Dan Finnerty – Sports Writer
For anyone watching Franklin High School (FHS) basketball the past few years, it was difficult to miss Cal Drake and Parker Cabe as they moved from junior to varsity levels and improved their play all along the way. Following this, their senior season, both lifelong friends will continue their journey together as they signed letters of intent to attend Bryan College. Bryan is a small, regionally accredited Christian liberal arts college located in Dayton, Tenn. In athletics, the school is part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Bryan men’s basketball coach Don Rekoske has been in that role for 17 years. Thirteen schools in all are within the Appalachian Athletic Conference, including Montreat, Union, Reinhardt, and Kentucky Christian.
The two senior Panthers are excited about the opportunity to continue playing basketball together, as well as pursue academic degrees. Drake will work toward an engineering degree while Cabe plans to pursue a path in sports broadcasting. Drake’s older sister, Canaan, is already attending Bryan, following her graduation from FHS in 2021, and is in her sophomore year there. Coach Rekoske told of how he followed the young men’s high school basketball performance and how impressed he was at the improvement demonstrated by them both in the past year.
“I’m excited about both of these guys coming [to Bryan College] and I think they are going to have a lot of fun playing together,” he said.
FHS head basketball coach Doug Plemmons also spoke at the signing and described the process of Drake and Cabe getting to where they are today.
“When they came in as freshmen, they were both small, they weren’t athletic; they had drive, they worked extremely hard, and made themselves into players.” Plemmons also lauded the hard work put forth by many coaches, faculty, and family – all of which played a significant role in the development of the young student athletes.
Regarding the choice of Bryan College, Coach Plemmons added, “They are going to find their purpose in life going to that type of school. They will come away knowing what God intended them to do.”