When Jeff Reller was asked what it meant to win a Southwest Yosemite League championship and, in turn, the 2017 BVarsity Girls Golf Coach of the Year honor, he turned his attention to those around him.
“It feels great. Very humbling,” Reller said. “The set of coaches we have in our league is awesome. We all work together real well. It’s interesting. Usually you’re competing against other teams. But we’re all in it together. We’re trying to push girls golf in this area.”
He would continue: “We get to know all the girls on all the teams very well. We’re all friends….Golf tends to be a more individual sport. And that can lend itself to some special relationships.”
Reller said the Titans solidified their success with solid play from the four, five and six spots in their lineup.
Of course, junior Emma Copeland shined as the team’s top player (she was a an All-Area first team member after leading the SWYL with a 79.2 average during league tournaments). And Reller said the middle of his lineup was solid.
But, the coach added, that was expected entering the season. What gave the Titans the ultimate boost, Reller said, was the improved play of sophomore Emma James — “she upped her game. She was an integral part.” — and junior Starla Dunn — “Very consistent. Could always depend on her score.”
“We were as strong as our weakest link,” Reller pointed out. “And we had girls on our back-end.”
This was Reller’s first year coaching the Frontier girls program. He was boys coach last year, and coached the Centennial girls team from 2000-2006.
Reller said that time leading the Golden Hawks was instrumental in his development. Specifically, Reller said, when he coached local standout Allison Martin, a three-time Golfer of the Year from 2000-03 at Centennial.
Reller said Martin and her dad showed him the tricks of the trade, before she made her way to the University of Georgia and then Baylor. Specifically, Reller said, the proper fundamentals of a golf swing, and having the right mindset when attacking a golf course.
“They taught me how to get to the next level as a girls golfer,” he said.