A ceremony was held Monday at the Berwick Civic Complex recognizing the dedication of a field to former longtime Coach John Menard, who passed away in June 2019. The Berwick Town Council approved the dedication in June 2019. Above, members of Menard's family, including his wife, Nichole; his daughter, Mallory; and son, Clay; stand at a plaque recognizing the field dedication along with Berwick High School baseball players. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Above is a close up of the plaque recognizing the naming of the field at the Berwick Civic Complex in honor of the late John Menard. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Above is the signage recognizing the field being named in Menard's honor. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Town of Berwick field named for Menard
Family and friends of the late John Menard gathered at the Berwick Civic Complex Monday for a ceremony honoring the former longtime coach as one of the three fields at the complex has been named in his honor.
The naming of the field, the closest to La. 182, was approved by the Berwick Town Council in June 2019, just days after Menard passed away after a battle with cancer at age 44.
Monday, a large crowd gathered for a ceremony to recognize the dedication.
“He was such a positive influence on the youth in our community,” Town Councilman Kevin Hebert told the crowd. “John coached baseball but also taught many life-long lessons and skills such as good work ethic, patience and dedication and courage.”
Menard spent years of his career serving the Berwick community as a teacher and coach in various sports at Berwick High School.
Menard spent time as an assistant football coach, served one year as a girls basketball coach, and he was a longtime Berwick baseball assistant coach.
The year prior to taking an assistant coaching position at New Iberia Senior High, Menard served one year as Berwick’s baseball coach, leading the squad to the Class 3A state semifinals. It was the Panthers’ first semifinal appearance in 10 years.
“Those of us that worked with John, coached him, those kind of things, he was one of the most honest and humble human beings I’ve ever met,” Town Councilman Lud Henry, who also coached Menard, said. “He’d tell you like it is, and he was just the most humble person. … I can’t say enough to Mallory and Clay and Nichole how much we miss him and all the lives that he’s touched. … Thank you for gifting him to us.”
Menard’s wife, Nichole, and his children, Mallory and Clay, were in attendance as well as numerous family members.
“Honestly, there’s no words,” Nichole Menard said of the dedication.
She said that her husband loved baseball, loved his players and wanted his players to learn about baseball but also life lessons.
“To have this field dedicated to him, a field he played on as a youth also, is an amazing feeling and something my family and our children will remember always,” Nichole Menard said.
The Menards’ son, Clay, also played on the field that now is named for his father. The sophomore on the Berwick baseball team was joined by his teammates at Monday’s ceremony.