Freddie Reekes was memorable. The definition of the word memorable is ‘worth remembering or easily remembered, especially because of being special.’
Freddie was a coach, a mentor, a friend, a teacher, a golfer, a dad, a husband, a grandpa, an all-around good guy. Four men who share memories of Reekes renewed their bond at a 30th high school reunion. They have continued their reconnected friendship and recently decided to honor Reekes by playing golf in the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation Golf tournament named for him.
In 2008, Bobby Wrenn of Emporia and Reekes of Lawrenceville coordinated the 1st Annual Foundation Scholarship Golf Classic. Funds raised through the event support student scholarships. The SVCC Foundation Board voted to rename the annual golf tournament the Fred "Freddie" Reekes Memorial Scholarship Golf Classic, after he passed away on May 7, 2017. Freddie spent 40 plus years in education. He taught in the Brunswick County Public Schools and later recruited students to SVCC. He was also a legendary basketball coach for both girls and boys at Brunswick. In addition to being an educator, Freddie was an avid golfer and his team, "Old Coach", was a consistent participant in the Golf Classic.
Reekes was an integral part of making the tournament successful for many years, even helping after he retired from SVCC.
Shep Moss, Ken Peace, David Talbert and Ryan Henry were students of Reekes in driver’s education and played on the golf team at Brunswick Senior High School that he coached. Interestingly, the high school golf team at the time played at the same course that now hosts the SVCC Tournament, the Lake Gaston Golf Club in Gasburg.
Moss remembers traveling to play and practice in the old, beat-up station wagon that served as the activity bus for the golf team. He remembered that the late Donnie Bane Clary also coached the team.
About their decision to play in this year’s tournament, “We wanted to do something to honor Freddie, he was our mentor and even after we got out of school, we kept the relationship with Freddie through the years,” Moss said.
The team played in the 2018 tournament and, did not win but came close, Moss said. The team played wearing baseball caps that honored Reekes by sporting a bulldog emblem (mascot of Brunswick High) and the name of the tournament; all in bulldog blue and gray, of course.
Another player, Henry noted, “I played in the tournament because I felt it was the least I could do to support the cause. Freddie was a father figure and mentor to many of us growing up in Brunswick County. His constant encouragement pushed us to want to be the very best at whatever we did in sports and more importantly…in life.”
The four men all celebrate or have celebrated their 50th birthdays this year. They have tried to get together for those celebrations. Moss now lives in South Hill, Talbert and Peace in Richmond and Henry in Virginia Beach.
They plan for this event to become an annual get together for them and a way to remember a man who made a difference in their lives.
Members of the Freddie Reekes Memorial Golf team are shown at the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation's Annual Golf Tournament at Lake Gaston Golf Club. They are (Left to Right) Ken Peace, David Talbert, Ryan Henry and Shep Moss