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Ed Franchi named Chambersburg girls soccer coach

In the last eight seasons, which include two in 2012 when girls soccer made the switch from a spring sport to the fall, Chambersburg has had four head coaches in the program.

Over the last seven seasons, the Trojans have had only one winning record and have a combined record of 46-75-4 (.384). In the previous seven years, all under Shawn Stenger, Chambersburg had an 82-35-7 mark (.690) and was a regular playoff qualifier, reaching the PIAA playoffs twice during that stretch.

It will now be up to Ed Franchi to turn the Trojans' fortunes around. Franchi was approved as the new head coach at Wednesday night's school board meeting.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge," Franchi said.

And it will be a challenge. Last year's team under Eric Guyer went 7-10-1 and 10 seniors from that squad will graduate this spring.

Franchi said, "I think there are three things we have to do. We have to get the technical level up, and I hope to do that by doing more training. For example, I plan to have (Shippensburg University coach) Rob Fulton come down to work a camp. We have to understand what the girls can and can't do and make them better.

"We have to get the numbers in the program up and get more girls serious about soccer. And I think we have to use the club program to work with the high school to develop those players."

As a longtime president of the Chambersburg Youth Soccer Association, Franchi is well-versed in the local travel team and club situation. He has been a youth coach for around 15 years, including coaching his son's team from U-9 through high school, and is currently a U-12 girls coach with CYSA.

Chambersburg athletic director Jeremy Flores said, "I think the fact that Ed's been involved in the clubs locally in a leadership role will be a real benefit for helping us build the program. We need a good, strong feeder program. He's also an experienced referee, which is a plus, and he's bi-lingual (in Spanish), which is a good thing in our school."

One thing Franchi sees that could be a positive thing is that the program should have some consistency.

Franchi coaches a U-12 team, which is mostly sixth-graders. The girls can then play for a couple of years in the middle school program, coached by Jeff Hand, and then be coached by Franchi again in high school. Franchi and Hand have worked together before in the youth ranks.

"That will give us some continuity," Franchi said.

Flores said, "I think that will be a big help. The girls need to learn the right skills at the right time, and hopefully we'll see the results of that over the next few years. I know the freshmen and sophomore classes seem to have a lot of talent, and I mean that in many of the sports."

Guyer has helped Franchi get up to speed with the ins and outs of the program.

"He's been very helpful and he'll continue to be very supportive," Franchi said. "With all the girls we'll be graduating, and the fact that the junior and sophomore classes weren't that big, we know we'll be young next year.

"But if we can continue to build the numbers - and that might be a few years until we can do that - we should be competitive. We want to have good quality teams and put Chambersburg in the position that it's competing for the postseason."