Troopers and Albion teachers play ball, entertain kids

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 March 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Hayden Cowley, 4, gets a boost from Lt. Kurt Schmitt and makes a basket during a break in Friday night’s game between the State Troopers and Albion teachers.

Albion teacher Mark Hryvniak brings the ball up court against State Trooper defenders. Albion faculty won a close game, 63-59, on Friday night against the Troopers.

This is the third annual game between the Troopers and Albion teachers. Proceeds benefit the Albion Middle School FFA, which is led by teacher Cathy Schmitt. Her husband Kurt is a lieutenant with the State Police and served as that team’s coach.

Kurt Schmitt, back to camera, meets with players from the State Police and Albion faculty before their game on Friday in the Albion High School gym. Besides playing Albion teachers, the Troopers also play basketball games against the faculty at Byron-Bergen and Oakfield-Alabama school districts.

Albion teacher Charlie Croff slaps hands with Jeff Radder and Cathy Schmitt when Croff was introduced before Friday’s game.

Several children attended the game were invited to shoot baskets in between quarters and at half time. In this photo, State Trooper Kevin Jobity gives 5-year-old Brianna Hill a boost while she shoots a basket. Kyle Smith is at lower left and Kurt Schmitt is at lower right.

Cadence Hill, 9, gets ready to shoot the ball while her sister Brianna Hill, 5, waits her turn.

State Trooper Jay Hoy, based at the Warsaw barracks, brought along Harris, a K-9 that proved popular with kids. Hoy did a demonstration with the dog during halftime and discussed the dog’s ability to detect drugs and help locate people.

Harris the K-9 prepares to attack the padded arm of Trooper Ryan Dulkiewicz in a demonstration before a crowd of about 300 people.