A new year, a new coach and a spot in the playoffs.
That's the rundown for the Franklin County football team this season.
The Flyers orchestrated a turnaround of paramount proportions this season, turning an 0-10 season a year ago into a 6-4 record and a spot in the Class AAA playoffs for the first time in four years. FCHS will be playing at Highlands Friday night at 8 in the first round of the playoffs.
First-year coach Donny Walker took over the head coaching position and was rewarded recently by being named District 6 Coach of Year as voted on by the Class AAA District 6 coaches.
Walker replaced coach Tom Roberts who resigned after last season. Upon taking over the reigns, Walker asked only one thing from his newly inherited team: work hard.
Walker said he felt his team was capable of success but needed to believe it could compete after it was outscored by opponents 396-41 a season ago.
"At the beginning of the year I said we'll compete," Walker said. "I don't know how many games it's going to be, but we're going to be in every ball game and compete with everyone in our district. And with the exception of (Lexington) Catholic, we have."
Walker implemented new schemes and new routines upon taking over as coach. The team took part in seven-on-seven passing drills for the first time and gained a wealth of confidence and experience. The Flyers even took home first place in a tournament at Marion County and second place at a tournament at Shelby County.
For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.