New Coach but No SeasonJun 16, 2020 02:05PM ● By By Christopher Tremblay
After leading the Franklin High School softball team to a 14-6 regular season record and an appearance in the Division 1 South Tournament quarterfinals, coach Kate Fallon decided it was a good time to leave. Unfortunately for her girls, Fallon took a job with neighboring King Philip.
“After having a larger turnover, 8 or 9 girls graduated after last season, I felt it was a good time for me to leave,” the ex-Franklin coach said. “I left a good group of girls behind, but I saw an opportunity, I applied, and here I am. It was time for a change and an opportunity was provided.”
Moving down route 140 from Franklin to King Philip, Fallon really couldn’t get things set in motion with her new team before the coronavirus wreaked havoc in the sports world. “I was hoping to put together a good season and start rebuilding the program here,” she said. “It was incredibly tough for me not being able to meet any of the girls, outside of the captains.”
Coming into the season, Destiny Goyco, Liliana Rolfe and Grace Kelly were slated to be the Warriors captains this spring. While the new coach wasn’t able to meet the rest of the team, her senior captains helped her out tremendously before the season was eventually put on hold. “They’re great kids and provided me with leadership,” she said. “The expectations that they had were positive and they were extremely motivated to get the season going.”
When the MIAA put forth the mandate on suspending the season, Fallon knew that her inaugural season with the Warriors was not going to be an easy one. Having to play a suspended season with only one week to prepare would have definitely put her behind the eight ball as a first-year coach. Despite having spring sports put on the backburner for a month, the new coach felt things would have eventually played themselves out and all would be fine.
Although hoping and praying to eventually get on the field with her new team, it was not to be for Fallon. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker extended the stay at home schooling from May 4 until the end of June. The MIAA was forced to cancel the rest of the season, leaving seniors without a chance to play in their final year.
“Immediately following the announcement, I reached out to the girls at Franklin, as well as the volleyball players I coach at Brockton to say I was sorry,” Fallon said. “As for the King Philip girls, I am hoping to have a play date, especially for the seniors to give them a chance to play one last time together on the field. It will also give me a chance to meet the rest of the team.”
Fallon is optimistic that she will be able to get something going on the field before the summer ends, but she is not sure how many will attend. The girls who are hoping to play in college most likely will be playing for a club team this summer to showcase their skills, especially those juniors who lost their high school season.
“A lot of college coaches begin looking at juniors in high school for recruitment,” the KP coach said. “Usually by the time they take the field with their club teams they have been playing for a month or two.”
Having lost the season, Fallon believes the play date will not only honor the seniors but give them the opportunity to end their high school career on a high note.
“It’s really sad since most of these girls have been playing softball since a very young age and are still playing all these years later. They obviously love the game,” Fallon said. “In addition, I was not able to meet any of my new team, especially the freshman coming in; it was their first year and they didn’t even get to play.”