Friday afternoon, the Graceville community, past and present baseball players and Graceville alumni gathered to commemorate the first inductees into the Baseball Wall of Fame.
Good Evening. My name is Leroy Barkley and I am the head baseball coach here at Graceville High School. I want to talk briefly about a man who supported Graceville High School Athletics like no other. The late Mr. Kim Miller. I had the honor of playing ball with Kim from 1974 -1976. He was a hardworking dedicated team player, who was always there for his teammates. His dedication to the team continued on after he graduated in 1978. When his son Travis became a player here Kim could be found just about anywhere. Whether it was cooking, working on the field, or just cheering on the team Kim was always right there. Today the Graceville High School Baseball Program honors his memory by dedicating our dugout to him and naming it the Kim Miller dugout. To his parents Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Miller, his wife, Charlene, his children, Travis and Lyndsey, and his brothers and sister thank you for sharing him with us. They are Ricky, Terrel, Brent, Chad and sister Leah
Carmileta Barkely introduced the 2019 inductees into the Graceville High School’s Baseball Wall of Fame beginning with Mr. Sonny Campbell.
Mr. Sonny Campbell
Mr. Campbell graduated from Graceville High School in 1964 where he lettered in baseball for 5 years. After high school he went on to play baseball at Gulf Coast Jr. College for 2 years. Once he graduated from Gulf Coast, he continued playing ball. This time, however, he played fast pitch softball while in the military both stateside and in Southeast Asia after joining the US Air Force and serving in Vietnam. Mr. Campbell came full circle and was head football and baseball coach here at Graceville High School for 6 years. Within those 6 years, not only did he lead his team to 2 District Championships victories, he was also awarded Panhandle Coach of the Year in Baseball and Football between the years of 1983 and 1985. For those of us who are bad at math, that’s 3 consecutive years he was named Panhandle Coach of the Year. Sonny is married to the former Lila Gordy and has 3 beautiful daughters, Janna, Joli, and Kara.
Mr. Edward “Tony” Wesley
Mr. Wesley graduated from Graceville High School in 1972. He was a 4-year starter in baseball and basketball. In his Senior year his batting average was 583. Upon graduation, Mr. Wesley went to Ft. Lauderdale, FI and played on the winter league for the Philadelphia Phillies. He attended Chipola Junior College, where he received his certification for Emergency Technician and attended Florida Firefighters College to become a firefighter. He was employed with Jackson County Fire and Rescue for 25 years with positions ranging from Lt. to Capt. In 2006 he became Fire Chief and remained in that position until retirement in December 2013. Mr. Wesley is now employed as the CEO of Wesley Farms at the Stateline and holds multiple community seats, the most important title he holds is the title for World’s Greatest Grandpa/driver/babysitter/fishing instructor/bank and so much more.
Mr. Jamie Cassady
Mr. Cassady graduated from Graceville High School in 1985 and signed with Enterprise State Junior College. While there he received the Hustler award. In 1990 he signed to Auburn University at Montgomery. His team went on to compete for the national championship and Jamie was chosen to be a part of the All World Series Team. After graduating from Auburn, he became the assistant baseball coach at Griffin High School. 2 years later he was promoted to head coach. In the summer of 2005 Jamie was named assistant coach of the German National Baseball team. His team finished 4th in the European championship. He is now the assistant superintendent in Bibbs County, GA.
Mr. Woody Richardson
Mr. Richardson graduated from Graceville High School 1976. He was First Team All-County, and All Holmes Valley Conference in both 1975 and 76. He was First Team All-State in 1976. He holds the highest pitching average at Graceville High School with 25 wins and one lost. Woody graduated from Auburn University in 1980. He then completed an MBA and PhD in Management at the University of Arkansas. In 1989 he married Lynne Davis and began a 12-year tenure at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Since then he has taught at Ball State, Mississippi State, Shenandoah, and the University of Mary Washington (UMV). During his career he authored over 75 publications and collected three teaching awards. Woody and Lynne are the parents of three college graduates, Davis, Wheeler, and McKay. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and supporting UMW student athletes. He is planning to retire in May 2020. His current hobby is searching for his and Lynne’s retirement home.
Mr. Leroy Barkley
Mr. Barkley graduated from Graceville High School in 1976. His senior year he batted 612. He signed with George C. Wallace Community College right out of high school and was the first baseball player at Graceville High School to ever receive a baseball scholarship. In 1977 he led the nation in batting with a 487 average and won the Big Stick award. He made All State and All American that year. The following year he led the state in batting with a 458-average coming in 4th in the nation for batting that year. He made All Conference that year and once again made All State and All American. Leroy went on to become the leading batter in Wallace history with a 471 average, a record he still holds to this day. In 1978, 2 years after signing with Wallace, his college jersey #20 was retired and taken out of circulation. Leroy is married to the beautiful Rachel Barkley and has 5 equally beautiful children. Nicholas, Tracy, Cameran, Carmelita, and Niyah. He is currently the head baseball coach here at Graceville High School. His hobbies include making old man noises, losing the glasses that are on his head, and going to bed before 8 o’clock.
Congratulations to these fine men from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times.