A softball game between The Colony's police and fire departments may turn into an annual tradition.

And while Officer Rick De La Cruz hopes the score goes a little differently next time, he hopes the ultimate outcome remains the same.

The two departments recently faced off in their first Battle of the Badges game to raise food for The Colony-based NTX Community Food Pantry.

Fans who came to the game were asked to donate five cans of food apiece. Then they watched the fire department beat the police department, 18-14.

Besides bragging rights, the winning team gets to keep a trophy, which in this case is a replica championship wrestling belt. On each side of the belt is a badge of the respective departments. On the back will be an ongoing list of the winners of each game.

But this was more about helping those in need.

In all, the game helped raise 780 pounds of food for the food pantry.

“We were thinking, what can we do to make this more interesting?” De La Cruz said. “Some people talked about us playing volleyball or kickball, but we stuck with softball because that would really let us all show our skills.”

The event was organized by firefighter Yousefff Khatib and Hector Garcia of The Colony Police Department.

“We used to have softball games, flag football games and basketball games to raise canned food,” Khatib said. “We’ve been talking about ways to get together besides when we’re on a call.”

Restarting a rivalry for a good cause made sense.

The game was so successful in collecting food that the two departments plan to make this an annual event.

“It went really well,” De La Cruz said. “A lot of people showed up to drop off food.” 

In fact, De La Cruz said the teams will square off again in the spring.

In the fall, possibly on Sept. 11, the teams will either play another softball game or maybe a different sport.

“We want to make this a lot bigger,” Khatib said. “We hope to have food trucks and more stuff for the kids to do at the next one.”

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