Rivalry highlights charity game

Published 7:36 pm Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Staff Writer

A long-standing, if good-natured, rivalry will play out on the court at 7 p.m. Jan. 29 during the fourth-annual Guns &Hoses basketball game at Washington High School.
The game pits the Washington Police Department’s team, the Guns, against the Washington firefighters’ team, the Hoses, in a charitable showdown that’s become a local tradition.
The proceeds raised by these two teams, and through donations at the door, go to Eagle’s Wings, a food pantry in Washington.
Last year, the Hoses’ two-game winning streak was broken as the Guns emerged victorious for the first time in the event’s history.
No doubt, the Hoses hope to avenge last year’s loss.
Despite the heat behind this competition, fire Chief Robbie Rose declined to forecast an outcome.
“I can’t ever tell,” Rose said. “Those guys surprised us last year. We’re going to go out there heads up. We’re not going to take it for granted.”
Police Chief Mick Reed indicated the game pits two natural allies against one another in a battle that’s fun for the fans and the players.
“One of the really fun things is that even though we’re all in emergency services, you’ve got firefighters who are very dedicated to the fire profession, you’ve got police officers who are very dedicated to law enforcement,” Reed said. “We always work as a team.”
The Guns team is captained by Isaak Barrett, an investigator with the police department.
The Hoses team is captained by Otis Harrell, a firefighter/emergency medical technician, and Brian Lilley, an engineer with the fire department.
Rose predicts the Hoses will have around seven to nine members, perhaps more, while Reed expects the Guns to number about 15.
Both chiefs declined to contribute any “trash talk” to the proceedings.
“I better not issue any challenges,” Rose said. “Sometimes you might have to eat your words in those situations.”
“I learned better than that a long time ago,” Reed said.
Admission to the game is free, but attendees may bring monetary donations or contribute canned goods or other nonperishable items, related Sally Love, executive director of Eagle’s Wings.
“We do make a little bit of money on it, but because we’re not charging admission it’s more of a thank-you to the community for supporting us throughout the year,” Love commented.
For more information, call Eagle’s Wings at 252-975-1138.