Panthers co-captain Misael Tamayo's goal for the Franklin High School football squad is simple, "win the ring."
To do that, will have to overcome several obstacles. Not only are they are a young that team that will have to integrate a new quarterback, but they're also entering their first year of Division 1 play.
But Tamayo thinks they can do it, and he said he's eager to take on "bigger and better" teams in the playoffs.
He's also set lofty goals for his own play. "I just want to catch interceptions," he said. "My goal for this year is at least five or six. I want to better the team and better myself, because I do want to play in college."
The Road Ahead
Every game will be a big one for Franklin, said coach Eric Jaimes, as the young team will need to come into its own while facing a difficult Northern League schedule.
With that in mind, Jaimes said that there are still several match-ups that stand out above the rest. The team has revenge games lined up against Echo Park's Marshall High School, which served the Panthers a lopsided defeat in 2010. Franklin will also be looking to pay back Lincoln High School, who beat them for the first time in nearly a decade last year.
This year's match-up against cross-neighborhood rival Eagle Rock High School will also feature higher stakes, as Franklin's new quarterback Edwin Camas is a former Eagle.
"Eagle rock seems to be the biggest rivalry game now," said coach Jaimes. "Now that we have a brand new quarterback--he went to Eagle Rock. We've got to make sure he's poised and doesn't try to play out of his capacity. If he's nice and calm and we're moving along like we should be in the season, I think we have a good chance."
Franklin finished the 2010 season with a 8-4 record and a second round playoff loss against Arleta High School.
Players to Watch
In addition to Tamayo, Franklin also brings back an All-City wide receiver in junior Josh Turner and senior running back Antonio Macias.
The team's sturdy corps of linebackers is anchored by middle linebacker Eddie Cisneros.