MADISON, NJ – Madison High School girls volleyball head coach Stephen Fenton had his 500th career victory come Nov. 1 after his sixth-seeded Dodgers defeated 11th-seeded Raritan, 29-27, 25-9, in the second round of the NJSIAA Group 2 tournament.
“It has been a long time coming,” the coach said. “I’ve been at this for 39 years now. I didn’t get many wins in my first 20 years. More than half of those 500 wins came at Madison High School.”
This is Fenton’s 13th year at Madison. When he reached the milestone, it was a feeling of gratitude but also something that hasn’t necessarily been thought about too much.
“Longevity in anything is setting a mindset of not getting burned out, setting a pace that is comfortable for you,” Fenton said. “I think I’ve done that over the years. I don’t get wildly excited and I try not to get overly disappointed. It’s really the mindset that you have. It was kind of an afterthought. The numbers took care of themselves.”
Fenton started coaching volleyball in 1980 and he coached a program that was just four years old at the time.
The win moved Madison on to the quarterfinals, where it’ll take on third-seeded Demarest of Bergen County.
“My mindset right now is to get 501,” Fenton said. “Demarest is well established. We’re very competitive with each other. If we keep the errors down, I think we can win. The mindset is very good for the girls coming in. We scrimmaged Demarest in August. We’re feeling confident.”
The victory over Raritan marked the 20th for Madison this season after a 10-0 start.