Submitted by: Andy Brovey
Armada Honors Dave Fredette's Long-Term Courtship with Tiger Tennis
Standing proudly by Armada High's new tennis courts are (from left) athletic director Don Holson, coach Dave Fredette and superintendent Mike Musary.
Dave Fredette. That is the name of the eight spanking new tennis courts at Armada High School. That could also be the name of the more than a half-century old tennis program at the aforementioned school. “Ed Wuestenberg was the athletic director and football coach at Armada High School. He wanted to start a tennis program. Ed wanted it to be a club but I told him no, if I was going to coach, it had to be a school sport,” said Dave Fredette. The year was 1966.
Segue to Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. A ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the eight new courts named after Hall of Fame Coach Dave Fredette. Fredette, who is entering his 53rd year of coaching at the school, had the honor of cutting the ribbon. Shortly after the ceremony, the coach and Superintendent Mike Musary took to the courts to play a brief exhibition match. Following, the Armada High boys’ tennis team had its first practice on the new courts. The six old courts will eventually be turned into a multi-use area that will be used primarily by the high school marching band and middle school education classes.
Still, for the entire 2018-2019 school year, Fredette and his teams will have access to 14 courts enabling Armada to host events like the Armada Tiger Invitational and the Blue Water Area Conference meet. “Having those new courts named after me is quite an honor,” said Fredette. “It has been quite a ride here at Armada. The people are friendly and the kids are great. If you are a good teacher or a good coach, they respond to you.”
Fredette grew up in Dowagiac. He played high school tennis but claims he “wasn’t a great player. I played third and fourth doubles.” He spent a couple of years at a junior college before going onto Ferris State University. “I learned a lot about tennis playing at community college. I really got better. I think I could have played at Ferris State but was afraid of trying to handle the academic load as well as playing tennis,” said Fredette. He certainly has made the grade over the many years at Armada. Fredette, who is 76, has been named to five different halls of fame. He was inducted into the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988. Following were the Macomb County Coaches Hall of Fame, the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame, the Macomb County Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Armada High School Hall of Fame.
“One of my greatest pleasures as a coach is that I’ve gotten to introduce kids to tennis and teach them the game,” said Fredette. “We do not get a lot of club players here in Armada. “I started a summer program the year the program began. It was very small, but it grew and grew. At its height, we would have 100 or more kids involved,” he continued. “We’ve always had some sort of program for younger kids.”
Fredette has had at least two of his former players, Rob Girvin and Lane Hurd, come back and serve as either assistant or co-coaches. “When Lane was here, we started an open hitting program. Any boy or girl who might want to play tennis in high school was welcome. It would be every Monday through Thursday in the evening,” said Fredette.
The coach has a funny story circa the late 1990s or early 2000s. One of his players asked Fredette when he started to coach. Fredette replied 1966. The teenager pondered for a moment and then exclaimed, “That is before they landed on the moon!”
Dave Fredette. One small step for man, one giant leap for high school tennis in Armada.
Tennis Association Competition & Camaraderie
by: Andy Brovey
Countryside has an active Tennis Association and we invite you to join us! We have players of various abilities and offer many clinics to help improve your game. We also sponsor several tennis social events in season, including pizza parties, a charity tournament and an annual banquet. You can exercise, have fun and meet new folks at the same time. The cost to join our Tennis Association is just $20 annually.
In 2017 we began play at our new tennis complex, one that rivals any in our area. The Har-Tru court surface is easy on the body and allows a more controlled game that suits both beginners and advanced players. Shaded seating, an ice machine, water fountain and convenient restrooms will keep you refreshed. All four courts are lighted for evening play with each court controlled by a separate on/off switch. A bulletin board with tennis announcements is adjacent to the walkway near court one. We also have a tennis ball recycling program. The recycling container is mounted between courts two and three.
We sponsor numerous clinics for novices and those looking to improve specific skills. Our pro leads these sessions and also offers private and small group lessons. We also have a new ball machine you can use to improve your game. See “Tennis Ball Machine” below.
Countryside Tennis Association supports recreational players as well as those wanting competitive league tennis. We invite you to join us for friendly doubles, tournament play or both! Our members get together mornings starting at 8 am for open play. Women meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Men meet Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Sunday at 9 am we enjoy mixed doubles. We also have two men’s teams that play a 10 week schedule against other clubs in the area. The ladies also arrange matches with other nearby clubs during the season.
We sponsor several tennis social events in season including pizza parties, a charity FUNdraiser and an annual banquet where we dine and dance. Our February FUNdraiser features tennis games anyone can play, with prizes for game winners and prize drawings for all who participate. We have a terrific time while raising funds to support a local charity.
Many of our members continue play at Countryside throughout the year. We’d love for you to join us! Have questions or want to learn more about Countryside tennis? Please contact any of your Tennis Association board members. You’ll find us in the directory or at the courts!
President - Andy Brovey
Vice President - Sylvia Ruiz-Byrne
Treasurer - Diane Dick
Secretary - Thea Puttock
Member at Large - Joe Catalano
TENNIS DRESS CODE
Tennis shoes must be worn on clubhouse courts. No other footwear is permitted. Athletic shoes not made for tennis tend to tear up the Har-Tru surface.
MEN: Tennis shorts. Collared shirts or tasteful crew-neck shirts made for tennis. Warm-ups when the weather requires.
WOMEN: Tennis shorts, tennis skirts, tennis tops or tennis dresses. Warm-ups when the weather requires.
Tennis attire may be worn in the Lakeview Lounge during lunch only.
Good tennis etiquette won’t give you a bigger serve or a better backhand, but it will make you a more enjoyable partner and player. Here are eight suggestions.
1. Be mindful of your volume and language. Outbursts and profanity are not good behavior. Keep chatter to a minimum while playing.
2. Announce the score when serving before each new point is played. Keep score of games played on the scoreboard.
3. If you need to cross an occupied court to access yours, cross only between points.
4. Make line calls clearly and promptly. Give your opponent the benefit of the doubt if you’re unsure.
5. While it’s fine to celebrate a good shot, it’s not polite to celebrate when your opponent makes an error.
6. Waiting for an open court or watching others? Be respectful and don't distract the players.
7. Win or lose, when you’re finished take a moment to thank your partner and opponents.
8. Evenings and weekends - please brush the court when you finish.