Thursday, September 26, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
"Tennis has basically been the vehicle that has allowed McCallie tennis coaches John Strang and Eric Voges to have a profound positive impact on thousands of young men & their parents!"
-- Jack Webb, McCallie tennis alum
For McCallie tennis coach Eric Voges, Christmas morning arrives three months early.
Friday is a "blue letter day" for coach Voges, the 70+ current McCallie students who participate in the Tornado tennis program and decades of tennis alums as they will help dedicate the new Strang-Voges Tennis Center during the noon hour ceremony.
One of the finest high school tennis facilities in the South, the state-of-the-art, six indoor court, heated, tennis center is named for former McCallie tennis coach John Strang and current coach Eric Voges and will be formally opened on the eve of the 100th anniversary of McCallie tennis.
"The new tennis facility shows that the school is serious about the sport of tennis," said coach Voges who has led McCallie to six of its eight state championships.
“I love the team atmosphere with the varsity locker room and varsity meeting room. This new building will continue to help boys of all levels be part of our tennis program."
The new center is a symbol of the past, present and future as one hundred years of excellence has produced state, Rotary, city, Southern and Mid South championships with the first team title (city championship) coming in 1915 a year after the first varsity match was played.
“We are extremely grateful for all of those who helped to make this magnificent facility possible, and we are very excited about the numerous ways in which it will benefit our students in the years ahead,” said McCallie Headmaster Kirk Walker ’69.
The new facility is impressive. But more than the bricks and mortar, concrete block and steel beams and trophies in a trophy case - albeit well deserved and earned - is the spirit of fair play, discipline, hard work and will to win that is unseen, but woven throughout the fabric of the building and those trophies as coaches Strang and Voges and others have taught life lessons to young men for a hundred years.
Four Living Coaches: four McCallie head coaches will be on hand at the dedication
Chet LeSourd (1981-84)
Andy Avram (1985)
David Vining (1986-87)
Eric Voges (1988-present)
Strang-Voges Tennis Center
Location: McCallie School
Dedication: Friday, Sept. 27 ... Noon
Specifics: 47,674 square feet
6 parallel indoor hard courts with Plexi-pave acrylic finish
250 stadium seats ... varsity team locker and meeting rooms ... coaches offices ... kitchen area ... men's and women's restroom ad locker area ... entrance foyer with trophy cases ...
Builder: Raines Brothers
Architect: Franklin Architects
McCallie Tennis Alums Quotes
"John Strang epitomized love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. He had the gift of making every student and player feel special. He loved tennis and wanted his players to play it for a lifetime. Mr. Strang, a World War II veteran and prisoner of war, was always grateful to God for the opportunity to teach Bible and coach at McCallie, and he made sure his students knew that every day.
"I treasure the many experiences I had with him at McCallie, the Manker Patten Tennis Club and the many lunches at the Fountain Square Pharmacy (his favorite)"
"Eric Voges has ably carried the legacy set by Mr. Strang. His humor and kindness to all are limitless. I can't think of anyone in the Southeast who has done more to promote tennis at all levels than Eric.
Eric has the unique gift to communicate the game of tennis with passion and clarity to a pro-level player or a first-time tennis student. He instills the principles of fun, hard work, and dedication in his "layers and helps them raise their expectations of themselves. I owe him so much as a player and as a coach."
-- Jeff Clark, UTC women's tennis coach
“The positive impact that John “Yo” Strang and Eric Voges have had at McCallie School is incredible. John Strang taught & coached at McCallie for 53 years (1950-2003), and Eric has been at McCallie for 27 years.
"What stands out to me is that as much as they both have enjoyed the sport of tennis, their true passion has been to encourage & develop young men to become leaders and men of strong character. The dedication Friday of the new Strang-Voges Tennis Center is an amazing tribute to two of the finest people that I have had the privilege of being associated with.”
-- Jack Webb
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com