C.B. Aycock's Torrence Franklin

C.B. Aycock’s Torrence Franklin, center, as he signs his national letter of intent to wrestle at the University of Mount Olive.

Excelling both on and off the have always been the goals for Torrence Franklin throughout high school career, and come next fall, he’ll be continuing those goals close to home.

On Monday afternoon, with his family and coaches by his side Franklin, a senior at Charles B. Aycock High School, signed a letter of intent to wrestle at the University of Mount Olive.

“It’s shocking, I didn’t think I would get this far in my career at all,” a cheerful Franklin said. “I feel really happy that I signed my letter of intent to Mount Olive.

“My family has always supported me throughout my wrestling career. It’s pretty helpful to have them cheer me on, and have them encourage me to help win my matches.”

While wrestling at the next level has been Franklin’s dream. Franklin said picking Mount Olive was as much about staying near his family as it was about wrestling.

Franklin is making history by joining the Trojans. He will be a part of the University of Mount Olive’s inaugural 2019-2020 wrestling team.

“It’s 20 minutes from home, and since it’s a new wrestling program, so I would like to be one o the first ones to get into the program.

From his freshman year to his senior year, Franklin said he has grown and matured. When he first started wrestling, it took time for Franklin to learn the sport, but with his coaches support he blossomed into a dynamic wrestler and team captain.

“It been an experience,” Franklin said about wrestling at C.B. Aycock. “My freshman year I had a tough time wrestling because I didn’t know the moves, but over time I got the hang of it and started to win matches.”

C.B. Aycock head coach Brian Doyle said it pleasure coaching Franklin the past four years, and he looks forward to seeing him continue his wrestling career close to home.

“It always good when somebody wants to go to college and pursue a sport they’ve played their entire high school career,” Doyle said. “Torrence is very intense, focused, hardworking and he listens. Every year he improved because he listened to what the coaches told him and he applied it when he got on the mat.”