As a first year head coach you can either flourish or struggle. Some would say the first year path depends on a coach’s ability to bring a team together and set a clear goal but the truth is the players and their will tend to be the determining factors.
Good thing Pitman High’s Kris Shaw has a talented group of girls on his golf team this season to make his transition as head coach a smooth one.
“The girls are really good so they’ve kind of grandfathered me in,” Shaw said.
Seniors Sienna Samra, a four year varsity starter with a mile drive, and Sheyenne Sousa have led the assimilation process for Shaw bringing experience and lessons learned from last year’s fourth place Central California Conference finish into this season.
“Sienna brings leadership and consistency,” Shaw said. “And Sheyenne, she is definitely the character of the group. She brings a lot of fun and personality to the club.”
The returners aren’t the only ones making waves on the golf course this season, however. Shaw was pleasantly surprised by freshman Taylor Beckwith, a standout player that will be instrumental in the Pride’s goal of a top three CCC finish.
“She takes command of the course, has a great short game, and hits the ball straight down the fairway nearly every time,” Shaw said.
Pitman’s combination of experience, strength, and talent has already shone through during pre-season play, giving Shaw a dose of confidence as league play draws near. The Pride will participate in Monday’s Merced Tournament before the CCC opener against Atwater High on Sept. 11.
“We’re young and have some things to work on but we’re definitely developing,” Shaw said. “I think the girls will grow into a pretty good squad.”