The 2020 Hall of Fame ceremony
on July 19 at McKennan Park.
Watch it here!
The three inductees in 2020:
Chad Larson, Mitchell Tennis Leader for many years
Tonya Breitag Novak, 2-time SD high school champ and
Big 10 player
Angela Breitag Kopfer, former SD high school champ and
On October 28th, the Don Grebin Court was dedicated at
GreatLIFE Woodlake Athletic Club. Photos from the
event are here
In Memory, Don
Feb. 5, 1932 - Feb. 11, 2014
In tribute to Don
Grebin, the SD Tennis Hall of Fame Steering committee
voted to add Don’s name to the Love Serving Tennis
Award. Known as the Godfather of SD Tennis, Grebin
impacted as many junior tennis players as anyone in our
history. The HOF grant program to promote tennis was
started in 2001 by Aberdeen, SD native Woody Boyd.
John Simko, Don’s
longtime doubles partner: “ Don touched more lives
through tennis than you could possibly imagine, not only
in SD but through the entire Midwest.”
Chris and Dave
Dummermuth: “Don was special to both of us and that
extends through the entire Sandvig family. Because of
Don’s infectious fun nature, we wanted to be where he
was, and fortunately, he was at the McKennan courts.
Don was truly the pied piper of tennis, and his effect
spread statewide and throughout the Northern Section
Craig Sandvig: “
Watermelon, playing cards, painting the lines, running
tournaments, going to tourneys, his laughter and stories
remain wonderful memories. Sioux Falls tennis is so
much richer because of Don.”
Jamie Volin: “People always say that
tennis is a lifetime sport. Don provided the proof.”
In February of 2012, many in the tennis community gathered
to celebrate Don Grebin's 80th Birthday.
Check out photos from the night
Looking back 20 years with the SD Tennis
Hall of Fame
Nielsen and Jamie Volin, steering committee co-chairs
group of tennis enthusiasts gathered around the idea of
two things in 1989: honoring the memory of longtime
tennis contributor Ross Fenn, and starting a tennis hall
of fame in the state of South Dakota.
volunteer committee opened its doors to all who showed
interest in working to preserve tennis history in SD.
We wanted to recognize individuals who distinguished
themselves either as players, coaches or
contributors. Not surprisingly, many of the 48
inductees through 2010 excelled in all three areas.
Since SD’s tennis history goes back to the early
1900’s, we knew we had “catching up” to do and continue
to research names. Highest consideration is given to
those ages 50 and over.
As a group
we raised money to initially fund the start of the Ross
Fenn Memorial Cup, given annually since 1990 to the
men’s and women’s singles champion of the SD Adult
Open. Donated dollars were used to construct a “SD
tennis display case” still housed at Sioux Empire
Fitness in Sioux Falls, along with plaques highlighting
the tennis careers of our inductees.
inducted our first class into the Hall of Fame in 1991,
honoring Lefty Johnson and Buck Shane. Funding in
the early years to support the Hall of Fame came just
from private donations. We paired with the SD Adult
Open from the start, having our recognition program at
noon each Sunday in July before the singles finals of
the tournament at McKennan Park in Sioux Falls. Our
Hall of Fame monument has a prominent place near the
steps along the way include:
Dave Thompson and his restaurant business, Spezia, host
a welcome brunch prior to our annual event.
annual brochure sponsorship from Aberdeen native Woody
Boyd of Highlands Ranch, CO. Then, in 2001 he proposed
and funded through the SD Tennis Hall of Fame for
several years the $1,000 “Love serving Tennis” community
grant program to promote youth tennis. Now, that is
funded by committee activities as we’ve endorsed the
label: Preserving the past, promoting the future of
and his late mother Lucile Weber established the SD
Tennis Hall of Fame endowment, through the Sioux Falls
Area Community Foundation in 2000. The dream has come
true that this fund, which annually supports our
efforts through investment distributions, would be a
safe, resting place for memorial and honorarium funds.
Major gifts in 2010 were given in memory of Joan
Griffin and Herman “Dutch” Schultz.
Barnes Group team tennis challenge, started in 2008,
remains the leading annual fund raiser to support the
SDTHOF. Around 80-100 players compete in this social,
team tennis event under the watchful eyes of organizers
Don and Kate Barnes, Thad Barnes and Andrew DeMore, and
co-sponsor Volin’s Racquet and Soccer (Mignonne
to financially support the Spirit of Max Award for the
state tennis tournaments through the SD high school
*Establishing our website,
*Establishing the SD Tennis Achievement Award, starting
in 1997. Recognizing outstanding contributions to
tennis by families, teams, associations or coaches.
recognition of our efforts, receiving $500 annual
support from the Northern Section, USTA.
improve our efforts can be sent to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or Jamie Volin at: 1509
S Minnesota Ave, SF SD 57105.
Now! Read the
history of High School Tennis in South Dakota (4
This is an excerpt from the new book by David Kemp &
Published by Mariah Press
This book is available at area bookstores
South Dakota's Tennis History -
Tournament from Yesteryear (1908)