Harlem's Bill Dredge Reaches Major Milestone - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Harlem's Bill Dredge Reaches Major Milestone

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MACHESNEY PARK (WREX) -

The Harlem girls tennis team is celebrating a milestone this season on the court as head coach Bill Dredge continues his storied career in Machesney Park.

"This will be my 100th team that I will have coached here."

Bill dredge is a fixture and a mainstay at Harlem High School.

"Yeah, it's kind of humbling."

He's seen it all on many a Huskies athletic surface.

"Coaching both girls tennis, boys tennis, girls basketball, boys basketball, I snuck in an early season of track."

It all adds up to 43 years as a coach. The Batavia native keeps coming back every season.

"It's the hunt, it's the competition, it's the fun of everyday being different, going after a new opponent."

Dredge's coaching doesn't stop when the whistle blows.

"Even in the hallway, he'll be like, are you ready to go for tonight? I have him for basketball too, he's like that all the time, it keeps us positive, if we're having a bad match, he'll come over, lifts us right up, gives us good advice," said senior Tambryn Hecox.

Every Huskie is familiar with his larger than life presence.

"Everyone knows who Dredge is. Like if you said Dredge to some random teacher at the end of the West Wing, they would know that's the really energetic guy," said junior Kendra Belisle.

That energy is infectious.

"The more you smile, the more you do this, the more you're required to always do it, if I have a bad day, no one's going to know about it," says Dredge.

"I'm lucky, I'm blessed, I still live in the community, I live with the people I work with, I wouldn't go anywhere else."

When asked about retirement, his big shoulders shrug it off.

"I still feel like I've got game, the hair has changed colors, but I'm still feeling pretty good."

A fixture, a mainstay, a mentor to many - 100 teams of athletes, impacted by the positive personality of Bill Dredge.

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