BULLHEAD CITY — Mohave Accelerated Learning Center Lady Patriots head softball coach Shanda Weiler earned the Arizona Interscholastic Association 1A West Region Coach of the Year award following the 2019 season.
Weiler’s Patriots finished with a record of 10-5 overall, 7-3 in conference and 7-2 in region before falling to Valley Union High School during the first round of the playoffs in late April.
“Honestly, I was shocked,” said Weiler when asked about her response upon the news. “We were second in (region) and Bagdad was No. 1. I felt that the coaches would’ve voted for him.”
Bagdad High School Lady Sultans head coach Dalton Mills’ squad went 10-0 in region, which was another reason for Weiler to think that Mills was going to get the nod instead.
“I was traveling back to Iowa and I received an email from my athletic director Jeremy Klingensmith congratulating me,” Weiler said.
Weiler has amassed a 141-37 record during her 10-year stint as MALC’s head softball coach.
The Patriots have won the 2A Charter Athletic Association state title three seasons in a row, as MALC went undefeated during those 2011-13 championship seasons.
Weiler earned CAA Coach of the Year honors in 2011 and 2013, and she earned the 2013 Tri-state Coach of the Year award before earning this season’s honors.
“I coach my girls to stay humble and to take it one hit, one out and one inning at a time,” said Weiler when asked about how her 2019 Patriots responded to her coaching. “We play as one and the score is always zero to zero.
“There is a lot of respect between me and the girls; I hold the bar high for each and every one of them and they strive for that bar.”
Patriots graduating senior Sierra Demers said, “We all love you coach.
“You support us on and off (the) field during the season and (the) offseason. Your dedication is felt year round and you inspire us to be dedicated, too.”
Former Patriots stalwart Taylor Estrada, who played for Weiler from 2010-15, said her former skipper was a caring coach on and off the field.
“I felt that I was able to talk to you about anything or be able to get help from you when I needed it,” she added. “You weren’t just any old coach. You were more. You went above and beyond for all your girls. You took care of us, as we were your kids. ...”