(Walhalla, SC)--------------------------------------On Sunday afternoon, May 22nd, a team from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office played a baseball doubleheader, at Sertoma Field in Walhalla, against the Angels.
No, this was not against the Major League Baseball Team known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but an athletic team known as The Angels from right here in Oconee County.
The process of scheduling these games occurred in April, when Sgt. Nina Mckee of the Sheriff’s Office received an e-mail from a friend named Amy Conrad, who is a Special Education Teacher with the School District of Oconee County. Amy is the head coach of The Angels, which is a co-ed program that serves individuals with special needs. The Angels has both a baseball and a basketball team.
“The Angels are housed through the Walhalla Recreation Department but the team is open to players from all over Oconee County, beginning at middle school age,” according to Amy. “The Angels play non-disabled recreation and school teams, youth groups and organizations interested in forming a team to play us. The team’s coaches and volunteers all have a passion for working with individuals with special needs and we all truly love spending Sundays with the Angels. Any opponent we play shares in that joy as well and on behalf of the team, we want to extend our thanks to the Sheriff’s Office and everyone from the agency that came out to play with us. My players truly had an awesome time!”
Amy spoke with Sgt. McKee to request two pickup baseball games with the Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. McKee sent an e-mail out throughout the agency and Nina was overjoyed with the response she received from those who wanted to participate, as well as contributing by buying a t-shirt. Most of all, the heart of Sgt. Mckee was touched as she realized why she became a servant of her community in law enforcement.
"I think it just really touches me as an individual, inspires me, and really reminds me of why I got into law enforcement; to encourage and protect those around us," say Sgt. McKee. "The Angels were able to see us in a positive light, this past Sunday, as we supported them and their interest. Brock Chapplear (who is a member of the Angels team) is a member of the Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit, where he shows us his full support of the K-9 program. I think by showing him that we support him, outside of his duties here is very important. He needs to know that we are there for him throughout his daily life too. It was also wonderful experience reconnecting with students that I had built relationship with as a past SRO. The experience all the way around was fun, encouraging and just very special. That is what it's all about, building partnerships to promote a strong Oconee."
On a warm Sunday afternoon, May 22nd, relationships were built that day, between law enforcement and those they serve, on a baseball diamond cerebrating America’s Past Time!