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Tennis coachs legacy will be honored
shannon schartz1
Former Great Bend High School tennis coach Shannon Schartz is pictured with his wife, Jennifer Schartz. Schartz coached at GBHS for a combined 67 seasons. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO


• 2016 GBHS Hall of Fame
• 2012 NHS Coaches Hall of Fame
• 2003 5A Tennis Coach of the Year
• 1998 Girls Tennis Coach of the Year
• 1988 5A Girls Coach of the Year
• Seven-time WAC Coach of the Year

Former Great Bend High School tennis coach Shannon Schartz has beaten the odds — surviving colon cancer and a 2014 heart attack.
Schartz’s legacy will be officially be recognized when the tennis courts at Veterans Park are dedicated in his name at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Representatives from Great Bend High School, the Great Bend Recreation Commission and city of Great Bend will be present.
Chase Buntain, a 2013 Great Bend graduate, sprearheaded the effort to name the courts after Schartz. The Great Bend city council approved Buntain’s request.
This weekend’s tennis tournament benefits the Colon Cancer Alliance Organization. Schartz is a colon cancer survivor.
Schartz survived another scare on April 15, 2014 when he collapsed on the tennis court from a heart attack.
Great Bend Fire Department EMTs Tony Leeds and Austin Ledy provided immediate care. Acting Battalion Chief Luke McCormick and firefighter Michael Reifschneider provided assistance.
They utilized cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and used the defibrillator several times. The EMTs started medication, intubated Schartz and prepared him for transport.
“Through their diligence and expertise, his heart finally gained a rhythm and he was given a chance to survive,” said Jennifer Schartz, Shannon’s husband.
Shannon was airlifted by Eagle Med to Hays Regional Hospital.
“He received wonderful, advanced care there by a well-trained, compassionate staff,” Jennifer said.
Schartz coached a combined 67 seasons of varsity high school tennis. He led the Panthers to the 1998 Class 5A girls state tennis team championship.
He is a member of the 2016 Great Bend Hall of Fame and 2012 inductee into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Schartz has provided free tennis lessons to hundreds of children for more than 45 years. Past players and rival coaches have described Schartz as the perfect gentleman. He was generous with his time and coaching talent.
His no-cut policy illustrated his belief that tennis should be fun and enjoyed for a lifetime. His rules were simple — report on time, give 100 percent, have a positive attitude and show respect for others.