Colleen (Parker) Newbury remembers her former Bishop Fenwick softball coach, Ed “Buddy” Henry, fondly. Now a coach herself at St. Mary’s, Newbury has often relied on Herny’s words of wisdom and knowledge of the game over the years.
Nearly three years have gone by since the Crusaders’ legendary coach lost his battle with cancer, and what better way to honor such an esteemed coaching figure than to have a tournament in his name. Henry was one of the greatest softball coaches in North Shore history, possibly even the greatest in any sport.
Newbury, along with other members of the “At Bat for Buddy” committee, have planned a weekend of tournament games with local area teams. The tournament was set up to raise money for Henry’s foundation — which awards two $1,000 scholarships each year to softball players who “demonstrate their love for the game and serve as examples of good sportsmanship in their communities through athletic commitment and community involvement.”
Fenwick, where Henry’s legacy was made, will play host to eight other area teams this weekend including St. Mary’s, Concord-Carlisle, Danvers, Beverly, Shawsheen, Billerica, Winthrop and Reading. The tournament is a two-day, round-robin style with some teams taking part in both days, while others are scheduled for just one day of games.
Newbury, who played for Henry in the mid-90s, and the rest of the committee member decided to push the tournament a little later into season this year, in hopes of warmer weather.
“Last year we chose an earlier weekend based upon when we were playing each other during the season and around the time coach had passed was May 1st,” noted Newbury. “This year we decided to run the tourney later in hopes for better weather and a better turn out, but we are still playing against teams that were involved with Coach Henry in some way.”