SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – First responders laced up their hockey skates Saturday to honor fallen Deputy Matthew Yates on the ice for his dedication in the Clark County community.
“We come out here to play hockey, we usually pay our own way, and every time we hit the ice, it’s for a specific reason,” Dayton Fire Hockey Team Captain Patrick Holland said.
The specific reason this time was to honor and remember Clark County Deputy Yates, who was killed in the line of duty on July 24.
“He was a beloved member of the community, an awesome guy to know, an awesome police officer, and so we really just want to repay that respect,” Dayton Fire Hockey Team Member Zach Sprinkle said.
The Dayton Fire Hockey Team is made up of firefighters, police officers, paramedics and military members from across the Miami Valley.
The team worked with the First Responder Face-Off Foundation to put together the Deputy Matthew Yates Memorial Classic at the NTPRD Chiller in Springfield Saturday.
The team traded in their standard red jerseys for a black jersey featuring the blue line flag, a Clark County Sheriff’s Office badge over the heart and Deputy Yates’ badge number on the collar.
The team invited Yates’ family for a special presentation on the ice before the game.
“We know any day of the week it could be our number to be called, and we’re just happy that we’re able to give back to his family and give back to the community,” Holland said.
The Dayton Fire team hosted the FOP 109 Warthogs from Wood County, which is made up of first responders in northwest Ohio.
“If we can offer some sort of relief to the family and let them know that the community, not only down here, but all over the state of Ohio is with them and let them know that we support them in any way we can,” Warthogs Captain and Lake Township Fire Department Officer Don Egan said.
All the proceeds from the donations, raffles and commemorative pucks at the game will go toward a scholarship fund in Deputy Yates’ name at Clark State University. The scholarship is intended for high school seniors who plan to pursue a career in law enforcement.
“You’ll see on the scholarship it says selfless, compassion, love and good humor are some things to note, and that’s exactly the type of person he was,” Sprinkle said.
Now that the game is over, the First Responder Face-Off Foundation is continuing to accept donations and is raffling off one the special jerseys for the Deputy Matthew Yates Scholarship Fund. For more information, click here.