CHESANING HIGH SCHOOL tennis coaches Dr. Tom Teal and Dave Gasper were recently honored with a surprise ceremony put on by Athletic Director Bob Sager that was attended by many family members, players, and parents. The school’s new tennis complex, which has been updated and expanded as part of the school system’s $25.5 million campus-wide renovation project, will now be known as the Tom Teal-Dave Gasper Tennis Courts in honor of the dedication and success of the two men.
Gasper has been the head coach of the boys tennis team for 17 years and has compiled a 152-43 record over that time, including last year’s appearance in the state competition. Dr. Teal has been coaching the girls team for seven years, and has accumulated a record of 94-27. Additionally, the coaches share coaching duties for both teams, with each playing the role of assistant coach when their team is not in season.
Everyone worked to keep the dedication a secret from Dr. Teal, including Gasper, who had no idea that he was going to honored as well. So, Dr. Teal showed up expecting to coach practice and have team pictures taken by the school’s yearbook staff, and Gasper was so worried about making sure Dr. Teal did not find out about the honor that he did not even think about possibly being honored himself. The genuine surprise on both Gasper’s and Dr. Teal’s faces made the ceremony even more touching for those in attendance.
Dr. Teal was almost too shocked for words, but both men thanked Sager, the school, their players, and the community for the honor of having the courts dedicated in their names and for providing the new courts. Gasper also talked about how much Dr. Teal has done for the school and community during his time as a coach and before.
“Dr. Teal has put in so much over the years,” Gasper said prior to the dedication. “He has been instrumental in building the summer program, he has always helped maintain the courts, and he puts in so much time with the students. He has just done so much for the community; not just the tennis team.” (Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)