Count St. Joseph High School golf coach Fran Brilliant among the many people thrilled with Danielle Lapierre's strong performance in teaming with her father to capture the Junior Division of the Massachusetts Father and Daughter Championship on Thursday.
Danielle and her dad, Paul, worked together beautifully to craft a round of 5-over-par 77 in the modified alternate-shot format to win the Massachusetts Golf Association event by four shots at the challenging Golf Club of Cape Cod.
Brilliant is obviously excited with the continued improvement of a key member of his golf team, but he's also happy because he knows how hard the 17-year-old has worked and the kind of person she is.
"You hope to have students like Danielle in any sports program," Brilliant said. "She is easy to get along with, is very cooperative and is very good in school. She is the kind of kid you never have to worry about."
Brilliant echoed sentiments expressed on Thursday by her swing coach, eduKaytiongolf's Kay McMahon, regarding Danielle's work ethic and determination.
"I don't know anyone who works harder on her game," Brilliant said. "She spent a lot of time at Kay's [indoor practice area at Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club] during the winter and also has worked hard on her conditioning."
Her determination leads at times to a familiar trait for those young athletes with high expectations.
"She can be a little hard on herself," Brilliant said. "Sometimes we have to remind her to smile."
Brilliant has high hopes that Lapierre and her teammates will be smiling more often than frowning this season.
"I hope this is a breakout year for Danielle and the team," he said of a team that has been showing stedy improvement the last few seasons. "With Danielle and Andy Cella, we have a good top two in our lineup. We also have four other returning kids and any one of them can shoot low."
Brilliant also has a personal goal in mind for Lapierre, one of the few girls playing high school golf in Berkshire County, that he believes is attainable.
"I'd love to see her make the All-Eagle team," he said. "I really think that is possible."