Euless police officer David Hofer was shot and killed in the line of duty March 1. One month later, a sports competition showed that it can be about more than a game.
On Friday, the Hurst L.D. Bell baseball team played at Euless Trinity. It was not just another contest among longtime rivals.
“Sports really does show you and puts things in perspective what it means to become a community,” said Ed Pretrowski, who worked with Hofer in Texas and New York City.
Hofer had served with the Euless police for two years after serving five years with the New York City Police Department.
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At Friday’s game, three officers close to Hofer threw out ceremonial first pitches. Pretrowski, Mo Karim and Mike Sarro, all of whom had worked with Hofer in New York and Texas, did the honors while another 30 officers, the teams, fans and family members looked on.
“We came down from New York, and one of the first things we moved down here for was the community,” Pretrowski said. “Coming back down here really opened up your eyes, prior to all this happening, opens your eyes on how good people are.”
The Trojans baseball team has honored Hofer’s memory in the past month by wearing stickers with his badge number, 554, on the back of their helmets. But they wanted to do more.
Special baseballs were made up for the night, with Hofer’s badge number on them, along with the hashtag “For Hofer.” The Trinity-Bell game, won 11-1 by Trinity, marked the event.
“The baseball team and the school wanted to honor the police officers and to remember officer Hofer,” Euless police officer Scott Axton said. “It was about him, but it was also about honoring the guys that serve the streets too.”
Trinity coach Will Averitt said the game was about “just honoring [David] and really all officers that go out every day and put their lives on the line to protect us. We just wanted to respect what they’re doing.
“It kind of brings you back down to reality. Obviously these things happen all across the country, but when it hits you right here in your back yard, it’s really an eye opener. When it hits you right here at home, it kind of makes you step back and kind of slow things down and realize what’s important.”