COLUMN: John Henry left behind great memories

By TOM WILLIAMS

If you were there on that Saturday in October of 1965 you will never forget what you saw.

If you weren’t, let’s see if words can describe what happened.

Ocean City High School defeated Hammonton, 50-20. Junior John Henry set the stage by scoring five times in the first half. The first was from 62 yards away. Then, in quick succession, he scored from nine, 55, 62 and 64 yards. He also caught a pass from Bob Glaspey that he turned into a 53-yard gain, though he was tackled on the 19-yard line.

It was one of the most spectacular performances in Ocean City football history.

In Ocean City’s first win of that season, 12-6 over Lower Cape May, Henry scored the two Ocean City TDs on runs of 89 and 82 yards. He would finish his career with 956 rushing yards, fourth best in school history at the time.

In case the fact escapes you, John Henry, who died in his sleep today at age 70, was fast.

In the spring, he broke a 16-year old school record in the 100-yard dash that lasted for 20 years and he was part of a relay team that set another school record.

After the 1999-2000 school year ended, All-Century teams were selected for Ocean City High School. There were only 17 male athletes who were named to OCHS All-Century teams in two different sports. John Henry was one of them – joining athletes like Fenton Carey, Archie Harris, Joe Kennedy, Scott Lipford, Bob McAllister and Joe Myers on the list.

But his contributions to the community went far beyond his success in sports and continued after he finished high school.

He was a gentle, unassuming man whose relatives competed successfully in sports for a couple more generations. He loved to ride around town on that over-sized three-wheeler. And he did his part to reduce the fish population in the area.

John Henry was the type of person, and the kind of athlete, you will always remember.

7 thoughts on “COLUMN: John Henry left behind great memories

  1. O John Henry ,my friend of a long time ago ,we competed against one another and as a team .i have never forgotten those good times in high school that we had .lve always ask how you were doin and got a response He’s fishing I would laugh and say is there any fish left..,,,,,my nick name to John was (snapper) had to do with gym class and pool basketball Not sure if John could swim but I yelled there’s a snapping turtle in the pool you couldn’t blink fast enough and pool was empty ..
    So to my friend John Henry God bless you and rest easy
    Joe DeAugustine
    Roady

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  2. Thank you for the kind words about my father, who said to me, “he tapped into the postive energies of the world and such helped him, run like the wind”.. Stay postive and the energies will bless you ……………. RH Henry Sr

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  3. John was truly a man of integrity, who loved his sons with all his heart! We have been friends/family for 55 years! I miss my good friend. Love to my 5 nephews & the entire Henry family! Aunt Debbe

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  4. I have lost the last of my Uncles, and my dad is the only brother left. RIP Uncle John, I will miss your calls, and you never pronouncing name correctly always made me laugh. Hug my Mommy for me please. Sleep easy. Love your niece, Mitzi

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