Ribbon cut on new tennis courts at James Buchanan High School

Newly opened Christine Beddard Tennis Complex recognizes donations from Tom Beddard

August 13, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • James Buchanan High School tennis players Grant Strawoet, foreground, and Andrew Rupert practice Monday evening on the new tennis courts at the Christine Beddard Tennis Complex in Mercersburg, Pa.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — Dozens of James Buchanan High School tennis players put the first scuff marks on their six new tennis courts Monday.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new courts preceded the first practice of the fall season. The $135,000 courts between Tuscarora School District’s middle and high schools were developed as part of the Fix JB Sports initiative.

“We don’t have to worry about cracks, and we’ll have level bounces,” tennis coach Terri Beegle said of the new facilities.

Disrepair of the previous courts left the James Buchanan teams unable to host a home meet. They used facilities at a nearby private school.

“We’ll actually be able to host home matches now, so we won’t be traveling all the time and be at the mercy of Mercersburg Academy,” Beegle said.


Tennis courts are just one project being tackled by Fix JB Sports, an organization seeking to raise a total $1.97 million for facility improvements. Those efforts already yielded pool renovations and a new, six-lane track.

The newly opened Christine Beddard Tennis Complex recognizes donations from Tom Beddard and his business, Lady Moon Farms.

Tom Beddard said he and his wife, who died in 2004, often joined their three children for family games of tennis.

“There were a lot of fond memories of the sport and this location,” he said.

Rachael Gordon, 16, said she is excited for her school to have a home match.

“It’s so much better. There are no cracks,” said Natalie Shank, 16.

Balls used to bounce off the damaged courts, and players stumbled on cracks, according to Sloan Fox, 15.

Beegle said she hopes upgraded courts will increase interest in the sport. She said she had 15 male and 15 female players last year, and 31 girls signed up this year.

School district Superintendent Rebecca Erb said that when she retires in six months, working with Fix JB Sports will be one of her fondest memories.

“The evening I knew this would work ... I watched a group of dedicated people pass a hat and get enough capital to get this going,” she said.

“I am thankful and amazed at the quality of people who live in this community,” said Clifford Smith, school board member.

Fix JB Sports will next be focused on a stadium entrance, concession stands and restrooms at the district’s Rocket Stadium.

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