Shanda Hall, a long-time educator in the Schuyler Community Schools system, is looking forward to a new adventure this fall when she takes over duties as the head coach of the Schuyler Central High School Lady Warriors golf team.
Hall has been on the staff of the Schuyler Middle School for 23 years where she has served as the media specialist, middle school yearbook sponsor, and the middle school broadcasting teacher.
She coached the middle school girls basketball team for three years when she first started teaching in Schuyler. Hall then took a break to raise her three sons: Preston, Auston, and Easton. She then coached middle school volleyball for six years.
Hall's extensive list of youth sports also includes volunteering as an AYSO soccer coach, a youth baseball coach and co-coordinator of the Warrior Basketball Club for 11 years. She's also been a coach's wife for the past 24 years.
Stepping into her new role as a high school coach, Hall said she is excited to work with the golf team members and to elevate the Schuyler Central High School golf program.
One of the major obstacles staring several of the SCHS coaches in the face this fall is working with an inexperienced team. Hall will have the same challenge with her golf team members.
“We are young and inexperienced as a group, but have a couple of underclassmen who should do well this season," Hall said. "The ladies are just beginning to learn about what kind of work ethic it takes to become a highly skilled golfer.”
Hall noted that she is excited to have nine ladies who will be competing for Schuyler Central this fall. She also pointed to a couple of athletes who she feels will be assuming the leadership roles for her squad this season.
“Senior Ivana Lopez was a medalist last season in major meets and I expect her to do the same this year while continuing to bring her scores down," Hall said. "Junior Carly Johnson is new to the team this year, but her dedication this summer has shown in practice and made the other girls take notice.”
Lopez is the only player returning as a varsity regular.
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It can sometimes be difficult being a member of young team being led by a new head coach but Hall said she hasn't gotten that impression.
“The attitude of our athletes has been fantastic," she said. They are eager and willing to learn and already have shown dedication by coming out this summer. They are as excited as I am to get our season going.”
When asked who she thought would be some of the better teams in the area, coach Hall didn't need to look any further than Schuyler's own Central Conference.
“Our conference has a top group of teams in the state," Hall said. "York, Columbus Lakeview, and Aurora all have state qualifying golfers returning to their teams this year.”
Aurora was fifth at the Class B state tournament in 2018, York took eighth and Lakeview as 12th. Danica Badura, the Class B runner-up, will be shooting for an individual championship after falling three shots short as a junior.
As for the top teams in Class B, Hall said: “Gering and Omaha Duchesne will return several ladies who medaled at the state meet last year.”
The Schuyler Central High School girls golf team opens its season on Monday, Aug. 26th when it hosts Wahoo in a dual meet at 4:30 pm at the Schuyler Golf Club. Four days later, the team opens invitational play when the Lady Warriors travel to Seward to participate in the Seward Invitational.
Teams involved in the event are: Aurora, Columbus Lakeview, Crete, Elkhorn South, Fairbury, Nebraska City, Norris, Northwest, Schuyler Central, Seward, Shelby-Rising City, and Wahoo.
Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at SCHsports@lee.net.