BROOMFIELD — The common thinking when it comes to awarding the Player of the Year has been cut and dry for years.
Win a state title ... earn Player of the Year.
It would take something pretty special to buck the trend.
What Prospect Ridge's Walker Franklin did this season was beyond special. The Miners sophomore averaged an eye-popping 68 this season and never once played a round over par.
For his remarkable achievement, Franklin has been named the BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year ... a first of its kind for Prospect Ridge.
"This gives me a big chunk of confidence going into next year and it really motivates me to play even better," said Franklin, who fired a 66 at Indian Peaks during the season, "And try to win it the next few seasons.
"To be called the Player of the Year, it just rolls of the tongue nicely and it feels good."
One of the heavy favorites going into the state tournament at Indian Peaks, Franklin had his goals set high; especially given what he had done on that course earlier in the year.
But after Day 1 was rained out in Lafayette and the tournament was reduced to a one-day winner-take all event, it opened the door a little wider for someone in a very deep field to capitalize.
Franklin knew it, too, and for 17 holes he played flawless, bogey-free golf. He stepped to the tee on No. 18 tied with Peak to Peak's Davis Long at 3-under par, knowing a par would force a playoff.
After his approach came up short, Franklin pitched to three feet and he stood confidently over a putt that was automatic all day.
It's a putt that he has played over-and-over in his mind since.
"Of course I think about, but it doesn't have the weight as it did at that moment ... it's just another putt," said Franklin, who lipped out and saw Long walk away with the medalist honors. "You miss a lot and you make a lot, and that is just one I missed and I can't do a lot about it.
"Of course I'd like to make it ... and I'm going to make it the next time."
The golf version of a gym rat, Franklin is constantly working on his skills and is plenty happy with a large basket of range balls at Colorado National Golf Club. He knows he has room for improvement and has the mental strength to put that one putt behind him and not let it define who he is.
"The mental approach is such a huge aspect of this game and being in that comfort zone," said Franklin, who remembers the last time he played a round over-par, but was quick to change the topic of conversation.
"I really want to get a state championship for my school. It would be really cool to hang the first banner, so I can't wait for next year."