Franklin Regional’s Kranick commits to play soccer at Oakland

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | 3:32 PM

Auston Kranick was glad to be collateral damage. That is how recruiting sometimes can work.

Funny story, though, how Kranick became a Division-I soccer player.

The Franklin Regional senior was not the recruit Oakland University was coming to scout during a game last season, but the Golden Grizzlies are glad they stumbled on to Kranick, an all-everything forward who had not yet committed to a college.

Oakland was recruiting a cup player from the Michigan Fire. Kranick, playing for the Arsenal FC, had a goal and assist in that game.

Another example of a who’s-this-kid scenario opened a pathway for a promising player.

“One of their assistant coaches was coming to watch a center back/central defender that I was playing against, and the coach was so impressed with how I was playing against him that he decided to reach out and start recruiting me,” Kranick said.

The rest is history for Kranick, who accepted an offer to play at the Horizon League school in Rochester, Mich.

Not that the all-state and All-WPIAL player lacked other interest. He also had offers from Valparaiso, Ohio State, Longwood and Seton Hall.

“I chose Oakland, firstly, because they have a great coaching staff and made me feel a part of the family right away,” he said. “Secondly, Oakland also challenges for the conference championship and NCAA Tournament bids every year while playing some of the best teams and programs in the country, week-in and week-out.”

Kranick was a key cog in the Panthers’ “Iron Curtain” defense that allowed just six goals last season as the Panthers went 20-1-1 and won a WPIAL Class 5A championship. He had 17 goals and seven assists to lead the team.

Kranick finished his high school career with 38 goals and 49 assists.

“It has always been a dream of mine to play Division I from the first time I touched a ball,” Kranick said. “I fell in love with the game as a child, and there’s no better feeling in the world then stepping onto the pitch to play. I wanted to prove myself as the best so I have always wanted to play with and against the best players in the country.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


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