Briarcliff community sports hosting reunion


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Players and coaches who participated in Briarcliff Community Sports will reminisce about the old days at the annual Briarcliff Community Sports Reunion June 21.

The 3rd annual reunion will take place at Mason Mill Park in Decatur from noon to 5 p.m. The reunion is for former players and coaches who participated in baseball, football and softball at Briarcliff Community Sports before the organization dissolved in the 2000s.

“We’re just a bunch of old folks trying to get together and reminisce,” said Joe Willingham, who was active in the organization from 1962 to 1974.

Briarcliff Community Sports was established in the early 1960s. Willingham joined the organization when his son was 8-years-old and stayed as a coach until 1974. He said at the time there were only two fields to play on: behind Kittredge Elementary and at Thompson Park on Mason Mill Road.

When the children got older, Willingham said they realized they needed to have a place in the area for the “13, 14 and 15-year-old kids to play.”

“I was president at the time and I found out you can get park and recreation money from federal sources to develop things,” Willingham said. “So I went to Brince Manning Sr., the [DeKalb] commissioner at the time, and we applied for and got money to build at Mason Mill Park. We built a tennis center and two baseball fields.”

After the organization dissolved, due to the lack of children in the area, the baseball fields close, and Mason Mill Park became a recreation center and the DeKalb Tennis Center. Although Briarcliff Community Sports is no longer in existence, Willingham said the organization was good for everyone in the community.

“I’ve always enjoyed it and the kids did too,” he said. “A lot of the kids went on to play sports at [Briarcliff] High School.”

Reunion attendees can bring food to the event. For more information on the reunion, search Briarcliff Community Sports on

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