Episcopal Academy hosted 16 teams for the inaugural George C. Shafer
Jr. Doubles Invitational April 28 – 30, and captured the title over some top teams from the area and as far away as Deerfield Academy (Mass.) and McDonogh (Md.)
“There was some amazing doubles played this weekend and the first doubles final on Sunday was the best high school doubles match I think I’ve ever seen,” said EA boys’ tennis coach Whitaker Powell.
The all-doubles Invitational is a new version of the 21st Annual New
England Middle Atlantic Tennis Tournament. Each school submitted four doubles teams in order of strength. Each team played a traditional, consolation format doubles tournament with the
winners being crowned in each flight. The overall team champion was based on points accumulated.
“We value doubles a great deal at Episcopal and it is due to George’s
influence on us from an early age,” said Powell.
Shafer coached tennis at Episcopal for 41 years, earning more than
a dozen Inter-Ac League Championships. Shafer was known for teaching his players how to analyze and orchestrate a point.
“He had a knack for helping players of medicore talent form themselves into successful doubles teams,” said EA boys’ tennis head coach Tim Kent. “He demanded all of his players a strict adherence to the principles of good sportsmanship.”
“Coach Shafer was the ultimate teacher, counselor and coach,” said EA Athletic Director Gina Buggy. “The impact he had on The Episcopal Academy athletic program extends well beyond tennis. I know George would have loved the distinction of this event and he would have been especially proud to be associated with the quality and integrity of the participants.”
Haverford School won the Thomas D. Kent Sr. Sportsmanship award at the Invitational.
Shafer was named Middle States Coach of the Year in 1977. He passed
away in 2016.