BELTON TENNIS
INFORMATION

SC TENNIS
HALL OF FAME

 
 

Don Dixon
Lancaster, SC
Inducted November 7, 1987

A TRUE PIONEER OF TENNIS DEVELOPMENT ON THE “GRASS ROOTS” LEVEL, HE IS THE MAN WHO MADE TENNIS A TRUE SPORT IN LANCASTER.

HE ATTENDED N.C. STATE UNIVERSITY WHERE HE PLAYED BOTH TENNIS AND BASKETBALL IN THE 1930’S. HE SERVED AS A SERGEANT IN THE ARMY AND WAS DECORATED FOR BRAVERY DURING WORK WAR II. HE MOVED TO LANCASTER FOLLOWING THE WAR AND OPENED HIS OWN TIRE & APPLIANCE BUSINESS.

HE LOVED TENNIS AND WAS EASILY THE BEST PLAYER IN TOWN FOR OVER 20 YEARS. HE WON NUMEROUS LOCAL AND STATE TOURNAMENTS DURING THIS TIME. HE ALSO LOVED COACHING YOUNGSTERS AND BEGAN SERVING AS A VOLUNTEER COACH OF BOTH THE LANCASTER HIGH GIRLS’ AND BOYS’ TENNIS TEAMS IN THE EARLY 1960’S.

HE CARED ABOUT PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY YOUNGSTERS INTERSTED IN TENNIS. HIS CARING AND SUPPORTIVE PERSONALITY EARNED HIM THE SUPPORT AND ADMIRATION OF EVERYONE IN TOWN. HE WAS ONE OF LANCASTER’S LEADING CITIZENS, A PILLER OF THE COMMUNITY.

HIS TENNIS COACHING & COMPETITIVE DAYS ENDED WITH A CAR ACCIDENT WHILE RETURNING FROM A HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS MATCH IN 1967, BUT HIS ENTHUSIASM FOR CONTINUED GROWTH OF TENNIS IN LANCASTER CONTINUED. LANCASTER HAD ONLY 2 COURTS AND HE SAW THE NEED FOR BETTER LOCAL FACILITIES. THROUGH HIS ENDLESS EFFORTS SPRINGS COMPANY BUILT 6 COURTS IN 1970 AND THROUGH HIS CONTINUED LEADERSHIP LANCASTER HAD OVER 20 COURTS BY 1980.

DURING THIS TIME, TENNIS BOOMED IN LANCASTER. THE BOYS’ TENNIS TEAM POSTED 9 STRAIGHT WINNING SEASONS, ONE YEAR FINISHING SECOND IN THE STATE AAAA HIGH SCHOOL TOURNAMENT. LANCASTER ALSO PRODUCED 3 INDIVIDUAL STATE CHAMPIONS BETWEEN 1978 & 1982. DIXON HELPED EACH GET STARTED IN TENNIS AND FOLLOWED THEIR EVERY STEP.

DIXON HELPED FROM THE LANCASTER TENNIS ASSOCIATION IN 1974, AN ORGANIZATION WHICH HAS PROSPERED SINCE.

DIXON WAS STRIKEN BY CANCER IN 1977, BUT CONTINUED TO TEACH THE GAME AND SUPPORT ALL ACTIVITIES OF THE LOCAL TENNIS ASSOCIATION. THE LANCASTER AWARDED HIM WITH A TOURNAMENT NAMED IN HIS HONOR IN 1978, THE DON DIXON JUNIOR OPEN. LAST FALL THE DON DIXON CELEBRATED ITS TENTH ANNIVERSARY. THE TOURNAMENT WAS THE FIRST IN THE STATE TO BE NAMED IN SOMEONE’S HONOR AND ATTRACTS 150 TO 200 OF NORTH & SOUTH CAROLINA’S BETH JUNIOR PLAYERS EACH YEAR.

THE TOURNAMENT IS LANCASTER’S WAY OF SAYING, “THANK YOU” TO THE MAN THEY KNEW AS “THE FATHER OF TENNIS” IN THEIR COMMUNITY.

DECEASED: DECENBER 22, 1982 AT AGE 70.

 
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