"Franklin High started its varsity boys soccer program 51 years ago. During that time, the Panthers have had only two coaches.
Gordon McClay, whose family was instrumental in the growth of the town’s youth soccer program and lobbied athletic director Jerry Leone and the Franklin school committee to offer soccer as a varsity sport, was in charge for the fall of 1970. The next year, Fran Bositis took over and, 50 years, nearly 500 wins, and nine Hockomock League titles later, he shows no signs of giving up his spot on the sidelines.
“I had hoped to coach football but Jerry Leone was coach and they were in the middle of a 32-game winning streak and he said he had nothing available on his staff,” Bositis explained. “He did say, ‘I do need a soccer coach. What do you know about soccer?’ I go, ‘Not a lot,’ and he said, ‘Well, if you want the job, it’s yours.’ And here I am 50 seasons later.”
Bositis was sitting at a table in front of the concession stand at Pisini Field, recalling how he started teaching phys ed at the middle school in the winter of 1971, how he was a standout lacrosse player who played for four years at UMass, and how his first season as soccer coach was less than perfect. “That first year, [Leone] had to talk me off the ledge a couple of times,” Bositis remembered. “He finally said to me one day, ‘You think you’re the only coach here who’s coaching a sport he’s never played before?"
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|Franklin boys soccer coach Fran Bositis is in his 50th season in charge of the program. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)|