McDONOUGH — Union Grove High has been silently logging victories this year and sitting in a good position to contend for a region title especially with the high expectations for the program this season.
The Henry Herald caught up with head coach Allen Franklin who’s working on his sixth year at the head of the Union Grove Wolverines program. There is something new about him though outside of the baseball diamond.
Franklin is a first-year athletic director and still coaching but he does say that it’s been an adjustment for sure this year.
“I love coaching and do not want to give that up. It will just take me some time to get a system in place that allows me to be able to coach and be an AD,” Franklin said. “I still coached football in the fall and doing baseball in the spring. I still plan on doing that next year too. I am lucky to have a wife, who also teaches here at Union Grove, that supports me and understands the time involved. My kids are also getting older and love being here at the school and watching all the events.”
Even with the changes around him the stalwart coach remains with his same philosophy on the field for his team. He says that he never starts out with saying how many games he wants his team to win.
“We don’t ever start out saying that, but we want to compete at a high level and get better every day,” Franklin admits. “In my opinion, our region is one of the toughest in the state. You have to show up to every game ready to compete or things will not work out well for you.”
When it comes to the Wolverines, it’s a known fact that the team relies on defense. When the program hits the field for practice, it’s usually notable that the team places an emphasis on defense. On top of their defensive mindedness, the Wolverines have some good players around to help Franklin’s plans along.
Pitching across the county has always been something that can be considered at a premium and Union Grove knows it’s true. But rather than focusing on just pitching, Franklin has other thoughts in mind.
“Each phase of the game is really important if you want to make a run in the playoffs,” Franklin said. “If you have dominant pitching it takes a lot of pressure off the other aspects of the game.”
Add to the fact that their are six seniors on the team this year which is a far cry from what the Wolverines have had in the past few years. But Franklin says that the senior class has to be like every other year.
“Just like every year, we are expecting our seniors to be leaders on our team,” Franklin said. “We expect them to be team players and support our program top to bottom.”