St. Stephens forward Macy Franklin ready for ‘Clash’

Before she heads off to Wingate University to play, St. Stephens forward Macy Franklin has two games left in her prep soccer career.

Franklin is one of 18 players selected to play in the Seventh Annual Clash of the Carolinas.

The game, which features North Carolina prep soccer standouts against South Carolina girls soccer players, takes place on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Blackbaud Stadium in Daniel Island, S.C.

The Clash is the only game of its kind in the United States that features graduated prep standouts from two different states facing each other in a contest.

Lady Indians coach Chuck Davis notified Franklin of her selection for the contest in the spring.

Franklin felt honored to be selected as one of the best soccer players in North Carolina.

“I didn’t realize how much of an honor it was at the time, but coach told me I was one of the eighteen girls chosen,” Franklin said. “I was so happy and so surprised that I couldn’t stop smiling all day. It meant a ton to me, and I feel so honored to be able to participate. I’m pretty nervous about the game because I want to make a good impression, but I am just so happy. I’m going to work my very hardest to play at the best of my ability and not take for granted the opportunity I’ve been given.”

Franklin scored 49 goals and made nine assists during her senior season at St. Stephens High School.

Twenty-four of those goals came in the 3A playoffs with Franklin helping lead St. Stephens to its first-ever state title game appearance in school history.

Several of Franklin’s recent postseason rivals, including Cardinal Gibbons’ Christina Gibbons and Charlotte Catholic’s Ana Waits, will become teammates during the Clash.

All three of the girls are members of the North Carolina squad.

Franklin sees Gibbons, Waits and rest of her state teammates in a different light.

“I don’t really see them as rivals anymore because we are all going to be on the same team for this game,” Franklin said. “I’ve also been to a couple of soccer camps where I have played with players from rival schools. I’m actually very excited to play with these players because the level of the game will be better.”

Saturday’s contest will be sentimental for Franklin with Davis coaching her for the final time in her prep career.

“It’s really sad because he’s been the best coach and mentor I could ever ask for,” Franklin said of Davis. “He’s helped me become the player I am today. I would never had made it so far without him. He’s like family now, and I’m going to miss having him as my coach. I thought we had our last game already at states, so it makes me really happy that we get one more. I want to make him very proud. I’m also very proud of him for keeping the faith in us as a team and sticking with us through everything. He always knew we could make it all the way. We just needed to believe in ourselves.”

After Saturday, Franklin has one last prep contest before heading off to Wingate University.

She was selected to the North Carolina Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game, which takes place Tuesday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. on the campus of UNC-Greensboro.

The game features the best players in the state from the West side of the state taking on the best players from the East.