CLASS OF 2023
Beverly Barger was born on December 2,1952, in Winfield, Kansas. She grew up in a family of tennis players in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Bev started taking tennis lessons at the age of eight from Earl Buchholz, Sr. of St. Louis, Missouri. At that age, she began competing in tournaments against much older players in the 12 and under division. By the time she was nine years old she was an MVTA semi-finalist, ranked 4th in the Missouri Valley 12 and under, and qualified for the National 12ís. The following two years she won the Missouri Valley 12 and under singles and qualified for the National 12 and under. When she was twelve and thirteen she was runner-up in the Missouri Valley 14 and under singles and qualified for the National 14ís.
Her tennis career continued to grow through her junior high and high school years. In the ODTA, she had #1 rankings in 14ís, 16ís, 18ís, and the Womenís Open Division from the age of 14 through 22. She qualified for the Missouri Valley Intersectional Team matches at the age of fourteen and for each of the next three years. At fifteen, she won the Missouri Valley 18ís singles. qualifying her for the Nationals 16ís and 18ís. At seventeen, she won the Missouri Valley 18 and under singles, was runner-up in doubles, played #1 on the Intersectional Team. and qualified for National 18ís .
Bev played for Ponca City High School where she was undefeated in dual matches at #1 singles. Her sophomore year she was runner-up at #1 Singles at the State High School tournament and won the #1 Singles title her junior and senior year. In addition, the girls tennis team won the State tournament her junior and senior year.
In the fall of 1970, the Virginia Slims Womenís Professional Tour was established with the original nine players. She was offered the opportunity to turn pro and be a part of this group. She was honored, but decided to continue with her education and wait to turn professional after college graduation. She graduated with a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education in 1975 from UCO. In 2006, she received her Masterís degree in Early Childhood Education with honors from UCO. She also received The Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Curriculum and Education.
While in college at Central State, now the University of Central Oklahoma, she lettered and played #1 singles and # 1 doubles for four years. She was a three time Missouri Valley champion in singles and doubles and was runner-up in singles and doubles one year. She qualified and competed all four years at the National College tournament. Twice she received the Outstanding Athlete of America Award while in college.
As an amateur athlete in college, she participated in the Virginia Slimís tournaments, played the Northwest and Southern circuits. and other professional tournaments. During this time, Bev qualified and competed twice in the U.S. Open at Forest Hills.
Upon graduation from college she turned pro and continued to compete in tournaments. She was a teaching pro at Tulsa Southern Indoor Club, as well as clubs in Oklahoma City and the Ponca City Country Club.
In 1976, she was hired in Duncan, Oklahoma, as a kindergarten teacher and a High School girls tennis coach. During the off-season she also worked with the boyís tennis team. In 1977, the Duncan girls won the State tournament. While she was in Duncan, she had seven All-Staters. She returned to Ponca City in 1981 to teach kindergarten and coach tennis. In 1986-87, she coached the high school girls tennis team to a runner-up finish at the State High School tennis tournament and had two All-Staters. She continued to give tennis lessons in Ponca City for many years.
She was a three time recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award for her school in Ponca City. Additionally, in 1996, she received the Teacher of the Year Award for the Ponca City School District. For several years she was selected for Whoís Who Among Americaís teachers.
Beverly lives in Ponca City, where she is in her 47th year of teaching. Currently she is a Reading Interventionist at Garfield Elementary School in the Ponca City School District.