By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Police in a shotgun formation Saturday will be much safer than anticipated.
The Joplin Enforcers football team, comprised of officers from area law enforcement agencies and other first responders, will play a game Saturday against the Springfield Guns, another police football team. The game will benefit the Tim Nielson Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“Our Fraternal Order of Police gives out a scholarship to one of our Explorers graduating from the program and pursuing a career in law enforcement,” said Ron Buchanan, a detective with the Joplin Police Department. The scholarship is named for an officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2003.
The Springfield team is returning a favor by traveling to Joplin for the game, Buchanan said. Last year the Guns had a team cancel on them, so the Joplin police put together a team on the fly, he said.
“We had three practices in pads, because we borrowed them from Missouri Southern, but had to wait until they were done with them,” he said. “We lost that game 30 to 8.”
This year, players on the team bought their own equipment and played another game in Springfield.
Kickoff for the game is at noon Saturday at Freg G. Hughes Stadium, on the campus of MSSU. Pre-game activities will begin at 10 a.m. and include bounce houses, face-painting and other activities.
Branson artist Bucky Heard will perform at 11 a.m.
In connection with the game, Qdoba will sponsor a family fun night from 5 to 9 p.m. today.