Behr leads Franklin Regional girls golf into new season
The Franklin Regional girls golf team is set to build off last season’s finish. In 2016, the Panthers placed third in their section as a young group and are ready to use that experience to improve individually and as a team.
“Being in a tough section last year and placing third in the section was nice, but we expect more this year,” coach Kane Daignault said. “We only lost one senior from last year in Bailey Vincett, so we are hoping the experience of what we got from last year can turn into more success this year.”
“There is a lot of rebuilding in the section this year that we already went through, so we want to look to take advantage of that,” senior Jocelyn Behr said. “We like the group that we got and want to win some more than we did last year.”
The expected top five are Behr, Baylee Horvath, Hailey Politano, Jenna Jezek and Payton Shilling.
“We like the depth that we have, but the starting five are not set in stone,” Daignault said. “We still have some practices that can put some girls over the top. I am sure that they won’t make it easy.”
Daignault had high praise for his senior leader Behr. He expects her to improve from her impressive junior year.
“She has worked with me in teaching classes and has even taken over and taught classes of her own. She loves the game, and it keeps her around the game to where she is constantly playing,” Daignault said. “I know she has played in a some tournaments as well, so she is constantly working on her game. I am confident she will be better than last year, which is saying something.”
Added Behr: “I like to keep working on what I feel I struggle with the most. Last year, I focused more on my driving. I was hooking it right, and I think I was able to clean that up nicely. This year I want to focus on my short game and be able to finish.”
During her junior season, she took 25th in the Class AAA individual championship at Treesdale Golf and Country Club with a gross of 107. She also finished fifth in Class AAA Section 4 with an 86 at Murrysville Golf Club, the target score being an 87.
“I like to have fun when I play,” Behr said. “I want to work my way up the WPIAL qualifiers and go from there. My goal is to drop five strokes from my last year’s score. But I don’t put too much pressure on myself. I trust my game.”
Daignault and Behr said they always expect to win.
They just want to take it round by round and continue to get better as the season goes on.
The Panthers began practice Monday. The team’s first round will be Friday against Kiski Area at Apollo Elks Golf Club.
Cody Scott is a freelance writer.