Beaumont coach starts new tennis tradition
In the world of high school girl’s tennis, the teams representing Beaumont School and Cleveland Heights High School have always had a bit of a rivalry. In the spirit of competition, Mike Pellechia, Beaumont tennis head coach, started a yearly tradition to make the rivalry a little more interesting.
The “Golden Racquet” now serves as a trophy for the winner of the yearly match between Beaumont and Heights High. The winner—and racquet recipient—keeps it for an entire year, and is required to bring it to the rivalry match the following year.
“I wanted to spark up a stronger rivalry between the two schools, and give my girls something to look forward to and work for,” said Pellechia, “I made up the tradition, and I plan on talking about it and drilling it into the girls’ heads until they consider it to be important.”
The racquet—an actual, functioning tennis racquet painted gold—was introduced during the 2013 season and first went to the Beaumont team. This year, Heights High’s 3-2 victory over Beaumont on Sept. 12 meant they took home the racquet for the first time. The racquet will stay with the Heights High team until the two schools meet again during the 2015 season.
“Hopefully, this tradition will carry on for many more years, even after I retire,” said Pellechia. “I think it’s a fun, new tradition that promotes friendly competition.”
Nicole Pellechia is Mike Pellechia's daughter, and an avid tennis lover. She earned a bachelor's degree from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, and currently resides in North Royalton.