Coleman stays busy at Franklin Towne

Rian Coleman, who led Franklin Towne Charter to the soccer championship, enjoyed a great year in basketball, too. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Rian Coleman didn’t have much time to relax.

And that’s exactly how she wanted it.

Coleman is a senior at Franklin Towne Charter, and during the fall, she helped guide the Warriors to the Public League soccer championship. The center midfielder played a huge role, both as a player and a leader in helping Franklin Towne win the first title since she arrived at the school as a freshman.

But the long season meant Coleman would have only a week off before she had to start practicing with the Franklin Towne basketball team.

“I just rested up and gave my body a rest, and relaxed,” Coleman said. “Winning the championship was the best thing I ever did in soccer. It meant so much, not just for me, but for my team, the coaches, everyone. It was so important for all of us. We really wanted to win it this year, so when we did it, it meant so much.”

It’s a good thing Coleman runs on little rest, because she’ll have another quick break before she gets back on the field.

Coleman led Franklin Towne to a 14-6 record, including a win in the second round of the Public League playoffs after receiving a bye in the first round.

The season came to an end after a loss to Freire Charter, but it was a great run for the Warriors, who set a school record for wins.

“This was a great year,” said Coleman, a point guard who averaged 16.3 points per game, 3.5 steals per game and 6.1 rebounds per game en route to being named First-Team All-Public. “I loved this year because we had a great year, but because we had a chance to play together.

“I played for (Franklin Towne coach Brianna) O’Donnell for four years. She’s so important to me. I’ve been with her the whole time. She’s very interested in me and what I’m going to do not just here, but after high school. And I’ve played with Laila Hawkins since third grade. We’ve been together for years. It was so much fun to have a year to just go out and play basketball and have fun.”

Coleman’s athletic career as a Warrior still has another season left.

In the spring, she’ll play lacrosse, which starts in about a week, meaning she’ll enjoy two weeks off between seasons this time.

Compared to the fall, that’s like an eternity, but the plan remains the same.

“I’ll just relax, get rested and get ready for lacrosse,” she said. “Lacrosse isn’t my main sport. I didn’t start playing it until I got to high school. It’s fun. I love it. I play it for fun. I take it seriously, but it’s not like soccer or basketball.”

Coleman has been a two-sport athlete her entire life, but that will change next year when she goes to Cabrini University in Radnor. There, she’ll play soccer, which means her basketball days are likely over.

It was a tough choice, but soccer is her true passion.

“I love them both, but soccer is more me,” said Coleman, who plays club soccer for Lower Merion. “I’ll miss basketball, but soccer is more me. This was a fun year, so I’m glad we had it.”

Coleman is excited about starting her soccer career for the Cavaliers. But she’s also excited about starting her academic career at the school.

Academics are important to Coleman, and she’s more successful in the classroom than she is in athletics. She maintains a 4.2 grade point average and is ranked sixth in her senior class.

“Grades are more important to me than sports and I love sports,” said Coleman, who lives in Port Richmond. “Grades are going to be with you your entire life, where sports won’t be. Grades are very important to me, and I do work hard on them. It’s important.”

Next year, those study skills will serve her well.

She plans on majoring in nursing, with hopes of someday being a nurse helping children in pediatric care.

“I just wanted to do something where I can help people,” Coleman said. “Nursing is a good job. I think it will be great to work with kids. I want to do something where I can make people’s lives better, and nursing is that.

“I’m not worried about playing sports and school. I know it’s hard. It’s hard being a nurse. I’m ready for that. I know it will be hard going to school, but it will be a challenging job when I’m working as a nurse. It’s not an easy job. I’m ready to do it.”

She’s also ready to leave Franklin Towne, a place she loves.

Not only is she in the National Honor Society, but she’s in the mentoring program, which is probably why she’s such a good leader in sports.

She was a captain in both soccer and basketball. She’s unsure if she’ll be one in lacrosse. But whether she is or not, she’ll still be there for her teammates.

“To me, being a captain is just a word,” Coleman said. “It’s good, but I don’t really act differently because I’m a captain. To me, you should help your teammates. I try to be a leader by example. I don’t care if I’m a captain or not, I’m going to do what I can to be a leader.”

She’ll now take those leadership skills to Cabrini.

“I loved playing for Franklin Towne,” she said. “I love the school. I’m happy I still have lacrosse.”