Eastern’s Kemery named coach of the year
As a kid, whenever Boris Becker took the court, George Kemery found himself glued to the television in awe of the German who dominated the world of professional tennis in the ‘80s.
Kemery himself played recreationally as a child, varsity doubles in high school at Haddon Heights and went on to play club tennis in college.
In 2003, Kemery began coaching the boys’ tennis team at Eastern Regional High School and picked up the girls tennis team in 2005.
After a handful of winning seasons under his belt, including a boys 19–6 record last season, Kemery has reached another milestone in his career.
Last week, Kemery learned that he was named 2011 Northeast Sectional Coach of the year, a designation given by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
He was the only tennis coach to receive recognition in the Northeast Region, which consists of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
In September 2011, Kemery was named the state boys’ tennis coach of the year and was encouraged to apply for the regional honor. Kemery was ranked on a point-based system of criteria, which ranked coaching, teaching, extra-curricular and community awards and contributions.
Eastern Athletic Director Phil Smart said he was excited to hear that Kemery was being awarded for his impact on tennis and the community at the school.
“George’s contributions to Eastern’s tennis and athletic program make him truly deserving of this recognition,” Smart said.
Kemery said his tennis squads are well supported by the Eastern community and said he is proud to work with the rest of the staff.
“I am humbled and proud of receiving this award and for the opportunity to bring South Jersey tennis and Eastern athletics some more regional recognition,” Kemery said. “Eastern’s coaching staff is packed each season with some of the winningest, most dedicated and most dynamic people in the region.”
Kemery credits part of his coaching recognition to the team he leads. Kemery keeps about 30 students on his tennis roster, which creates camaraderie among teammates.
“I’m blessed to have well-mannered guys that are competitive and focused to use each match as a step to a larger goal — whether it be conference, group or sectional crowns. My guys are all really close,” Kemery said. “Team business, attitudes and the like, are dealt with by my senior and junior captains first, then the coaching staff, if
necessary. Autonomy is the key with the guys, because if they know they command their team, they can command their destiny in the season equally as well.”
Parents, athletes and other coaches also play into Kemery’s recognition, he said.
“This recognition is only made possible by that support system,” he said. “I share this designation with my players, their parents, my AD and my assistant coach, Kevin Farrow.”
The team’s 2011 season was indicative of how committed the players are on the team, Kemery said. He hopes for yet another winning season this year.
“As the seventh seed in the state tournament, beating the 1, 2 and 3 seeds to secure our Group 4 sectional title last season was an unexpected improbability for many, but was an undeniable fact for my guys. In January 2011, I encouraged my guys to not only exceed the low expectations put on them due to graduation and preseason ranking, but to exceed their own personal expectations and to raise a few eyebrows in South Jersey,” Kemery said.
“As a coach, having your players execute with such precision in June, the directions from our first preseason interest meeting in January, is an exceptional feeling.”