‘Duty, courage & honor’: High school baseball team honors law enforcement at opener

WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. — The Watauga High School baseball team honored local law enforcement at its season opener this week.

They’re also raising money for the families of these two deputies who were shot and killed in the line of duty last week in Boone.

The school resource officer is expected to throw the first pitch Wednesday night.

The team is trying to raise as much as much money as it can this week for the families of those deputies.

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Watauga High first baseman Cooper Riddle showed Channel 9 a ball cap he made for the season opener.

The hat includes the numbers of Sgt Chris Ward and K-9 Dep. Logan Fox that reads, “Duty, courage and honor” sewn on the back.

“It’s hard to see the faces of local law enforcement officers we know here, resource officers at the school,” Riddle said. “They’re heartbroken, and the best thing we can do is rally together.”

The team has sold 200 ball caps for $20 each.

Their coach pitched the idea and Carroll Companies in Boone is making 500 hats free of charge.

“Our community has obviously been rocked by this tragedy, so it’s a situation that has impacted the whole community in some way,” principal Chris Blanton said. “It’s an opportunity for our baseball team to come together and support the officers.”

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The school district said Fox went to Watauga High.

Ward’s daughter also attended school there before graduating. Riddle said he’ll be thinking about the deputies who tragically died when he steps onto the field.

All the law enforcement officers invited to the game are to be honored.

“We know that it’s more than just a game,” Riddle said. “We’re playing not only for us and our school and each other -- we want to make them proud as much as we can.”