Franklin Regional notebook: Girls golf team celebrates WCCA championship

Saturday, September 17, 2022 | 11:01 AM

With four top-10 finishers and a little determination to repeat as champion, the Franklin Regional girls golf team defended its Westmoreland County Coaches Association Championship on Sept. 9 at Champion Lakes Golf Course in Bolivar.

The event was nine holes.

Panthers freshman Gionna Johnson shot 43 to finish third.

A scorecard playoff broke a four-way tie at 46 between Saylor Kaminski of Penn-Trafford, Amanda Woods of Ligonier Valley, and Franklin Regional teammates Cam Alexander and Ali Boyle.

Mia Snyder was the fourth top-10 finisher from Franklin Regional and the final medal-winner with a 47.

Alexander and Boyle carded back-to-back top-10 county finishes.

Franklin Regional carded a team score of 182, while two-time WCCA champion Greensburg Central Catholic (198) was the runner-up for the second year in a row.

Penn-Trafford and Mt. Pleasant tied for third at 202, and Hempfield was fifth (210). Hempfield started its program in 2021.

“It’s tough because you never know what some teams, like GCC or Mt. Pleasant, are going to have,” Franklin Regional coach Kane Daignault said. “Our thought process is, yes, we should win this again. But we only beat Penn-Trafford by four and seven strokes in matches this year. They’re right there, too.

“It’s awesome to see our girls win again. Four in the top 10 is tough to beat. You do that and you’re probably going to win.”

Franklin Regional (9-0 at the time) had won 28 section matches in a row and is chasing a third straight section title.

The Panthers were fourth in WPIAL Class 3A last year. They are seeking their first WPIAL title since 1976.

First win for football

Franklin Regional would like to play Connellsville every week.

For the second straight year, the Panthers shut out the Falcons, this time posting a 40-0 win to move to 1-1.

Ayden Hudock caught a 65-yard touchdown pass from Roman Sarnic on the Panthers’ first play of the game to set the tone.

Hudock caught four receptions for 91 yards and two TDs, while Zach Bewszka ran for 189 yards and a TD on 17 carries.

“It was a day of us getting better, and we were really focused on ourselves,” Franklin Regional coach Lance Getsy said. “We had our playmakers make some plays, but we still have to shore up a few things.”

Connellsville completed just one pass against the Panthers’ defense.

Gateway sweep

The Franklin Regional girls tennis team ripped past Gateway, 5-0, to move to 3-0 for the season.

Sophia Hernandez (6-0, 6-0), Abina Syed (6-1, 6-0) and Salma Mukhar (6-0, 6-0) all won singles matches.

Smith represents USA

Riley Smith, a 2020 Franklin Regional graduate who competes with Pennsylvania Shotokan Karate Club in Trafford, competed for Team USA at the Junior Pan American Karate Championships last month in Mexico City.

The games had not been held since 2019 and it was evident Smith missed them.

A Carnegie Mellon junior, Smith won the silver medal in the 18-20 Minus 67 Kilogram Division for Kumite. His effort helped the team win the championship for the first time in 30 years.

The victory marked the end of Smith’s national team career. He won silver in Bolivia in 2015 and bronze in Argentina in ‘17.

He will now compete in the senior division with the U.S. team when he attends the team trials in February at the Olympic Training Center.

Shotokan’s chief instructor, Dustin Baldis, also was part of Team USA’s success. His Jinen Kai Organization athletes won gold in the 14-17 Boys Team Kate division and bronze in the 18-20 Female Kata division.

Muraco in national event

Murrysville teen Aaron Muraco, who comes from a baseball-playing family, won a gold meal while competing at the USA-National Team Identification Series at the USA Baseball Training Center in Cary, N.C. The Franklin Regional sixth grader, whose brother, Andrew, was a standout for the Panthers and is now at Coastal Carolina, was the starting catcher in the semifinals and finals of the event.

His Northeast 11U team finished 4-0-1. Muraco did not allow a passed ball or steal.

Muraco attended a regional tryout and was selected to play for the national team.

College scene

A pair of Franklin Regional grads are fueling the Washington & Jefferson defense.

Senior linebacker Adam Rudzinski returned a fumble 10 yards for a score, and junior linebacker Justin Johns had a team-high eight tackles in a 52-21 victory over Saint Vincent.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .


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