OSCODA – Oscoda senior Owen Franklin has been quite successful at every sport he has tried so far in his prep career. He will have the chance to continue that success beyond his high school days, as he officially signed a letter of intent to join the Northwood University baseball program; a division two school, last week.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I’ve dreamed of it ever since I was a little kid, to finally be here is a dream come true. It is really exciting for me. I’ve always wanted to separate myself form the pack. I’ve always wanted to go above and beyond expectations and I feel like I have done that.”
Franklin, who plans to major in sports management, appreciated the fact that Northwood recruited him from the early stages.
“Northwood was actually the first school to contact me,” he said. “Right away they made me feel like I was a part of the family and made me feel really wanted. I never really lost contact with them and at the end of the day, they are a fantastic school and a really good baseball program so I feel like it is perfect for me.”
The three sport star for the Owls could probably have had his pick to compete in college in three different sports. He starred on the football team as a quarterback, he is one of the best three point shooters in the state on the basketball court and of course in baseball, where he can bring extreme heat with his fastball and plays solid infield and can hit with the best of them as well. So, what has made him single out baseball?
“Ever since I started playing travel baseball with the Thunder Bay Blockheads, I fell in love with it,” Franklin said. “I still haven’t fallen out of love with it; I just love every part of baseball. It is so much fun for me and I love the friends that you make and the friends turn into family after that.”
It’s that family-like atmosphere he hopes to see once again when he puts on the Northwood uniform.
“I will be with family, the baseball team will become family, being with them all the time,” Franklin said. “I just look forward to working hard with everybody and doing the best I can to help with the program.”
Not only will he focus on baseball at Northwood, he will focus on pitching; although he didn’t dismiss the fact he may play elsewhere.
“I have always been a three sport athlete, I’ve never know what I can do just focusing on one sport and I’ve always kind of wondered that,” Franklin said. “I’m actually really excited to see what type of baseball player I can become, just focusing on one thing.”
His high school football and baseball coach Mark Whitley, isn’t surprised one bit to see what Franklin has accomplished over the years.
“I have said it for his complete career, Owen is a kid who is going to go on to college and he will work hard,” Whitley said. “He will work hard to get into the starting rotation and I expect that to happen in the first year. I still have a spring of ball with him and I’m excited about that. He is going to pitch and play shortstop for us this year and he will do everything he can and we are hoping to have a big season and he will be one of the reasons and he will lead us.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc on his recent career. It cut short last basketball season, completely canceled last baseball season and it has even left the end of his football season in limbo. Whether there will be complete winter and spring seasons is yet to be seen, but Franklin isn’t letting the unknowns keep him down though.
“I’ll just do everything I can to stay physically and mentally sharp,” he said. “I’ll keep throwing, keeping hitting just in case and really just do everything we can with our bad situation to make it good.”