By Mckenzie Maneggia ‘20 / Sports Information Staff
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – The 2nd Annual Nevers Classic Scholarship Golf Tournament was held this past May 13 at the Windham Club in North Windham, and overall, it was a large success.
This year’s tournament raised $13,000 -- an increase of $4,000 from the inaugural tournament in 2016 – with proceeds earmarked toward creating an endowed scholarship in the name of the late Thomas Nevers, the program’s first fulltime coach, who won a record 153 matches in 18 seasons between 1961 and 1978.
The main criteria for candidates for the scholarship will be community service, academics, and financial need.
This year, 83 golfers competed. The winning foursome consisted of two Eastern alumni, Brian Fitzgerald and Blake Chenail and their partners Nick Zandonella and Josh Pierson. The second-place foursome also included alumnus Ron Regan '86 and his partners Joe Salan, Jim Lyman and former assistant coach Chip Doubleday. Meehan Reality, last year’s champion, placed third.
At left: Fran Beaudet of Coventry, a member of the first of 14 straight winning teams under Tom Nevers, displays the 1965 team photograph.
Greg DeVito, the current ten-year men’s soccer coach, described the vibe of the tournament as, “absolutely awesome, because it was such a group effort.” A lot of Nevers’s former players participated, as well as many current players and alumni who did not play for Nevers, but knew well of him. Prior to his passing just over two years ago, Nevers was a regular spectator at the field which was dedicated in his honor many years ago.
DeVito’s favorite aspect of the tournament lies in the fact it brings the community and families together. In total, there were 15 members of Nevers’s family in attendance. DeVito said, “[The family] said that they all haven’t been together since last year, so it’s like a little family reunion.”
Regarding plans for next year, DeVito wants to invite the winner of the Nevers scholarship to the tournament for dinner, which he says will be a great opportunity to show all of the participants that their time and money is positively impacting a student’s life directly.
At right: The 2017 winners of the Nevers Classic Scholarship Golf Tournament were (from left) Josh Pierson, former Eastern players Brian Fitzgerald and Blake Chenail, and Nick Zandonella.