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February 20, 2014

H.S. WRESTLING: Jeff’s Jolley-Little back at state to win title

New Wash’s Franklin also competing in Indy this weekend



New Washington wrestler Noah Franklin has had a postseason that most freshmen only dream about.

The 106-pound Mustang grappler won his first-ever sectional and regional championships. Last weekend at the Reitz Semistate, Franklin (37-4) finished fourth to earn his first state finals berth.

Franklin joins former New Washington standout and current Wabash College senior wrestler Josh Sampson as the only two Mustangs to qualify for state in program history.

New Washington coach Jeremy Campbell credits Franklin’s work ethic for enabling him to make the state finals.

“The kid has his own workout routine. He gets up in the morning and works, and he stays late at night and works,” Campbell said. “I’ve never counted Noah out at all this season. Noah has always had the ability.”

Struck says Franklin is a by-product of the guidance given by Campbell.

“Coach Campbell definitely has his kids ready. They’re very disciplined. When we wrestle a New Wash kid, we always say they’re going to be disciplined,” Struck said. “We’ve gotten to know quite a few of the New Washington kids because they come up here for our Team Jeff College Night [including Franklin]. They work hard. They’re not scared to wrestle other people from other schools.

“[Franklin] is a really hard worker. He’s one of those wrestlers who takes advantage of his wrestling opportunities in the area.”

On paper, Franklin has a challenging first-round match tonight as he will face undefeated Cathedral freshman Breyden Bailey (44-0). But Campbell expects Franklin to be very competitive against the Fighting Irish standout.

“He’s ready to wrestle — he’s excited,” Campbell said. “There are no gimmes at state. The best kid for six minutes is the one that wins.”

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