Franklin brings winning history to inaugural Villa Julie team


As a member of Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team during the early 1980s, Haswell Franklin Jr. became accustomed to winning.

As head coach of Villa Julie's first-year men's lacrosse team, Franklin is prepared to endure the alternative, but is hoping to enjoy at least "a little success" in the Mustangs' inaugural Division III season, beginning Sunday when Villa Julie plays host to Kean College at 2 p.m.

"Wins aren't going to come as often as I was used to in college, but we have an enthusiastic group that's obviously looking forward to starting a new lacrosse tradition here at Villa Julie," said Franklin, a former assistant coach at Loyola College.

Last season, the Mustangs finished 0-6 as a club team playing a limited exhibition schedule.

Unlike last year, when Franklin had to teach many of his players how to catch and throw, Villa Julie's roster is loaded with former high school players who are looking to make a name for themselves at the Green Spring Valley school.

"It's like night and day between this year's team and last year's," said junior goalie Trey Sheckelford. "Last year, we only had three or four people who played before, so we took our lumps, but this year we have a heck of a lot more experience and a lot of talent. It's just a matter of us jelling as a team."

Jeremy Bender, a junior midfielder, played at Hereford High and Catonsville Community College. "With the coach we have and the experienced players, I think we should be able to bridge the gap from being a poor expansion team to one that moves right in and competes," Bender said.

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