In a show of appreciation and as a way of giving back, the Fort Mill High School softball team is honoring local police by wearing a thin blue line on their helmets this season.
The idea came from head coach Chuck Stegall, who said after the recent tragedies the York County Sheriff’s Department has endured, including the death of one of their officers and the wounding of others after an ambush, he thought it would be a nice way to honor them and other local police officers.
“It meant a lot to me,” he said. “I have formed a relationship with some of those on the county, so when the shooting happen, it kind of hit me hard. The first thing I thought of was, ‘I hope none of my friends were hurt.’”
Stegall told his team about what he was doing and explained to them the meaning of the thin blue line which will be shown on the back of their helmets, between the American flag.
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Depending on the source, the definition of the symbol varies, but in essence, it represents a line separating order from chaos, commemorates fallen officers and symbolizes the relationship between police and the community.
“I sat the girls down and had a long talk about what it meant and how we should respect the officers for what they do for us,” Stegall said. “There weren’t a lot of questions asked. They were receptive of it. They liked the meaning of it.”
Along with honoring local police, the team has planned a True Blue night to recognize those who serve. They have invited police from Fort Mill, Tega Cay, York County Sheriff’s Department, along with other first responders, including fire departments from Fort Mill, Tega Cay, Flint Hill, Riverview, along with EMS squads. The recognition night is planned for Thursday, March 22, when the Jackets play Rock Hill.
Fort Mill opens its softball season this week with three home games against Lugoff-Elgin, Boiling Springs and Indian Land.