SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

May 20, 2013

'At Bat for Buddy' Tournament draws huge crowd at Fenwick

When you sit back and think about the impact that the late Bishop Fenwick coach Ed “Buddy” Henry left on the game of softball and all the lives he impacted over the years, you start to realize how great of a man he really was.

Hundreds of spectators came out to Bishop Fenwick over the weekend in support of the “At Bat for Buddy” tournament, which featured Fenwick, St. Mary’s, Danvers, Beverly, Shawsheen, Winthrop, Concord-Carlisle, Billerica and Reading as the participating teams. Each of the clubs wore their respective team colored T-shirts, with Henry’s famous saying “If you don’t believe, you don’t belong,” on the back.

All the proceeds from the tournament are going to the “At Bat for Buddy” foundation, which awards two $1,000 scholarships 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.

Former players of Henry’s were there to remember their legendary coach and people from all across the North Shore gathered in support of the special event.

“The tournament is emotional,” said St. Mary’s head coach and a former player of Henry, Colleen Newbury. “Being with former players who are around for the weekend as well as actually playing against Fenwick at Fenwick brings back such great memories of what Coach Henry means to me as a former player and now as a head coach. It’s still hard to believe three years have gone by since he passed away. Coach Henry was a great friend and mentor to me and to all the coaches in this weekend’s tournament.”

Henry, who lost his battle with cancer in 2010, coached at Fenwick for 15 years (1983-’97). He led his teams to seven consecutive Division 1 state titles between 1990 and ‘96. With a total of eight state titles, including a Division 2 championship in 1985, Henry’s Crusader squads won 15 consecutive Catholic Central League crowns. Henry left Fenwick with a record of 332-26 and finished his career at Shawsheen, where he got his 400th career win.

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