Franklin Regional girls golfers preparing for first team playoff experience
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A special tee time awaits Franklin Regional's girls golf team at 10 a.m. on Oct. 11.
That's when the WPIAL Class AAA team championship will tee off at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Belle Vernon, and for the first time since 2006, the Panthers will be one of the teams participating.
Franklin Regional ended its postseason drought by finishing second to Penn-Trafford in Section 3-AAA this season, which leaves it as one of only six teams that will compete for the Class AAA title and a berth in the PIAA championships.
“We've been really happy with the way the season is going,” senior Alex Schwab said. “We've been practicing a lot, and we've had some close matches. But our coach tells us every shot counts, and we've been able to win those matches.”
For all of the Panthers, it will be the first taste of postseason golf. For the seniors, including Schwab, Breanna Molinaro and Jordan Woyt, the WPIAL tournament also will be their final high school match unless the team was to win and advance to states.
“I'm really excited, but I'm kind of sad that it will be the last time I'm playing with the team,” Woyt said. “But I'm still really looking forward to it.”
“It'll be a really good experience, and since it is our last year, it's really great that we were able to go all the way to the playoffs,” Schwab said.
The end to Franklin Regional's playoff drought wasn't the result of moving to an easier section, as sometimes happens in realignment years. Instead, it was the result of steady improvement by the Panthers' players, which allowed them to succeed against perennial powers such as Shady Side Academy and Fox Chapel, who were last year's playoff teams from Section 3.
Franklin Regional won its first meeting against Fox Chapel — the second was postponed beyond this edition's deadline due to rain — and swept Shady Side Academy in two matches, the first two times FR's current players had beaten the Indians.
“When we beat Shady Side at home by six strokes, I think that was (the biggest match),” Schwab said.
“It was really close, and we were happy to finally beat them. They've always been the biggest competitor for us,” Woyt said. “When we finally beat them, that was the turning point when we thought we could actually do this.”
Penn-Trafford is widely considered the favorite entering the WPIAL final, which means from two section matches, Franklin Regional's players know how high the bar is set, and they're getting ready for the challenge of Cedarbrook.
“We're practicing at the WPIAL course, so that will definitely help,” Schwab said.
“All we can do is go out and do our best,” Woyt said.
Heading into the final, Schwab, Molinaro and Woyt all will play for FR, as will sophomore Brenna Scott. Either Livia Molinaro or Nicole Lockwood will be the team's fifth player for the championship, according to head coach Kane Daignault.
Daignault also said the increased exposure from making the playoffs has led to inquiries about the team from prospective players for next year, and he hopes more parents and player interested in the golf program approach him or email him at the school.
As for the current crop of players, regardless of the finish next week, this season has no doubt been a memorable one.
“We're all really good friends, and we all support each other. It's really nice to see everyone play so well,” Schwab said.
“We're definitely a really close team. We go out and we have fun together,” Woyt said. “We're just happy to have won all these matches.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Steelers still knockin’ on Canton’s door
- Review: Pittsburgh son Billy Porter shines bright in ‘Kinky Boots’
- McKeesport charter sees no problems for opening
- Mon Valley takes time out for night out to build community
- Pitcher Arrieta, Cubs shut down Pirates in victory at PNC Park
- Rostraver native revisits roots on cross-country bike journey
- Heyward-Bey looks to make impact on special teams with Steelers
- Fire displaces Kittanning family of 6
- Philanthropist and one-time GOP powerhouse Elsie Hillman dies at 89
- Steelers notebook: Spaeth on baby watch
- Catching on: Jeannette grad Pryor making progress with transition to receiver