It’s no coincidence that the Keene State College men’s soccer team made four consecutive post-season appearances, including two trips to the NAIA National Tournament, during Trevor Franklin’s Owl career (1975-79) And its no secret why the talented defensive back is being inducted into the Keene State alumni/athletic hall of fame.
“Trevor Franklin had all the intangible that make a great player,” said KSC Coach Ron Butcher. He had the heart, determination and field vision that made him one of the most feared backs in New England. When the lights went on, he was ready to play.”
Born in Liverpool England and raised in Mt. Kisko, N.Y., Franklin was originally recruited to play up front for the Owls. It didn’t take long for him to gravitate to the backfield. “I guess I enjoyed hitting people rather than getting hit,” laughed Franklin about his transition to defense.
It didn’t take long for Franklin to “introduce” himself to opposing player on the field. In addition to his exceptional ball skills and quickness, Franklin gained a reputation as one of the toughest defenders in the region. “No one liked coming up against Trevor because he put the fear of god in you,” Butcher said. “Even some of his teammates were afraid of him.”
Despite the assortment of individual accolades that included two All-America awards and the distinction of twice being selected as the MVP back of the NAIA Tournament, Franklin always put the team first. As a junior he helped lead KSC to the championship game of the national tournament, scoring the only goal in a semifinal victory over Davis and Elkins College. “It was a corner kick and I was fortunate to direct it in,” Franklin recalled. The following season, the Owls also advanced to the nationals. Even though the team had a disappointing finish, Franklin still managed to earn MVP honors.
Franklin credited many of the former Keene State players for his rise to prominence in the sport. “There was a high standard of play when I arrived at Keene State,” said Franklin. There was a work ethic and pride and I just molded into that standard.”
Franklin was fortunate to play with many Owl greats including goaltender and now fellow hall of famer Tad Delorme. Both went on to play professional soccer and were members of the American Soccer League Champion Detroit Express in 1982.
Franklin now keeps busy running his own global transportation company in Bedford, N.Y., where he resides with wife Patti. Three of his nephews, including currently team member Jason and Keith Simone and have followed him to Keene State.