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Greg Franklin proud of his State Champion team, looks to mix a lot of rest in as it prepares for Nationals

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 9:19 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Chiipola women’s basketball coach Greg Franklin isn’t getting ready for his first trip to Nationals, so this week is nothing new to him.

To this particular group of Lady Indians though, well it is a first time occurrence. So he’s working hard to manage how the team handles moving on from Saturday night’s State Championship, and the win over rival Gulf Coast. To next week’s National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas. Coach Franklin and his team back to work Thursday in fact, after some four days of rest, following three straight wins to claim the state title last week over in Niceville. Chipola going that way as the third overall seed in the 24 team tournament. That’s the reward for winning the Region 8, or State title, which is considered among the best regions in the country.

“I think we have a special group.” coach Franklin told me via Zoom Thursday. “We’ve got five sophomores here that take every moment with kid gloves on. They work so hard in practice. I knew a week and a half, two weeks before we were playing in the State Tournament we were going to do something special. Just from how hard they were working. And how they weren’t even worried about getting hit, and moving and doing. And with the intensity they were playing with. I thought we’d do something special. I thought we were going to play our best basketball.”

And with a full week between the state title game win and traveling to Texas, well that means a mix of rest and practice, with the former taking priority at this time, says coach Franklin.

“Right now we have some aches and ‘oweys’, with Isadora’s (Sousa) back and De’Myla’s (Brown) foot. So rest was something that was of very, very high importance right now. Just to get some of those aches and ‘oweys’ to stop from being inflamed so much. Managing them now will be the key, knowing when to go, how hard to go, how far we can push them? Because you have to play four games in four days to get the ultimate prize.”

Chipola, led by Franklin, winning that ultimate prize back in 2015, so the Indians gunning for a second national title. This the 7th state championship for Chipola, all coming under coach Franklin. And this a 7th trip to the National Championship. The first game for Chipola comes Wednesday afternoon in Lubbock.

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