The Fairfax County Park Authority Board’s Park Operations Committee has recommended that four park facilities be named in honor of individuals who have made significant contributions to sports in Fairfax County. The full Park Board will vote on the proposals at its Oct. 14 meeting.
The committee recommended naming Soccer Field # 4 at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in honor of Jeff Stein, a longtime advocate for youth sports, a member of the Fairfax County Athletic Council since 2001, and an officer and commissioner for the Southwestern Youth Association (SYA). He created the Fairfax Over 50 Soccer League, coached youth soccer for over 20 years, and served as a soccer referee for more than a decade.
The committee also recommended naming Field #6 at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in honor of Gary Flather, president of the Southwestern Youth Association, a post he has held for more than two decades. Flather was instrumental in the merging of SYA Little League and the Church League T-ball program. He created and became commissioner of SYA Travel Baseball in 2000 and still coaches Little League Baseball today.
The committee also recommended naming the Sand Volleyball Complex at Burke Lake Park in honor of David Lacey, the Sully District representative on the Fairfax County Athletic Council for nearly a quarter century, as well as a leader and active volunteer with the Southwestern Youth Association. Lacey created Southwestern Youth Volleyball in 1997 and has been its commissioner on the SYA Board since that time. He was instrumental in the completion of this facility by Fairfax Adult Volleyball Council.
The committee also recommended that rectangular synthetic turf field #1 at Sully Highlands Park be named in honor of Ralph Wills, a community leader and advocate for youth athletics, a member of the Chantilly Youth Association since 1984, and its president since 1999. Over the years Wills has coached soccer and softball teams for youth and adult leagues, as well as playing on a variety of teams. He has served as a sports facility coordinator since the mid-1960s.