Franklin County's success sparks community excitement

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FRANKLIN COUNTY (WSLS 10 SPORTS) - For the first time in more than ten years, the Franklin County boys basketball is headed to the state tournament. Ever since conference play, fans have packed the Eagles nest to show their support.

"It feels like a college game if you ask me because all the excitement, it just feels like we're in a college stadium," said senior Jacob Smith.

Franklin County Athletic Director Crystal Worley agreed. "It's just an atmosphere of excitement, it's been electric, it's been binding our community and our school together," she added.

The Eagles have quickly soared into the spotlight in the midst of the best season the team had in over a decade. In front of hundreds of cheering fans, the Eagles beat Thomas Dale for the 6A South Conference 3 title.

"Extremely exciting, it's very difficult. Competition is great every night you play so we're blessed to be where we're at, we're thankful and I'm very proud of these young men," said Eagles head coach Thomas Hering.

Fans also flocked to the region quarterfinals and the semifinals. While the Eagles fell prey to Landstown in that game, they already earned a bid to the state tournament.

"They've earned this. They've really worked hard for this, this has been a dream of theirs for a long time and so I'm glad to see that hard work pay off," Hering explained.

As the #3 seed, Franklin County will have to leave the nest for their opening game in the state tournament and travel nearly four hours to face W.T. Woodsen.

"It will be a true test of our composure, our resiliency and I think our men are up to the challenge of this event," Worley said.

After endless support from their school, their families and their community, the team looks to spread their wings late in the postseason and give something back to the Eagles Nest.

"A banner right up there on the wall, I want to leave a 2016 there under states," Smith said.

The Eagles play in the state quarter finals in Fairfax against W.T. Woodsenon Friday.