Salute to Seniors: MaKayla Franklin

West Greene High School senior Makayla Franklin is our next participant in "Salute to Seniors."

Advice for younger athletes, favorite memories and much more. 

"What made you get into track and field in first place and what does this sport mean to you?"
For me, it was a whole new journey joining the track & field team back in 2017 my sophomore year. Fresh out of basketball season and getting to spend some nice and cold days with the people who have made my senior year more than I could ever ask for. The sport means more to me than words could describe, and it has built up so much strength and courage that I can take with me for a lifetime.

What was your most memorable race/competition?
My sophomore season, 2017-2018, getting to the regional meet at Signal Mountain and setting my PRs in both shot put and discus.

Where did you face your biggest competition?
Honestly, my biggest competition was myself at most times. I would always get discouraged at bigger meets when girls would look intimidating from different schools and when I would see that their PR was a few inches better than mine.

Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
Doing as well as I did in during track season. Taking chances and believing in myself that I could accomplish anything if I wanted it badly enough. I always set goals for myself and wouldn't stop until I met those expectations of myself.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
Taking practices for granted. If it was just a cold day on the track I wouldn't give 100% during practice, or if I was too sore to workout I would cheat the workout. (Sorry Coach).

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The fear of knowing not giving my all in a meet when competing against other great schools. Getting discouraged seemed to get easier and easier when competing against other individuals.

What will you miss the most?
My teammates and the memories we have shared. From those practices, the hurdle drills, the regional and state meets, the bus rides when coach would want nothing more than to tell us to stay quiet.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Set goals for yourself. Never give up. When someone says "You can do anything you set your mind to", it's so true. Respect your coaches, they are really there for you and they care so much about you. Your teammates are some of the best people you can grow as a person with, don't take those practices and bus rides for granted. Always give your all, 100%.

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
Coach Case was the best there is, always taking the individuals into consideration and bringing us together as a team and as a family. He and Coach Roberts would stay hours and upon hours working with such a huge group of athletes, and they wouldn't leave until we were satisfied with practice that day. The push and drive coming from two great coaches to want better and success out of their athletes. Something I will take with me for my future is Coach Case never let me look at the negative things of my performances, he would always ask how I can improve and how bad I wanted to improve.

What are your post-high school plans?
Attending East Tennessee State University to study nursing, then eventually becoming a Travel Nurse. Hopefully, becoming a walk-on while I'm in college.

Any shoutouts?
First off, I would like to thank God for allowing me to be a part of such an amazing sport and having some of the best times of my life. I thank Him for giving me the ability to do what I love and for keeping us safe as we traveled to meets. Coach Joe Case; thank you for never leaving our side these last 4 years. Thank you for always believing in us as a team and treating us like family. Thank you for never letting me get discouraged and helping me know that my hard work really has paid off. My parents; thank you for showing me so much support. It was a big change for them to understand my love for Track & Field just as much as my love for basketball, and with very little knowledgeable about track, they always made sure to push me to strive to what goals I wanted to reach. Thank you to my teammates that have come and gone during every season, you all made everything worthwhile. Chelsea, as we both were the only 2 senior girls this year of the short 2020 season, thank you for always believing in me and sticking by my side. I'm so proud of you Chelsea and I know this season would have been so great, and the best for both of us.

God Speed, and Go Buffs.