PEABODY — There was no other coach on the North Shore, arguably in the state, that had a bigger impact on the game of softball than Ed ‘Buddy’ Henry did.
Henry was in a league of his own during his 15-year tenure (1983-97) as the Bishop Fenwick softball coach, revolutionizing the sport while guiding the Crusaders to seven consecutive Division 1 state titles (1990-96) and eight state crowns overall. Having passed away four years ago, his legacy lives on through his wife, Terry, and his former players, including Lisa McGloin, who played for Henry from 1985-88 and later coached on his staff (1989-97).
Each year since Henry passed, the At-Bat for Buddy Foundation puts on a softball tournament for local high school teams. The teams vary from year-to-year, but Fenwick, St. Mary’s of Lynn (coached by Henry’s former player, Colleen Parker Newbury), Shawsheen, Danvers and McGloin’s Concord-Carlisle team are often staples in the tourney.
“It’s an awesome tournament to be part of,” said Danvers head coach Tara Petrocelli yesterday afternoon. “The only thing that would make this better is if Coach Henry was here. He’s done so much for softball, so it’s a way to honor him. And we love playing in it.”
The tournament is a chance to see some of the best softball teams around, remember a wonderful man and honor him by awarding scholarships to deserving players who “demonstrate their love for the game and serve as examples of good sportsmanship in their communities through athletic commitment and community involvement.”
Bishop Fenwick head coach Paul Lyman was one of many who helped get the fields at Fenwick playable after Saturday’s rain left them under water.
“It turned out to be nice day and it was great to be able to get all the games in,” said Lyman. “It’s a great tribute for Buddy and hopefully they were able to raise some good money for the scholarship. That’s what it’s really about.”