Parks & Recreation
Hall of Fame: 2008 Inductees
The People who have been nominated for the Hall of Fame are people who changed the face of their community for the better through the efforts of volunteerism and the vision of Recreation to better serve the citizens of Henry County.
Charles Bledsoe served as Director for the Henry County Parks and Recreation for 27 years. During his time as director, he developed the oldest county property into a passive park and developed a landfill into a softball complex. He supervised the construction of 21 tennis courts, 62 baseball/softball fields, 12 field soccer complex, 18 picnic pavilions, 6 outdoor basketball courts, 14 paved walking tracks, 13 playgrounds, and 3 activity buildings. Mr. Bledsoe established the first youth basketball program in 1976. He also formed Special Olympics in 1987. He later formed the Therapeutic Recreation Program in 1997.
Richard Craig was involved in the McDonough Youth Association and coached all youth ages. He has played, coached and umpired in adult ball for many years. Richard served as Chairman of the Recreation Board and officer of the McDonough Youth Association. He was also one of the small groups that brought the YMCA to Henry County. Richard helped develop Alexander Park, Craig Field and the Henry County High School baseball field. He also had a hand in the First Sunshine Field for handicap athletes. Richard started the McDonough Umpire Association in 1992 which is still strong and is now known as South Metro Umpire Association.
Mrs. Sandy Craig assisted in a variety of office for the Ola Athletic Association from 1979 to 1985. She was also president of Henry County Special Olympics from 1976 to 1992. Mrs. Craig implemented the Summer Day Camp Nutrition program, Senior Services Program and the Transit Program. In December of 2001, she opened the Heritage Senior Center and the Hidden Valley Senior Center. Mrs. Craig also served as the Assistant Director of Henry County Parks and Recreation in 1985. She was the second employee in the Department.
Aaron Head played a big part in the development of many of the Athletic fields in Henry County Parks. Aaron has also done a lot of work at just about every playing field in the County, starting with the grading of the park in Locust Grove 25 years ago. In 2005, a new four-field baseball complex at Richard Craig Park was dedicated to Mr. Head.
Frank Craig is known as a dedicated, spirited workaholic when it comes to ball. Frank was Ola Athletic Association President from 1977-1985. During that time he built the North Ola Complex, starting with 2 ball fields. Frank also started youth basketball for Henry County Parks and Recreation. Frank served as president of the Henry County Youth Baseball and Softball Board, and was instrumental in separating them into different boards. He served on the State AABC board and introduced AABC Baseball to county Youth Associations. Frank has been involved with bringing many tournaments to Henry County.
David Mayo loved baseball and started playing at the age of 13. David played for many years and started coaching in Ola during the time that Ola Athletic Association was started. During his many years of coaching he coached boy’s baseball and girl’s softball.
Warren Holder played Little League and Pony League baseball in Ola. He played recreational softball in Church and Open leagues in Henry County. In 1971 He was elected to the Locust Grove City Council. During his 17 years of service he held various positions including, Chairman of Parks and Recreation. Warren Holder Park was dedicated to him on November 14, 1988.
Bill Orr was the Director of the Summer Recreation Program for the City of Hampton from 1959-1966. He helped get Little League Baseball started in Henry County and coached little league for about 3 years. Mr. Orr was the founding member of Hampton Youth Club and was president of the association for about 2 years. He also coached 6th and 8th grade sports at Hampton Elementary from 1957-1968.
R.W. Coley coached Little League and AABC Baseball in Hampton for 17 years, and Football for about 9 years. He was very involved in the Hampton Youth Club for about 14 years, and during this time he acted as the clubs purchasing agent. Mr. Coley was also the District 2 representative for the Henry County Recreation Board for 7 years.
Bill Savage was elected President in 1974 of Stockbridge Athletics where he served for 3 years. In 1977 he was elected to the state board of The American Amateur Baseball Association. In 1980 he was elected President and in 1982 appointed as National V.P of the AABC, he resided in that position until 2003. Mr. Savage was the President of the North Henry Athletic Association from 1986-1991, and was Board Chairman for Henry County Parks and Recreation for several years.
James Moore was one of the founders of the Henry County Umpires Association. He acted as a booking agent for 10 years, during that time he worked with the Henry County Recreation Department scheduling umpires for youth and adult sports in the county. Mr. Moor umpired Little League Baseball from 1974-1977 and refereed youth and adult basketball for over 20 years. Over his involvement of over 25 years he umpired and refereed over 2500 games.
Harold Dodgen (Deceased)
Harold Dodgen’s involvement with Recreation began in the early 1970’s. He acted as President of the Hampton Youth Club from 1971-1977. Mr. Dodgen was also a Parks and Recreation board member from 1976-1981.
Reynolds Houston (Deceased)
Reynolds Houston was President of the Fairview Baseball Association in 1979 and in the early 1980’s, he was Chairman of the Henry County Baseball Association.
Buster Jeffares (Deceased)
Buster Jeffares loved playing baseball. He started playing with the Ola men’s amateur baseball league at the age of 14. During the 1950’s, Buster began teaching the basics of baseball to a group of young boys. About a year later, Buster organized this group into the first Little League Baseball team in Henry County. Buster coached this team until 1965. In 1976, Buster sponsored and coached most of the same little leaguers in the Men’s Softball League that was formed in Henry County.
Jake Lindsey (Deceased)
Jake Lindsey loved the sport of baseball. Mr. Lindsey coached Little League and Pony League baseball in Ola for 5 years. After his years in Ola, Mr. Lindsey was instrumental in the development of Locust Grove’s first baseball field in the front lawn of the municipal building. He and his fellow merchants purchased the lights for the field and he helped start the recreational baseball league in his home town of Locust Grove.
Lawrence Turner (Deceased)
Lawrence Turner is thought of as the first Director for Recreation from the early 1930’s up to the Second World War. Mr. Turner fielded many great teams during that time and made it his business to form and provide a baseball field on The Gin House property. He provided uniforms, bats and balls for his teams. Mr. Turner loved the game and his players and he was the one that made it possible for the community and surrounding counties to attend games every Saturday at the Ola Field.
Carlos Ray (Deceased)
Carlos Ray devoted many years to recreation. He was grass mower, field keeper, concession worker, scorekeeper, umpire, committee member, and financer. He coached baseball, football and basketball. Carlos was a tough coach/mentor yet a loving member of the Hampton Youth Club. Carlos Ray was one of the legendary coaches that kids came from surrounding counties to play under.
Special Recognition - 2008
- Bellamy Brothers
- Bill Smith
- Franklin Rape and Family
- Hugh Craig
- Lewis Turner
- Snapping shoals EMC
- Ola Ball Team