Police and fire department softball teams from around North Texas came together to battle it out, and after nearly 12 hours one came out on top.
On Oct. 21, the Lewisville Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association hosted the 15th Battle of the Badges at Lone Star Toyota of Lewisville Railroad Park.
Arlington Metro Fire Department won the 15th Battle of the Badges tournament. In the grudge match between the Lewisville Police Department and Lewisville Fire Department, the fire department came out on top.
“Our team played great, and we came out swinging against our police department,” said Lewisville firefighter Billy McWhorter Jr. “We had fun, and hopefully can start playing more games together.”
LPD Det. Asa Hinson said a lack of practice partially led to the department’s loss.
“We didn’t play up to our standards, and it was evident in the first game,” Hinson said.
Hinson was named the police MVP, and Ryan Cortez was named the fire MVP.
“I got on base twice, but I didn’t do anything significant,” Hinson said. “The fact that the team voted for me because of all I’ve done, I feel it’s a sign of respect that they recognize all I do for our team.”
In an effort to have a true Battle of the Badges championship game, there was a police bracket and a fire department bracket.
LPD went on to advance to the final game in the police bracket against the Flower Mound Police Department. After back-to-back games, Flower Mound won the police tournament and earned the right to play in the championship game.
“Once we found our groove I thought we played pretty well,” Hinson said. “We did really well in the police bracket. We played five games, and we’ve only done that one other time.”
McWhorter said Cortez was chosen MVP because he had some great at-bats during the grudge match and the rest of the tournament.
“He had some big hits with runners on base,” McWhorter said. “He also had some great catches in the outfield too.”
McWhorter said the most enjoyable part of the day is seeing friends from the other departments and hanging out with co-workers outside of work.
“It’s always fun to get to play my dad’s team and the guys I have known since I was a kid,” McWhorter said.
Billy McWhorter Sr. is a Flower Mound firefighter and member of their softball team.
Flower Mound was also represented by their police department.
“I think our team played great this year,” said Justin LoBello, Flower Mound police officer. “We lost our first game 12-11 and battled back to win four straight games to win the police side of the bracket.”
Carrollton returned to the tournament with three teams – two from the fire department and one from the police department.
“I feel like our team played well this year, and I’m proud of the dedication they put into every game,” said Justin Haisten, Carrollton firefighter. “We fought hard against some good teams and lost a couple of really close games.”
Haisten said the best part of the day for him was seeing people from other departments that they don’t get to see very often.
Danny Stoner, Carrollton police officer, said he felt that his team played better this year partly because they didn’t have to face Carrollton Fire Department in the first round.
“We enjoyed the separate brackets,” Stoner said. “It was nice to play other police teams, and I felt the games were closer.”
The tournament was a fundraiser for the LCPAAA and the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County. It raised more than $6,500.