EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

January 13, 2014

Strong pedigree

Methuen freshman Franklin aiming to create own legacy

METHUEN — His time has finally come.

For nearly a decade, members of the wrestling community have heard about Methuen freshman Darius Franklin.

“He might be the best wrestler in the family,” was a common refrain about Franklin.

If true, that would make Franklin one of the best wrestlers the region has ever seen because his older brother, Isaiah Williams, was a two-time undefeated New England champion for Haverhill High. Another brother, Parris, also wrestled for the Hillies.

Franklin began wrestling in the second grade with the Haverhill Youth program and then, after the family moved, switched to the Methuen Youth Program. Throughout is time in elementary and middle school, he’s worked out and trained at The Barn in Danville, N.H.

When healthy, Franklin was nearly unbeatable. As a fifth and seventh grader, he won the sectional, state and New England tournament. Injuries to his wrist and elbow sidelined him as a sixth and eighth grader.

Healthy again, Franklin is currently 18-0 with 13 pins as a 160-pounder and has already won two tournaments. He’s had few close matches. Methuen coach Bill James has been impressed, although he adds that Franklin has some work to do to become an elite wrestler.

“He’s obviously off to a good start,” said James. “He’s got a great mat presence ... he’s aggressive, he’s pretty strong and, when he gets in trouble, he scrambles really well.

“He needs to work on his technique a little more, and his moves in different situations.”

Franklin doesn’t disagree, noting that he works on technique first and then strives to improve his strength, and says that his best attributes are “my speed and agility.”

When he needs advice, in addition to his coaches, Franklin sometimes gets it from older brother Isaiah, who is on an extended break from Missouri Baptist, which he attends with Parris.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Longhorns Coach Disses Texas With Compliment - @TheBuzzeronFOX How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits
Boston Sports
McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Who will Brady turn to if Gronk can’t stay healthy? Gronkowski cleared to participate in Patriots training camp Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Shaughnessy: Dont count out the Sox just yet Blakely: Projecting the Celtics roster Daopolous: How will NFL cracking down on Defensive holding affect games? Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense