Russell Henley spent a lot of time at Stratford’s gymnasium during his time as a student and athlete with the Eagles.
He was back at the Grady Smith Gymnasium on Wednesday to be inducted into the Stratford Athletic Hall of Fame.
“It’s good to see some familiar faces. I miss this place,” said Henley, a 2007 Stratford graduate. “Walking into the gym, I miss the smell, and it brings back a lot of memories, a lot of great ones, some sad ones, and I’m happy to be back.”
Henley just wrapped up his fifth full season on the PGA Tour, and he said he thinks it was his best yet. Henley earned his third career win at the Houston Open in April and had five top-10 finishes with 22 cuts made in 27 events. He finished third in the Tour Championship on Sunday to end up 13th in the FedEx Cup standings.
Henley made the cut in all four majors, finishing tied for 11th at the Masters, tied for 27th at the U.S. Open, tied for 37th at the British Opena and tied for 71st at the PGA Championship. He also finished tied for 35th at The Players Championship.
“I think in golf, you always want a little more, and that’s what has kept me improving. I see a lot of areas in my game that I can keep getting better at and that I’m constantly getting better at, really believing in myself,” Henley said. “This year was really good. It was a nice end to the season for me, and I think as a golfer you always want to be a little more consistent. So overall, if you’d asked me at the start of the year, ‘Would you take a win, play all four majors, play well in the Masters, third in the Tour Championship and 13th in the FedEx?’ ... I would have said sure.”
Also Wednesday, the school dedicated the John Paul Gaddy Gymnasium. Gaddy, who was Stratford’s boys basketball head coach from 2005 to 2010 and the girls head coach from 1991 to 1995 and 2000 to 2003, graduated from 1985 and was inducted into the Stratford Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.
Gaddy, who served as the school’s director of admissions until his death, won two state titles and five region titles.