-possession-lead answered any questions, as the No. 2 Spartans dominated the Cougars 57-28 at Socorro ISD’s Student Activities Center (SAC) Friday night.
From the opening possession, the Spartans were able to start the game off on the right note, converting a 4th down with a 13-yard pass from Orlando Puig to Haredt Gonzalez; quickly putting them in the red zone.
Soon after, quarterback Christopher Beanes put the first points on the board with a 3-yard QB sneak. The defense then followed up by halting the Cougars offense, forcing a punt on 4th & 20.
The Spartans continued to move the ball down the field, as Orlando Puig connected with Kevin Averette on a 32-yard pass. Gonzalez then suffered an injury – a “hip pointer” – and was taken out of the game, but morale and discipline remained strong as Puig and running back Cameron Seabrook hooked up for a 6-yard touchdown, making it 14-0.
The Spartans used this momentum on their next defensive drive, as Deiontae Moore intercepted a tipped ball and gave the offense yet another chance to capitalize, which they did.
On the very next play, Averette scored via a 35-yard touchdown pass, bringing the Spartans to a comfortable 21-point lead. The Cougars however were able to score a 15-yard touchdown pass, making it 21-7 at the half.
For Pebble Hills, Puig ended the first half with 2 touchdowns and 206 yards.
The start of the second half rolled in favor of the visiting team, when Franklin’s quarterback Chris Kelley scored via a 3-yard run to trim the lead, 21-13.
It was apparent that adjustments were made at the half, but the Cougars could not stop the Spartans as the onslaught from the 1st half, continued in the second half of the game.
Puig was able to connect with Kevin Averette on a diagonal pass resulting in an 83-yard touchdown, much to the delight of the loud Spartan faithful, making the score 28-13. This created a new wave of confidence that flooded into the defense, allowing them to make yet another interception on a pivotal possession for Franklin.
Caleb Gerber then continued the offensive onslaught by punching in a 3-yard run making it 35-13.
The Spartans were on a hot streak on both sides of the ball. Juan Santiago and Jonas Christmas both recovered fumbles and converted the turnovers to points by running them all the back to the end zone.
Defensively, the Spartans have been solid all year, but offensively, certain possessions showcased an offense hitting stride. For the first time this season, the Cougars allowed more than 50 points.
“We had defensive scores, and those are hustle plays, those are not shove it in your face run up the score type of plays,” head coach Mark Torres said. “We were not looking to run up the score on Franklin, we were simply looking for a win.We were disciplined, we made explosive plays, we prevented explosive plays against us, we checked off all the boxes this week, and this is what happens when you check all the boxes off.”
Coach added that starting off district with a win at home is imperative, when it comes to clinching a playoff berth.
“It feels great to get a district win, and those are not easy to come by,” Torres said. “I’m excited about the way it happened, our kids had a lot of fun tonight.”
The Spartans (4-0, 1-0 in district) go on the road to take on Coronado Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m. Coronado is fresh off a 36-15 win against Americas, and has won consecutive games entering the contest.