Franklin girls do their best to deal with adversity, including player’s traffic crash


Franklin senior Sara VanDeman, right, attempts to bring the ball down court while being defended by Whiteland's senior Kaitlyn Phillips during a Nov. 13 Johnson County Tournament game at Whiteland. VanDeman recently was involved in a serious traffic accident but hopes to be back on the court next month. PHOTO BY JOE SABA

Walt Raines was supposed to have seen it all in his first 24 seasons as girls basketball coach at Franklin Community High School.

Turns out the stream of after-school practices, road trips and in excess of 500 pregame pep talks dating back to the fall of 1987 weren’t nearly enough to prepare Raines for the happenings of the past couple of months.

If ever bad fortune could be punctuated by a dose of unbelievable good luck, the Grizzly Cubs are it. Life’s bigger picture smiles right back at the coach and his players every time they see Sara VanDeman walking the hallways at school and in attendance for practices and games.

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