The Hagerstown Police Department got stung during a Friday afternoon kickball match with the swarming Bees of Winter Street Elementary School.
Although the score wasn’t kept, the Bees seemed to mark up points at will — sometimes with the help of police officers who carried their half-pint opponents across home plate.
“I think they were better than last year,” fifth-grader Kaytie Banzhoff said of the police squad. “I think me and my team are going to do good. We have really good kickers and fast runners.”
Teacher Jennifer Redding, coordinator of the Hagerstown school’s Positive Behavior Intervention Support program, said not all of the students got a chance to play.
She said the Winter Street team was comprised of students from kindergarten through the fifth grade who exhibited good behavior throughout the year.
“The students are on the team as a type of reward,” said Redding, noting it was the fourth consecutive year the game has been played. “They were recognized by their teachers as truly following the rules of being respectful, responsible, safe and prepared at Winter Street. These are the things we desire from our students regarding behavior.”
The students who didn’t play in the game lined the field on the playground and cheered for their classmates and the police. Some held up signs that read: “Winter Street Rocks,” Go Winter Street Kids” and “Let’s Go Police.”
Fifth-grader Saravina Brown made the team this year after sitting out the game in 2011.
“I worked hard to do my homework and to bring in the stuff I needed,” she said. “I finally got to play kickball. I’ve been here since the second grade and never had a chance to do it until now.”
Third-graders Skyler Chaney, Jose Rodriguez and Krystlynn Wysling said they liked the event because it gave them a chance to get out of the classroom.
“I just like being outside. It’s a nice cool day,” Krystlynn said.
“It’s a fun day,” Jose said. “We get to play kickball. Some people like kickball.”
The officers came out on their day off to participate in Friday’s game. They purposely dropped fly balls, flubbed grounders and missed throwing out their tiny targets to prolong the game so everyone would get a chance to play.
Officer Tim Rossiter, a 22-year veteran on the force, said the game is a fun way to interact with the students.
He said he wanted to play in the game last year but had an overtime assignment.
“It’s to show them that police are regular people,” Rossiter said. “They usually only see us in uniform. It’s nice to show them we’re regular guys and can be just as goofy as they can.”