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West Point opens new park, hosts family day

West Point-area residents socialize under a pavilion during a family field day event Friday at the new John D. Hoggs Park in West Point. The late Hoggs was a sports coach at West Point High School and a city council member.
Princess Maddox, 11, of West Point, tosses a football during a game at family field day event Friday at the new John D. Hoggs Park in West Point. The late Hoggs was a sports coach at West Point High School and a city council member.
West Point-area residents cool off in water sprayed from a fire truck Friday during a family field day event at the new John D. Hoggs Park in West Point. The late Hoggs was a sports coach at West Point High School and a city council member.
Jadien Phillips, 11, of Valley, Alabama, races through an inflatable obstacle Friday at the newly opened John D. Hoggs Park in West Point. The late Hoggs was a sports coach at West Point High School and a city council member.
Children eat sack lunches and socialize under a pavilion during a family field day event Friday at the new John D. Hoggs Park in West Point. The late Hoggs was a sports coach at West Point High School and a city council member.

Friends and family members of the late John C. Hoggs, a beloved West Point High School coach and city council member, gathered Friday in West Point to name a new park in his honor.

The new park, near the corner of Avenue C and 10th Street, was named in Hoggs’ memory for his years of dedicated service at WPHS and on the city council and West Point Housing Authority, according to a press release from the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce.

To celebrate the occasion, the city held a family field day with inflatable obstacles, games and even a fire truck set up to shower water for youngsters to play and cool off.

Constance Perry, a native of West Point and graduate of WPHS, drove nearly 100 miles from her new home in Prattville, Alabama, to attend the naming ceremony and field day.

“It’s important for us to remember Coach Hoggs and I just think this is wonderful,” Perry said. “I feel like his spirit is here. He would have loved this.”

Perry, whom Hoggs coached in track and field, commended the city for taking the initiative to name the park after the long-time community leader.

“I’d like to thank the city of West Point for putting on this occasion,” she said. “I’m glad the city recognized him like this and gave the park his name.”

Sara Thompson, West Point’s city planner, gave all the credit to the residents of West Point, though.

“This play field was something the citizens asked for and we provided,” she said. “We’re excited that this is something they wanted and we were able to give.”

Because West Point’s population is relatively small, Thompson said, the park will affect a larger percentage of the population and that’s something she’s happy about, she said.

Roughly 100 people attended the family field day, and the city provided sack lunches and refreshments for attendees. City staff set up games for children and offered candy as prizes.

Thompson even competed in a one-on-one tug of war with a local child.

The new park has been landscaped with trees, shrubbery and pine straw for aesthetic appeal. It also includes a pavilion and wooden fence surrounding the play field.

The LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce sponsored a ribbon cutting Friday morning to officially dedicate and open the park.