Savannah Country Day School Director of Athletics James Franklin
Savannah Country Day School Director of Athletics James Franklin

SPORTS NOTEBOOK: James Franklin on new role as SCDS Director of Athletics; HSFB transfer news; Carter Holton in MLB Draft

NOTEBOOK ITEMS: Carter Holton at MLB Draft, Josh Washington transfer destination, Ping-Pong and Basketball Tournaments, and more!

In April, Savannah Country Day Head of School Kef Wilson announced the hiring of James Franklin as the school’s next Director of Athletics and Physical Education. His hiring meant Franklin would replace Kenny Conroy (Girls Varsity Basketball Coach) as the Athletic Director, becoming the third person to fill the role since 2020 (Jim Collis, Conroy). A native of Staffordshire, England, Franklin officially began his new job in Savannah on July 1. Still awaiting some furniture’s arrival from his previous residence in North Carolina, he spoke with Connect Savannah about the job and what he wants to accomplish while in it.
click to enlarge SPORTS NOTEBOOK: James Franklin on new role as SCDS Director of Athletics; HSFB transfer news; Carter Holton in MLB Draft
[SCDS]
Savannah Country Day School Director of Athletics James Franklin
“The students that go here have a lot of pride in attending the school,” said Franklin during a phone call with Connect Savannah. “The retention of student-athletes is something that was quite exciting, and I think that I can help the school evolve its athletic culture into something built on student athletes that have that culture aspect from the beginning. The students here tend to be (at SCDS) for quite a while—most of their educational careers, or a good piece of it—and ... the biggest appeal to me is, okay, if we can really develop a high performing culture, it's going to transcend roles or individual teams. It will work itself down to the students if we give it that chance. Student athletes want to be part of (sustainable) environments and not to have to restart year after year.”
For the last nine years, Franklin was the Athletic Director at The O'Neal School in Pinehurst, North Carolina. He was a soccer coach at college programs such as Vassar College, Norwich University, and the University of Vermont. He came to the United States to play collegiate soccer in 1994.

“The administrators, coaches, parents, and alumni who met (Franklin) during the interview process were impressed by his communication skills, his strategic vision for building a successful athletic program and strong athletic culture, and his warmth and sense of humor,” Wilson said of his hire back in April.

Franklin says the campus and the people on it make Country Day a good opportunity. He says it’s evident that the potential for sporting success keeps many people involved in Hornet athletics from all over the community. A commonality that binds them? Easy.
“It's a school that has a good tradition and we have extensive facilities. So, no surprises. I think there's a lot we can offer at the school. No surprises. The maintenance and the facilities staff here are also incredibly helpful,” he said. “I think people here are very eager to help, and they are wanting to have that robust athletic program.”

CARTER HOLTON BACK IN MLB DRAFT MIX
Benedictine graduate and Vanderbilt junior pitcher Carter Holton has been drafted once before by a professional baseball organization. Later this month, he’ll become a two-timer.
click to enlarge SPORTS NOTEBOOK: James Franklin on new role as SCDS Director of Athletics; HSFB transfer news; Carter Holton in MLB Draft (2)
[VANDY ATHLETICS]
Carter Holton
Widely considered to be one of the best Benedictine Cadets to ever play at the school, Holton was selected in the 19th round of the 2021 MLB Draft shortly after graduating high school. He declined the Milwaukee contract offer, however, electing instead to enroll at Vanderbilt where he has been an All-SEC performer. MLB Pipeline ranks Holton as the No. 69 overall prospect in its latest top-250 rankings. In high school, the left-handed pitcher guided BC to a 2018 GHSA Class 2A State Championship and compiled a 31-4 record on the mound with a 0.59 ERA. He racked up 463 strikeouts.

The 2024 MLB Draft is set for July 14–16 in Fort Worth, Texas and the first of 20 rounds begins at 7 pm ET on ESPN on Sunday, July 14. University of Georgia star Charlie Condon is expected to be one of the first selections. The Cleveland Guardians have the No. 1 overall pick. The Atlanta Braves’ first three picks come at Nos. 24, 62, and 99 overall.

WASHINGTON LANDS AT BC AHEAD OF 2024-25 FOOTBALL SEASON
Rising junior wide receiver Josh Washington has found a new home after starring for two years on the gridiron at Savannah Country Day School. The athlete’s Twitter (X) profile confirms his new school is Benedictine.
“Benedictine Military School | 2026,” says the bio portion of his profile—the date in reference to his graduation year. Connect Savannah previously reported on Washington’s transfer from Savannah Country Day in the spring.
click to enlarge SPORTS NOTEBOOK: James Franklin on new role as SCDS Director of Athletics; HSFB transfer news; Carter Holton in MLB Draft (6)
[JOSH WASHINGTON]


Text messages sent recently to BC coach Danny Britt and Athletics Director Jack Holland asking for clarity on Washington’s eligibility after the transfer were not returned. He is believed to be immediately eligible after a bona fide move—a term used by the Georgia High School Association to identify players transferring within the association’s guidelines and bylaws—took place.

The Cadets (27-3 over their last 30 games) will have Washington and fellow rising junior Bubba Frazier as two of many potential receiving threats for expected starting quarterback Stephen Cannon to work with.
click to enlarge SPORTS NOTEBOOK: James Franklin on new role as SCDS Director of Athletics; HSFB transfer news; Carter Holton in MLB Draft (5)
[THE BC 400]
Britt’s teams won back-to-back state championships in 2021 and 2022 and the 2024 team will play one of the toughest schedules in the state of Georgia this year. BC plays a scrimmage game at Memorial Stadium on Aug. 9 versus Camden County (7:30 p.m.) to kick off the campaign.

MORE SPORTS
FRIDAY, JULY 12
click to enlarge SPORTS NOTEBOOK: James Franklin on new role as SCDS Director of Athletics; HSFB transfer news; Carter Holton in MLB Draft (4)
[CITY OF SAVANNAH]

The City of Savannah will host a one-night 3-v-3 basketball tournament at the Blackshear Basketball Complex on Wheaton Street. Registration is free for the first 20 teams. Games begin at 6:30 p.m. To sign up, call the City of Savannah’s recreation department at (912) 351-3852. All players must be 18 years of age or older to participate.

SATURDAY, JULY 13
The Jenkins Athletic Club (JAC) at 6408 Waters Ave. is hosting a fundraising ping-pong tournament on Saturday, July 13. To register, email [email protected] or call (912) 352-0964. All ages and genders are welcome. Each match will be a best-of-three series (games played to 15) and the tournament format will be a double-elimination bracket. Matches begin at 10 a.m. Cost is $30 per player, with half of the proceeds going to benefit the club’s youth sports programs and the other half to the winner. Follow the JAC on Facebook for more information on the club all summer long.
Savannah native Nolan Smith is hosting "Pups Day Out" football camp on Saturday, July 13, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at noon. It’s the fourth year of the charity camp put on by the University of Georgia product. Smith, who is prepping for his second season at defensive end in the NFL (Philadelphia Eagles) after winning two national championships as a Bulldog, played his freshman high school season at Calvary Day School before transferring to IMG Academy for the remainder of his prep time. Smith’s camp is free for kids aged 10-13 to attend and will be held at Daffin Park, 1500 Victory Drive. For more information, contact Darrin Hood at (678) 938-3158. Follow Smith on Twitter (X), @SmithNoland2.

     

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon is a reporter for Connect Savannah. He is a Savannah native and has been writing in Savannah since 2016. Reach him with feedback or story tips at 912-721-4358
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