Franklin Regional girls golfers look to stay on top of section

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Saturday, August 28, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Franklin Regional girls golf coach Kane Daignault said he knew he had a good team returning.

But when he finally got to watch freshman Anna Qin, he knew this could be a special season.

Qin instantly made Franklin Regional the team to beat in Section 3-AAA, he said.

“How good is Anna? It’s like getting the No. 1 pick in the draft,” Daignault said. “She’s very impressive. She really fits in well with Caroline (Tragesser) and Gwen (Shilling).

“Caroline and Anna give up a solid one-two punch. I never saw Anna play before this season. I heard of her. She knows what she’s doing.”

It showed the first week of the season as Franklin Regional opened Section 3 action with impressive wins against Penn-Trafford and Norwin.

Tragesser and Qin have led the way.

“This might be the best team I’ve ever coached, and I thought that of last year’s team,” Daignault said. “These girls are willing to do anything it takes to get better. Many stay after practice to work on things on their own. One girl has glow-in-the-dark balls and plays.

“This is a special group. They get mad if they don’t perform. They want to get better. I hadn’t seen that before and I love it.”

In a 167-215 victory against Norwin at the Panthers’ home course Murrysville Golf Course, Tragesser and Qin each shot a 38 and sophomore Ali Boyle had a 43.

In an 180-201 win over Penn-Trafford in the season opener at Manor Valley, Qin had a 42 and Tragesser a 44 to pace the way.

The other girls Daignault is counting on are junior Chelsea Pollitt and sophomore Cam Alexander. Boyle is a sophomore and Shilling is a junior.

“We played really well against Norwin,” Daignault said. “We usually don’t play well on the front nine at Murrysville, but we did well. We also played well against Penn-Trafford.

“It’s a nice start to the season. I know Indiana will be good and Penn-Trafford is going to get better.”

The other teams in the section are Connellsville, Gateway and Hempfield.

Franklin Regional graduated three starters (Brooke Horvath, Lila Shilling and Reilley Woehler) from last year’s squad that finished seventh in the WPIAL finals behind Peters Township.

But Daignault knows with the addition of Qin and Boyle, the Panthers could be even stronger.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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