Many people around the state probably don't know that Harlem is the birthplace of Oliver Hardy.
Harlem High School football coach Jimmie Lewis and former Bulldog Hardy King hold up a framed copy of King's retired jersey during halftime of a Harlem football game in October.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
But every high school sports fan knows that Harlem is the home of one of the great baseball programs in Georgia.
Harlem enjoyed another strong baseball season in 2005, with the Bulldogs reaching the 20-win plateau and making it to the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs.
The Bulldogs were led on the field by Rusty James, Mike Morris, Barrett Davis and Matt Lewis. Legendary coach Jimmie Lewis built his team around a senior nucleus that posted wins over Evans and Lakeside.
The Bulldogs beat Crisp County on the road in the first round of the playoffs but couldn't beat defending state champion LaGrange in the second round.
Perhaps the biggest event surrounding the Bulldogs and Harlem sports was the April 26 win over Evans, which earned Lewis his 500th victory. He joined Terry Holder and Gerald Barnes as the lone area members of the 500-win club.
That wasn't the only Harlem honor handed out during the year.
A few months earlier, Lewis joined former Harlem running back Hardy King on the field during halftime of the Bulldogs' game vs. Glenn Hills to retire King's jersey.
Jeremy Larson was named The Augusta Chronicle's From the Huddle Player of the Week during a tough season for the Harlem Bulldogs.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
An eighth-grade player for the Bulldogs in their first season in 1957, King rushed for 1,800 yards in his senior year.
Current Harlem players also fared well during the season.
The girls basketball team, led by April Woodard, came within one win of making the state playoffs, losing in the Region 3-AAA playoffs to Cross Creek. The team still finished with the most wins by a girls team since the late '90s.
Both girls and boys basketball teams beat Lakeside in the consolation round of the Columbia County Christmas Tournament. It was the first wins in school history at the tournament.
Harlem made the state sectionals in softball and was led by catcher Amber Klein. Klein was named All-State first team after hitting .370 with four home runs and will play softball for Brevard College.
The girls soccer team had another strong season, making it to the second round of the playoffs before losing to fifth-ranked Columbus. The Bulldogs will be strong next season, with every key player returning.
Harlem pitcher Lauren Seaborn delivers a pitch in a game against Greenbrier. Harlem made it to the state sectionals in softball.
Photo by Jonathan Heeter
The boys soccer team came up short of making the playoffs but will return one the best players in the county, Tyrell Dyson, next season.
Harlem's cheerleading team made the state playoffs, and the volleyball team came up just shy of the playoffs.
Troy Moore (tennis) and Scott Lord (golf) had outstanding individual campaigns for the Bulldogs.
Harlem's April Woodard was one of the county's top players, leading the team to within one win of making the state playoffs.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
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