Franklin, a Class 3A high school an hour southwest of Lafayette, had a very good chance to repeat as Louisiana state champions in Men's Track and Field this past weekend in Baton Rouge. Their biggest challenge seemed to come from Redemptorist High, a team they had soundly defeated in regionals a week before.
However, it was not to be for Franklin. Though they looked like a sure bet to repeat heading into the final event of the day, they saw their state title slip away by the slimmest of margins. Redemptorist would win the title with 47 team points, compared to Franklin's 46.
"Yeah, we lost by one little point, just one point," said Franklin's Gavin Stansbury, a Texas A&M defensive end commitment. "We looked good heading into the last event. Redemptorist didn't have anybody running the 4x400 (relay) and we had a really good shot to win it."
However, the old cliché about not competing on paper came true.
"One of our guys had fallen on the 4x400," said Stansbury. "He had tripped up and fallen, but our guy Xavier McGhee brought us back and we finished in 5th place. We needed 4th place to win the team title, though.
"It was definitely disappointing. We had beaten them in the regional meet by 29 points. We really wanted to repeat as state champions. Everybody was pretty down for a while."
Stansbury was disappointed with his and the team's performance.
"I don't know what happened. I only came in 5th in shot. Our long jumpers didn't make it. Our triple jumper came in first, though. We didn't do too well in the 4x100 (relay). We just didn't have our best day overall."
Now that track season is over, though, Stansbury can focus on spring football. He was excited to get back on the gridiron this week.
"My first day of practice was yesterday," the 6-foot-3, 240-pound junior said on Tuesday evening. "We were just top heavy. Today was our first day of full pads. Thursday, we really start hitting. We have a scrimmage against Abbeville at the end of next week. I'm feeling like I'm the most prepared I ever have been. I've put on good weight and gotten a lot quicker."
When Stansbury committed to the Aggies, he was somewhat of an unknown prospect. However, he has seen many new schools start to take notice as of late.
"There's been a bunch of coaches coming by," he said. "I know LSU is coming to watch us practice [Wednesday]. I've gotten a few new offers. Ole Miss, Tulsa and Tulane have offered since I committed to Texas A&M."
Stansbury says that Aggie fans have no need to worry, though, as he has built a solid relationship with his recruiter, Jim Turner.
"I've been talking to coach Turner regularly. I'm solid to Texas A&M."