EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Few teams in El Paso have been able to reload on a season-by-season basis the way the Franklin Cougars have the last few seasons.

The reigning District 1-6A champions have just six total starters returning from 2021, but aren’t expecting a big drop-off. The Cougars have three of the most talented players in the Sun City in quarterback Shay Smith (offers from Texas Tech and UTEP as a defensive player), wide receiver Beau Sparks and running back Jordan Morales.

Things will have to come together around that tandem of players for them to repeat as district champions, but history has repeatedly proven that head coach Daren Walker shouldn’t be doubted.

“Right now it’s still a work in progress. We have some guys with great athletic ability but now we need to harness that and get them to be a great team, the whole group. That’s our challenge at the beginning of the year,” said Walker.

The Cougars will open the 2022 season on the road at Centennial in Las Cruces.