North Greenville University takes another giant step in completing its athletics master plan in 2014.
On Friday, September 19, the school held a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the Vance Tennis Complex. Although the funds raised for this facility came from multiple donors, the lead naming gift came from the family of Vance and Theda Shreckengast.
The Vance Tennis Complex features twelve tennis courts and a 1,600 square feet clubhouse to house dressing rooms for the NGU men’s and women’s tennis teams, coaches’ offices, public restrooms, and concessions.
Previously, the NGU tennis teams played their home matches at Tryon Park and Rec Center in Greer.
“These are exciting times for Crusader athletics as we update, renovate, and build facilities that will be among the very best in NCAA Division II. Our student-athletes and coaches certainly deserve the opportunity to play and coach in state-of-the-art facilities as they work hard to represent North Greenville University,” said Jan McDonald, NGU Athletic Director.
Shreckengast has always been passionate about sports. No matter the activity, time, or place, he was always ready to compete.
Even as a young boy, he excelled in nearly every sport. His athletic career included football, basketball, track, baseball, and tennis. He played basketball and football while serving in the military after high school and then joined a farm league with the Cincinnati Reds baseball team after the Army.
During this busy season, he married Theda, his wife of 55 years.
Because of his hectic travel schedule and growing time apart from his wife; he decided in his thirties to enter college and pursue a business degree. He quickly discovered the college tennis team and finished as their number one player. Many times while competing on the tennis team; he was mistaken as the coach.
His talent and athletic charisma didn’t end on the baseball field or tennis court. He was also a superstar on the track. At the young age of 50, he competed and won the Palm Bay Super Star Tournament which consisted of many different sporting events. He set running records in the Florida Sunshine State Games event as a newly acclaimed grandpa.
Sports shaped Shreckengast’s life, in more ways than he could have imagined. What began as something he excelled in turned into a lifetime of joyous moments, difficult setbacks, and most importantly time spent with those he loved.
According to his family, God created him with a passion for sports and gave him pure enjoyment when he played them.
Because of his heart for God, commitment to family, connection with the Church which has remained at the foundation of his life, and his legacy, his family dedicates this tennis complex in his honor.
“It’s amazing to see the good Lord at work here. We are so grateful to this family and others for building this facility. All of our new facilities will encourage more student athletes to become a part of the North Greenville family and give them the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ,” said NGU President Dr. Jimmy Epting.