NAME: Eli Franke
SCHOOL: St. Xavier High School
SPORT(S): Water Polo
GRADUATING YEAR: 2022
GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: Participating as a Paralympic swimmer
HEIGHT: 5'2"-78 lbs.
PARENTS: Gary & Jill
BIGGEST INFLUENCE: Grandpa
FUTURE GOAL: Paralympian
St. Xavier's Eli Franke is one of the feel-good stories of the high school fall-winter sports' season. Eli is only a freshman, but has been called the "heart and soul" of the St. Xavier' water polo program.
Eli was born with arthrogryposis, a condition that impacted his joints mostly in his legs and somewhat in his arms and has caused him to endure more than twenty surgeries. The Bombers have a solid varsity water polo program, capturing their third consecutive regional championship this season with a third-place finish in the state tournament.
Eli accounted for three goals, one assist and two exclusions drawn for Coach Paul Splitt's JV water polo squad. He enjoys swimming and fishing as his hobbies and also participates in Paralympic swimming and sled hockey. Eli, along with his twin brother Sam, who is also a water polo team member, started swimming lessons at the age of four.
His favorite athlete is LeBron James, favorite book is The Outsiders, and favorite movie is Happy Gilmore.
COACH'S QUOTE – "Eli inspires others to do their best. He's the first to celebrate successes with you. He's fire."
— Paul Splitt, JV Water Polo Coach