You have permission to edit this article.

Godbehere molded a legend in Shafter

  • Updated

Jenn Ireland / The Californian Matt Godbehere, All-Area track coach of the year.

Behind every great athlete, there normally is a great coach, and that's no different with Anna Jelmini.

For the national high school record-holder in the girls discus and perhaps the best U.S. prep track and field athlete ever, the man behind the scenes is Shafter's Matt Godbehere.

"Matt will tell you it's (just) Anna," said her dad, Rick Jelmini. "But I'm telling you, it's Matt too."

Godbehere is omnipresent at Jelmini's meets, big and small, and he's the one she goes to for advice between throws -- sometimes having to shout across a track or a field to the coaches area.

Through it all, he's gotten close to Anna and is the first to tout her accomplishments while being the last in line to take credit.

"She does things that amaze you," Godbehere said. "Even though you strive for perfect technique, you're not always in the best position. And all of a sudden, she's able to come out of this position with a big throw. Her athleticism continues to amaze me, and she's very coachable in picking up what I tell her."

Godbehere's wife, Dawn Dumble-Godbehere, coached Jelmini in middle school and then passed off those duties to her husband.

"I really felt like she would be the next big thrower out of Bakersfield," said Dumble, who herself once owned that title. "But Matt was able to cultivate that talent. He's done a great job."

Also considered Steve Anderson, Bakersfield; David Gaeta, Frontier

Second team

Alana Alexander, Centennial

Asha Brown, Bakersfield

Monica Guzman, Garces

Tijerra Lynch, Ridgeview

Shinead McDonald, Bakersfield

Lacie Rasley, Shafter

Megan Thompson, Taft

Reshana Watson, Stockdale

Honorable mention

Arvin: Bailey Tarver; Bakersfield: Alicia Torres, Felisa Torres; Bakersfield Christian: Melissa Merrill, Sarah Hill; Centennial: Hanna Chudy; Frontier: Kassidy Ellis, Kirby Ellis; Golden Valley: Bre Bowden, Jamara Scott; Liberty: Julia Fitch, Molly Fitch, Teresa Little; McFarland: Lizet Perechica, Kathy Torres; Ridgeview: Desiree Armendariz; Shafter: Elizabeth Wittenberg; Taft: Juliana Campos.

All-Area history

Girls track and field

Athlete of the Year

2008 Anna Jelmini, Shafter

2007 Dominique Lauderdale, Ridgeview

2006 Ashlee Thomas, Bakersfield

2005 Desiree Gonder, Stockdale

2004 Missy Faubus, Centennial

2003 Keisha Gaines, Stockdale

2002 Keisha Gaines, Stockdale, and Rachel Varner, Bakersfield

2001 Tiffany Brown, Stockdale, and Rachel Varner, Bakersfield

2000 Tiffany Bennett, Centennial

1999 April Burton, Bakersfield; Halima Decree, Foothill; Dee Scott, South; Tiffany Bennett, Centennial; Tiffany Brown, Stockdale; Mandi Ruzleck, Tehachapi; Kamesha Bowens, Bakersfield; Jenna Lazzerini, Garces

1998 Bo Alade, Foothill; April Burton, Bakersfield; Dee Scott, South; Veronica Sanchez, Wasco; Judy Fischer, Stockdale; Tiffany Bennett, Centennial

1997 Bo Alade, Foothill; Halima Decree, Foothill; Tracy Cohn, Stockdale; Dee Scott, South; Mandi Ruziecki, Tehachapi; April Burton, Bakersfield

1996 Bo Alade, Foothill; Tracy Cohn, Stockdale; La Tanya Sumlin, North; Tosha Thomas, Bakersfield; Laren Parker, Bakersfield; April Burton, Bakersfield

1995 Tracy Cohn, Stockdale; Bo Alade, Foothill; Tina Watkins, South; Andria Brown, South; Mandy Buckey, Bakersfield

1994 Tina Watkins, South; Tracy Cohn, Stockdale; Laren Parker, Bakersfield

1993 Tina Watkins, South; Ebonie Henderson, Bakersfield

1992 Janice Nichols, Bakersfield, and Karn Warner, West

1991 Janice Nichols, Bakersfield; Karn Warner, West; Lori Miller, North; Tike Jackson, Bakersfield

1990 Janice Nichols, Bakersfield; Dawn Dumble, Bakersfield; Melisa Weis, Bakersfield

1989 Janice Nichols, Bakersfield, and Melisa Weis, Bakersfield

1988 Mary Ann Martinez, Foothill; Dawn Dumble, Bakersfield; Melisa Weis, Bakersfield

1987 Angela Davidson, Wasco, and Dawn Dumble, Bakersfield

1986 Sonya Mitchell, Bakersfield, and Shiana Mosby, East

1985 Shiana Mosby, East, and Janie Williams, Arvin

1984 Sonya Mitchell, Bakersfield

Coach of the Year

2008 Randy Jones and Ryan Renz, Centennial

2007 Randy Jones and Ryan Renz, Centennial

2006 Dave Lonsinger, Stockdale

2005 Dave Lonsinger, Stockdale

2004 Dave Lonsinger, Stockdale

2003 Dave Lonsinger, Stockdale

2002 Dave Lonsinger, Stockdale

2001 Dave Lonsinger, Stockdale

2000 Randy Jones and Matt Love, Centennial

1999 Bob Coons and Phil Roberts, Bakersfield

1998 Dave Lonsinger, Stockdale

1997 Dave Lonsinger, Stockdale

1996 Dave Lonsinger, Stockdale

1995 Tom Tarrer, South

1994 Dave Lonsinger, Stockdale

1993 Tom Tarrer, South

1992 Joe Garrett, West

1991 Gary Kuster, North

1990 Scott Semar, Bakersfield

1989 Scott Semar, Bakersfield

Recommended for you