A titanic struggle will unfold Friday morning when the Highland County Wildcats take on the Highland County Sheriff’s Office in a basketball game scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Highland County YMCA.
The event is free and is being held in recognition of the Highland County Board of DD – home of the Wildcats – and March being Developmental Disability Awareness Month.
The Wildcats come into the game at 9-2 on the season, while the HCSO Deputies are undefeated (although this will be their first game).
“We hope they show up. We’re concerned because we’re not saving any donuts,” said Kraig Walker, Community First Director, Highland Board of DD, joked.
Sheriff Donnie Barrera laughed at that comment and responded, “I guess we’ll have to get there early and take away their donuts. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I just hope they have the oxygen tanks and AED machines ready for us.”
Walker said the idea for the game came from Nathan Boatman, the Wildcats’ coach.
“Our job is to connect all our individuals with the community and Nathan came up with a idea that we thought would be a good way to do that,” Walker said.
The Wildcats are well aware of who they are playing.
“They’re excited,” Walker said. “They’re looking forward to it. The Highland County Sheriff’s Office has such a good relationship in our school anyway with DARE and other things they do. It excited our team to hear that somebody else wanted to play them.”
Barrera said a similar event has been held in Adams County in recent years and that it plays to a packed gym. He said the DD team beat the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in their most recent contest and that one of the DD kids dropped 47 points on the deputies.
The sheriff said that after the game the deputies and Wildcats will enjoy pizza together.
Walker said fans are encouraged to wear blue in support of the Wildcats.
“We just want to extend everyone an invitation to come out and have a good time with us,” Walker said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.