HARWICH – Ryder Young didn’t hold back when he was asked what it was like to compete against Chatham and Harwich police and fire department members during the inaugural Kickball Night that was hosted by Harwich Youth Services on Friday night at Whitehouse Field.
“I want to destroy them,” declared Young, a 10-year-old from Harwich, who said the highlight of his night was kicking against his dad, James, a lieutenant for the Chatham fire department.
“It’s fun because you don’t really get to do it a lot,” Young continued.
The Youngs weren’t the only parent-child pairing competing against each other in the unique event. Sawyer Nicholson, a 14-year-old from Harwich, joked that he was playing to humiliate his mom, Diane, an emergency dispatcher who works for the town of Harwich.
Trash-talking aside, Diane Nicholson said the night was a success — and that’s not just because her team comprised of emergency service members held on for a 15-14 victory over the team of Monomoy Middle School students.
“It’s great, especially where you don’t have stuff like this that often,” she said. “It’s nice in a small town to be able to get out, have some fun and laugh at each other.”
That was the plan — to bring people together for a fun night — according to Harwich Police Deputy Chief Kevin Considine. Considine praised Harwich Youth Services for coming up with the idea and the kids for showing up in bunches.
“It’s been awesome,” Considine said. “It’s a good turnout and it’s great because we want to do more of this stuff for the kids and the community.”
Many of the kids in attendance were familiar with some of the emergency service members they were competing against. Harwich Police Department Detective Sergeant Bob Brackett has overseen the Harwich Police
Soccer Club since he created it in 2012, so he was one familiar face many of the kids recognized during Friday’s action.
Diane Nicholson described Brackett as one of the police and fire departments’ “ringers” before noting that she was also impressed with the play of Considine.
“We kind of knew [Brackett] would be one of our ringers,” she said. “A couple other people have surprised me — our deputy chief is doing really well.”
The smiles were plentiful throughout the night, not only for the kids and adults who competed in the game, but also for the spectators that looked on — and shared many laughs — from the surrounding bleachers. After the game, the two sides came together for pizza provided free to participants.
Even in defeat, the kids were thrilled to have the chance to share a field with some of the communities’ bravest adults.
“I think it’s really cool that we get to compete against them,” said 10-year-old Harwich resident Jack Ford.
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @BradJoyal