May 21, 2013
By Elly Walker
By Elly Walker
FRESNO, Calif.-- While growing up Shaylee Yano was an all-around athlete and balanced every practice, game, and tournament of her multi-sport career. The Reedley, Calif. native spent most of her time on the basketball court practicing her skills and shooting threes, but occasionally found time on a golf course to take a few swings with her family.
Although Yano's multi-faceted talent allowed her to play any sport, her inspiration to play competitive golf came from her older sister and Bulldog alumna Whitney Yano, who began playing years before her.
Yano learned to play golf at the age of seven, but primarily focused on basketball and other sports throughout her youth. Yano's sister however, never failed to encourage her to continue practicing her golf swing.
Following a college recruitment discussion with head coach Angie Cates Moore, Yano began to think more seriously about golf and the possibility of following in her sister's footsteps as a student-athlete on the Fresno State women's golf team.
"I was playing a lot of different sports when I was younger, so golf wasn't my priority but once I talked to Angie I started to get more serious about golf during my sophomore year of high school," Yano said.
When the opportunity to play collegiate golf aroused, the all-around athlete began to focus her time and effort on golf. Following high school graduation, Yano was enrolled in Fresno State and on her way to becoming a Bulldog, just as her sister had done before her.
"There are a lot of reasons I recruited Shaylee and a big reason was that she was an all-around athlete," head coach Angie Cates Moore said. "She grew up playing many sports and I knew she was a team player. Golf is different though, student-athletes grow up playing this individual sport their entire life then they get to college and we make it a team sport and expect the adjustment to be automatic. And that's not always the case. Team chemistry is a big part of success and Shaylee gets that."
Yano joined the Fresno State women's golf team in the fall of 2009 and played under Cates Moore for all four years of her collegiate career. Succeeding the end of the 2012-13 season, Yano joined her sister, again and became an alumna of Fresno State women's golf program.
"Coaching the Yano's is one of my favorite coaching experiences," Cates Moore said. "They have an amazing family. They are so supportive and just great people. We are so lucky to have had them in our program since the beginning. We've had a women's golf team for 10 years and they've been with us every step of the way."
As Yano reminisced on her time at Fresno State, the support she and her teammates received from the community will remain a favorite memory.
"I walk around the grocery store or around the mall and people comment and ask how the team is going," Yano said. "It's a great feeling to have the community's support."
During Yano's experience as a Bulldog, she learned valuable lessons from her teammates as well created life-long memories that she will hold dear to her heart.
"My team is so great." Yano said. "There are always so positive and so supportive of me and I am of them, which I have to be as a team captain. I really learned that from the seniors and other upperclassmen when I was a freshman. They always taught be to be positive out on the course and in the classroom, or in whatever I'm doing in life."
Although her time as a student-athlete has come to an end, Yano will continue her undergraduate degree at Fresno State next fall.
Following graduation in December 2013, Yano has considered pursuing nursing school as well as competing in a mini golf tour in Arizona.
Yano's destination may be undetermined, but as many student-athletes are, Yano was Bulldog born and Bulldog bred and will always continue to support the women's golf team in the future.
"I am sure to be around for the Lexus Classic in years to come and I will definitely head out to tournaments when I can," Yano said.
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