Thursday, May 3, 2018

Goodbye Chargers, hello Panthers!

The Franklin Chargers recently made the decision to leave the Hockomock Pop Warner Association and join the American Youth Football organization. The Franklin Chargers have been a part of Pop Warner (The Hock) for many years but unfortunately the direction of the league (increased weight schematic for older/lighters, etc) does not line up with the direction in which The Chargers wanted to go, particularly when it comes to player safety.

So effective immediately, they are joining the Bay State Conference (a division of AYF) along with several of their current opponents. In addition to switching leagues, the board of directors have elected to change the name of the organization to be more in line with the Town of Franklin. Like our high school, they will now be known as the Franklin Panthers.

Joining them in this exciting new adventure will be Attleboro, North Attleboro, King Philip, Foxboro, Mansfield, Easton, and Canton. AYF is a grade based system rather the age/weight based. This means in place of Unlimited, B, C, D and mites there will be an 8th grade, 7th grade, 6th grade, 5th grade, 4th grade and a 2nd/3rd grade team. This change also eliminates weight restrictions which means regardless of weight (light or heavy) anyone can play in their particular grade. Players will now play with their grade each season, grow in the sport together and enter high school still playing on the same team. 

Cheerleading will also be making the switch to AYC which is age based with more flexibility for teams as they tend to be smaller in size.

The Baystate league is a very strong and well run organization that better aligns with the Panthers vision of safety and competition for both football and cheer. Please feel free to view their website at

A “town hall” meeting was held on April 12th at Franklin High School with the directors and coaches from the Panthers, along with Coach Bain from FHS Football and Coach Tirrell from Dean College Football to go into as much detail as was needed to help educate everyone on the move that was made. 

Recording of the meeting can be seen here:

To register for Franklin Panthers Youth Football, click here:

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