‘Guns’ squad focusing on play, not patter

Published 3:05 pm Friday, January 8, 2010

Community Editor

With consecutive losses to the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS-Inspections Department in the yearly Guns vs. Hoses charity basketball game, members of the Washington Police Department are inclined to let their play speak for itself this year.
“We’ve talked trash in the past, and it hasn’t worked,” said Detective Isaac Barrett, captain of the “Guns” squad. “We’ll save that for the night of the game.”
The third-annual charity basketball game, formerly called Blue Lights vs. Red Lights, will tip off at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 inside Washington High School’s gymnasium.
Admission to the event is free, but donations to Eagle’s Wings will be accepted and will be greatly appreciated, said Debbie Adams, the food pantry’s executive director.
Eagle’s Wings is, in essence, starting a sponsorship drive for the event to increase donations to the food pantry. It is asking that individuals and businesses sponsor the life-protecting agency of their choice.
Adams said the drive will be conducted in the same spirit as Dancing With OUR Stars, in which performers competed with one another to raise the most money for the food pantry. The team that pulls in the most donations for Eagle’s Wings will be declared the winner of the drive and will be recognized following the Guns vs. Hoses game.
Barrett said he would be “satisfied” with his squad winning the sponsorship drive.
“We’re more concerned about bringing in charitable money,” he said, adding that winning the game would be nice, too.
To field a formidable team, Barrett has enlisted the help of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, district attorney’s office and clerk of Superior Court’s office.
Deputies Artis Williams and Josh Shiflett, assistant district attorneys Matt Rice and Chad Stoop, Clerk of Court Marty Paramore and Magistrate Donald Sadler will join the “Guns” on the court.
“We were low on members as far as participation,” Barrett said. “A lot of (officers) are hurt or have some kind of ailment.”
The squad is rounded out by detectives Jerry Davis and Jesse Dickinson and patrolmen Aaron Mobley, Corey Rogerson, Carl Smith and Donald Clodfelter.
The “Guns” will be going up against an almost all-firefighter/EMT “Hoses” team coached by Jeffery White, a former basketball referee and retired department captain.
The “Hoses” are led by stalwart firefighter/EMTs Otis Harrell and Brian Lilley in the middle. Fellow firefighter/EMTs Josh Ingram, Allen McCutcheon, Chris Brock, Johnny Williams, Doug Bissette, Ted Day, Chris Deans, Mike Jones, Jonathan Hardin, Jeremy Wetherington and Brad Jackson, as well as Fitness Unlimited owner Austin Thomas, round out the team.
Harrell, who paced the “Hoses” in scoring a year ago, said his team is “just going to go out there and have fun.”
“And go for a repeat championship,” added the former WDN Player of the Year (in basketball).
When asked if he had any words of warning for the “Guns” team, Lilley said, “I’ll let them talk all the junk.”
Which, it seems, the “Guns” are hesitant to do.
“The last two years, they’ve pretty much whooped up on us,” Barrett said, including a 57-48 drubbing last year.