At the June 19, 2023 meeting of the Gatesville Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting, it was announced that the Gatesville High School tennis courts would be named in honor of long-time supporters of the GHS tennis program, Glenn and Sue Vernon.
On Tuesday, Feb. 6, over one hundred supporters showed up at the courts to honor Glenn and Sue Vernon. GISD Athletic Director, Rickey Phillips, welcomed those assembled and paid tribute to the Vernons.
Phillips said, “If you are here and don’t know Glenn and Sue, they have had a lifelong love for tennis and not just for playing the game, but they have shared that love with everybody, players, coaches, community, and they’ve been doing that for quite some time.”
Phillips said that Glenn and Sue Vernon began teaching and coaching tennis back in the 1970’s. “What really separates them from a lot of people is that when they take these kids on with lessons, it doesn’t stop there. They follow these kids, they travel, they go and watch them in their other sports and other activities. That’s the love they have for these kids – not just giving lessons. These kids become their own, and they have travelled countless miles to watch these kids play and perform in tennis, and that speaks a lot about Glenn and Sue.”
During the dedication ceremony, speaking on behalf of their former tennis students, Alex Scott, who graduated from GHS last year, spoke about his relationship with Glenn and Sue. “I’ve known Glenn and Sue for quite some time. Glenn actually picked me out at a summer tennis camp back when I was younger. Glenn saw some potential in me, and I’m glad he did.”
Scott continued, “I just couldn’t think of two better people who deserve this more. They’re not just great tennis coaches, but they’re great people. They’re fantastic human beings that will do anything for you.” Speaking directly to the Vernons, he said, “You both have been a great inspiration to me, and one day, it is my desire to be like you and carry on teaching tennis.”
Sue Vernon, speaking on behalf of her husband, told those assembled, “We’re very grateful and humbled by this honor. We never would have dreamed that this would happen. For anyone in the school system that had anything to do with this, we thank you very much – especially the school board for voting to approve this.”
“Thank you, parents, for trusting Glenn and me to work with your kids day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. We’ve been teaching tennis for a long time, and we couldn’t have asked for a better group of parents and kids, especially over the last six years,” she said.
She continued, “We’ve learned that when you spend hours one-on-one for several years with a tennis player, you develop friendships and bonds that go way beyond the tennis court and last a long time.”
Vernon concluded by saying, “Tennis players have made our lives better. We thank you for that and we love you and appreciate you very much.”