Tennis coach Ned Fennessy was honored on Saturday by his colleagues, teammates past and present and relatives. The regional high school tennis courts were named after the coach for his 23 years of service. Mr. Fennessy retired following the 2013 season, after he helped the tennis team to its second straight division three state championship.
The late morning gathering, under gray skies, began with remarks from Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss, who spoke highly of the educator for his ability to take a small idea with a few kids into a trophy winning athletic sport. When Mr. Fennessy first came on board in 1991, few on the team had ever played tennis before. They went 5-7 that year, an anomaly in a coaching career that saw just three losing seasons. Mr. Fennessy recorded 290 wins with the program before stepping down. The team brought home its first state title in 2012, following its first-ever undefeated season.
High school athletic director Mark McCarthy joined in the tributes, as did past coaches and former athletic directors in attendance.
Also on hand in the crowd were alumni members of tennis team and their families, who came from near and far, and members of the current team, which had a very successful spring season under the direction of new coach Josh Schaan.
But the centerpiece of the event was Mr. Fennessy himself, who spoke with warmth of the many years he worked with the players and the school and of the lasting memories he has enjoyed.
Ivy Ashe contributed reporting.