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Back in the Saddle Again
by Dan Eckles
Aug 18, 2011 | 956 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs girls golf coach Victor Sherbondy works with Cougars senior co-captain Stephanie King during the local club’s practice Thursday afternoon at RedHawk Golf Club.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs girls golf coach Victor Sherbondy works with Cougars senior co-captain Stephanie King during the local club’s practice Thursday afternoon at RedHawk Golf Club.
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Victor Sherbondy has been coaching high school golf in northern Nevada for nearly two decades. With the girls’ season in the fall and boys’ in the spring it affords many coaches the opportunity to work both seasons, something Sherbondy had done most recently at Spanish Springs since 2005.

Last school year, Sherbondy stepped down as the Cougars boys coach, a position in which he had guided the SSHS program to state titles in 2007 and 2009. but he back on the links working with Cougar athletes this fall as he is still holding the reins to the Cougars girls’ program.

So why the change in coaching duties?

“I wanted to start coaching my own kids in their spring sports,” Sherbondy said. “It’s a better time of year for me. It was good. I coached a t-ball team, got in some soccer and a lot of stuff around the house.

“Usually I do the fall, get a little break, do the spring, get a little break and start over. It feels like a long time. I’m really looking forward to this season.”

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, it would be easy to understand why Sherbondy is refreshed and amped up for a new season.

“I’ve been coaching golf for 20 something years and the thing I like about it is it mimics life. To see the kids grow from the time they are a freshman to seniors is great. It makes me proud to say I’ve contributed to that through golf.

“This year, we’ll have a really young team. They’re all outstanding girls and it’s fun to be around them. They have great personalities and a great work ethic. I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids.”

At SSHS, athletic officials are glad he’s still around and wasn’t forced to give up both programs.

“When he gave up the boys job we were disappointed, but pleased we had someone on staff who could fill that,” SSHS athletic director Art Anderson said. “We were glad he was able to stay on with the girls. It really helps our girls team and I think solidifies that they could be very good this year. He’s got a great relationship with RedHawk and the golf community. He’s been successful and been outstanding for us.”

Under Sherbondy’s tenure, both the SSHS girls and boys programs have grown into perennial Northern 4A contenders. That’s a fact he’s certainly proud of and there’s a method to his madness.

“At least half of what I’ve done as a coach has been mental, counseling, talking to the kids, getting to know them and their personalities, finding out what makes them happy and what sets them off,” Sherbondy said. “The other half is working on the fundamentals, the rules and knowing what to do in a variety of situations. You don’t have an official telling you, you committed a foul. In golf, you have to call that on your self. It’s a completely different game in that regard.

“Certainly at the high school level, when you’re talking about 14-15-year-old kids, they don’t always do those things. I’ve had pride in our program that we always come in with accurate scores and have fun doing it. Fun is the No. 1 thing … If the kids are happy about coming back out every day, you’re doing something right as a coach.”

The local coach said the Spanish Springs boys and girls golf programs have a leg up on much of the local competition, thanks to a first-rate practice facility at RedHawk Golf Club.

“RedHawk has always been top-notch,” Sherbondy said. “I believe it’s the best practice facility. They’ve been very generous in allowing us to use the facilities. I’m thankful it’s our home course. I think it does give us an advantage being able to practice on a championship-quality course.”

Amidst a state-wide schools budget crisis, high school golf was on the chopping block earlier this summer. However, it was saved in Washoe County after school district leaders opted for a $50 participation fee rather than nixing programs.

“I don’t know how I feel about that yet,” Sherbondy said. “I do know golf is the only sport that has the fee. I don’t understand why that is, but there must be a reason for it. I would rather pay the $50 than lose a sport. Our numbers have been in decline for girls high school golf in recent years, but I don’t think the extra fee will decrease those numbers anymore.”

Sherbondy’s Cougars and the rest of Nevada’s girls golf teams began official fall practice earlier this week. Spanish Springs will open its season Tuesday in an invitational tournament in Auburn, Calif. Its first High Desert League tournament is set for Aug. 31 at WildCreek.
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