She was a key piece to Franklin County girls golf's success in the mid-2010s and now she will lead her alma mater's program in hopes of continuing those good fortunes on the links.

Taylor Erfman, Class of 2017, has taken over for former teammate Kendyl Brack as head coach of the Lady Wildcats. Most recently, the young FCHS science teacher has been a varsity assistant, as well as the head coach of the Franklin County Middle School golf program.

“To say I am excited is an understatement,” Erfman says of the opportunity. “Being able to coach for the program that made me fall in love with golf is a surreal feeling and I am cherishing every moment.”

Erfman inherits a lot of experienced golfers, though not one of her nine players will exhaust their eligibility after this fall. Five are juniors leading one from the sophomore ranks and three from the incoming freshman class.

“With one girl graduating last year, we have four players returning who were in the top five last year,” the former Manchester University Spartan relates. “The girls have a great bond and are great at encouraging each other, so I believe this puts us in a great position for success this season.”

Juniors Nicole Mears and Crystal Calihan figure to be in the No. 1-2 golfer conversation after respectively finishing last season in those positions. Classmates Lillie Graf and Jacy Grimmeissen were in the varsity rotation as well a year ago. Mears, Calihan and Graf were all-Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference performers.

“These four played in the top five last year and have put in the work this summer to keep getting better and better,” says the coach. 

She adds a few more complimentary sentiments about the 2022 squad. There are five new players in the mix for 2022, including a pair of girls Erfman coached in middle school over the last couple years.

“I am confident in my girls. They have put in work day in and day out this summer. They are playing in tournaments, coming to the optional practices and practicing on their own. The girls are dedicated, and they work hard, so I'm very confident in the success that we will see in this upcoming season.”

Erfman has set the bar high for this autumn, hoping to coax a conference championship – to be played at Connersville's Willowbrook Country Club Sept. 10 - a sectional title and regional appearance out of her young ladies. 

The first of those goals may be the tallest task. Batesville won the EIAC in 2021, one place ahead of the Lady Wildcats, before winning the Greensburg Sectional by almost 100 strokes and taking third at the Lapel Regional to advance to the state finals for the first time in school history. The Lady Bulldogs graduated just one key player and Emma Weiler returns for her senior year as a 3-time state finalist.

For their part, the Wildcats followed up their EIAC runner-up finish with second place at the Richmond Sectional and an appearance at Lapel.

The 2022 campaign officially got underway Tuesday at the Union County Invitational (results not available at press time). Next up is another 18-hole tournament hosted by Greensburg Saturday. The first home match at the municipal Brook Hill Golf Club is Aug. 15 against conference foe Rushville.