NOLANVILLE — When the Nolanville Police Department and Bell County Fire and Rescue stepped onto the softball field at the Nolanville Community Park Saturday morning, they had a score to settle.
The annual Guns and Hoses softball game, in its third year, pits police officers against firefighters for bragging rights. Going into the game, both teams had a win under their belts and this match up would break the tie.
“There was very little smack-talking going into the game, just lots of stare-downs in the parking lot,” Police Chief Gary Kent said. “We see each other a lot on emergency calls so it’s good to be out here with our fire brothers and sisters outside of work. This game really helps to strengthen the bond between the two departments.”
At their first at bat, the firefighters scored four runs, but the police officers were more than ready to step up to the plate.
They may have been outnumbered in terms of their roster, but they weren’t outgunned when it came to heart.
A grand slam, courtesy of Jay Henry, of the Nolanville Public Works Department, and another home run from City Manager Stephen Pearl gave the police officers a solid lead and a momentum the fire department couldn’t defend against.
With the “no mercy” rule in affect, the police department showed up to win and they took home the “W” with a score of 38-6.
“People usually see us on the worst day of their lives,” Fire Chief Jason Worsdale said. “This game allows us to show the community that we are human, too, and we get to blow off some steam at the same time.”
Kent said the matchup was created to help both sets of first responders take a break from their daily calls and take out their aggression on the ball field. “I bet a lot of people are going to come in on Monday with a lot of aches and pains,” said Yvonne Frate, Nolanville resident and game spectator. “I think this game is a lot of fun because you get to see them in a different light and it’s a good community builder.”
Now that the police department has the victory, Kent said he plans to keep up the annual tradition.
“We both see so much devastation in our line of work that it’s nice to have a change of pace where we can kick-back, relax and have some fun,” he said. “Our strength here in Nolanville is our sense of unity. This game is another way for us to get together outside of law enforcement to bond with one another and get to know our neighbors better.”