The job of a recreation department director can be tough.
Dealing with parents, coaches and commissioners is a full-time job in itself. But when you’re the director in a small growing county and you have a staff of only two people, the job becomes huge.
The director often finds himself painting stripes on a field, issuing equipment to teams or doing one of the many jobs that are assigned to employees in larger departments.
That’s what Henry Strickland faces in Long County.
Strickland became Long County’s Recreation Department director three years ago and has made changes he hopes help accommodate the community’s growth. Recently he added another feather to his hat, filling as a coach on the 10 and under all-star baseball team.
Strickland wasn’t the only employee to help with the all-star program. Department assistant Branden McManus pulled out a whistle to coach the 8 and under team.
Eric Little, who has sons on both teams, Larson on the 8 and under and Landon on the 10 and under, said the department employees taking the time to coach, while still doing all of their other duties, put the youth first.
“I think that these two, coaching our teams, is great. And it’s a testament to how much they care about the boys,” Little said. “And as for how Henry coaches, I love it. He told the players and the parents exactly how it was going to be right out of the gate, and he’s tough on the boys, and I like that.”
Both teams have been practicing for two weeks, and have begun playing other all-star teams to prepare for the playoffs.
The Georgia Recreation Parks Association tournament will take place on June 24 in Hazlehurst.