George Fratus

Madison-Grant and Mississinewa High Schools

George FratusGEORGE FRATUS George Fratus graduated from Whitman-Hanson Regional High School in Whitman, MA, in 1960, where he lettered in football and track. He was well known for his all-round athleticism. In 1965, he graduated from Ball State University where he majored in physical education. While attending Ball State he was introduced to the game of tennis.  He began his teaching career in Waterloo, Indiana, at DeKalb School Corporation and began the high school football program at DeKalb HS in 1966-1967 as their first football coach. In 1969 he and his family moved to Gas City and he began teaching elementary physical education at Park Elementary School for the Madison Grant School Corporation.  He retired in 1996 after teaching 30 years. During his tenure in the Madison Grant School Corporation, he initiated various fitness programs.  One such program was “Skippers”, a rope jumping group of 25 students that performed at local events and competitions.  He had over one hundred students participating in the “Garfield Fun Run” for children in conjunction with “James Dean Days” in Fairmount.  Because of George’s work in promoting physical fitness in the State of Indiana, Senator Richard Lugar honored his contributions with a special recognition in 2003. His passion for fitness was contagious and he continued that passion as a coach.  He coached the Madison Grant boys’ and girls’ high school tennis teams from 1979-1986.  After his retirement from Madison Grant, he began coaching girls’ and boys’ tennis in 2006 under Bruce Fleming at Mississinewa High School.  During his time at Mississinewa, he and Coach Fleming compiled a record of 141-71 in Boys’ tennis and 159-42 record in Girls’ tennis.  This success propelled Mississinewa to a highly recognized state tennis program.  During that time the Boys’ Teams won 8 CIC Championships and 2 sectional titles, while the Girls’ Teams won 5 CIC Championships and 1 sectional title. Coach Fleming stated, “George was instrumental in the success we had over that time period.   He dedicated much of his time and sacrificed family time in order to provide guidance on and off the court to our student athletes.  Our players matured as athletes and human beings because of his influence until his retirement in 2018.” George was a competitive athlete into his late sixties.  He participated in the Indiana State Games as a tennis player for several years in the 1980’s and 1990’s, winning numerous gold medals in his age group.  He was a competitive runner in short races and marathons, eventually qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  George is the father of three daughters, none of whom played tennis. He also has eight grandchildren, seven of whom play tennis and three of whom received financial help for playing college tennis. George’s entire life has been dedicated to making Grant County student athletes better and promoting physical fitness and the game of tennis.  His athletic career and contributions to Grant County Tennis community have been varied and long lasting. Mr. Fratus is well known in the Grant County area, especially Fairmount and Gas City, for his appreciation of our youth and his willingness to serve as a role model and mentor to literally thousands of young people.