By The Bakersfield Californian
There isn't much that translates from softball to golf. But according to Stockdale girls golf coach Shannon Nieblas, there is one very important thing that does: The need to possess strong competitiveness.
The former softball player and coach was able to instill that trait into a talented Mustangs squad this past season.
The result was the first section championship in program history.
For leading Stockdale to a highly successful season, Nieblas was selected as The Californian's Girls Golf Coach of the Year.
"Golf is so technical," Nieblas said. "There are things that I feel I can help them with, but in the big picture I don't think I'm qualified to change their swing or anything like that. However, the one thing I helped them out with is the mental part and teaching them how to compete. As an athlete, you have to know how to compete."
The Mustangs dominated local competition. They went undefeated in the Southwest Yosemite League and also won the South Area tournament.
Before becoming the golf coach at Stockdale, Nieblas was at the helm of the school's softball team for 17 seasons (1992-2008), winning a section championship in 2002.
In 2011, the Stockdale girls golf team finished second at the section tournament, two strokes behind Clovis West.
Nieblas believes that gave her Mustangs motivation to work harder.
"They went out and did their job," Nieblas said. "They put a lot of time in during the offseason. They came back and they earned it all. They did it themselves. I'm very proud of them, because it's all on them."
-- Stephen Lynch