Police and firefighters on the court

Members of the Glens Falls Police Department and Glens Falls Fire Department basketball teams pose with the trophy that went to the firefighters after the 2018 charity game. The 2019 game is June 14.

GLENS FALLS — One side wants revenge, and the other wants to defend the bragging rights it has held for the past 13 months.

Both sides want to raise money for charity.

Glens Falls firefighters and police officers will again face off on the basketball court this spring in a hoops game for charity that also gives the two city institutions a chance to compete and have fun.

The second annual “Glens Falls Badges vs. Boots” basketball game has been set for June 14, organizers changing the date from last year’s April game to avoid conflicts with other events. The 14th is a Friday night, with tipoff at 5:30 p.m. at Glens Falls High School.

Organizer Ric Stafford, a firefighter and power forward for the “Boots” team, said last year’s game, won by the Fire Department on a last-second shot by Steve Girard, was a good starting point, but the two agencies hope to bring in more money this year for two charities. Organizers went to great lengths to find a night with no conflicting events, since last year’s attendance was affected by competing events.

The Glens Falls Nation Fund, which assists Glens Falls students, will benefit again this year, and the local Salvation Army office will benefit as well. Last year’s game raised $2,027.

An expanded selection of gift baskets will be raffled off, and Glens Falls High hoops phenom Joe Girard III will take part in the ceremonial tipoff.

The Fire Department roster will be unchanged, but the Police Department will have a few new faces as the department has added some new officers, including former Glens Falls High and College of St. Rose lacrosse player Tyler Mello.

“We will have a full squad with some new guys,” said Glens Falls Police Detective Lt. Peter Casertino.

Casertino said he believes the Glens Falls team will be in better shape, adding that it seems that some of the firefighters aren’t in as good a shape as they were last year.

Glens Falls High boys coach Rob Girard will again coach the police team, fresh off state and Federation championships for his boys team, while Glens Falls High girls coach Mark Girard will guide the firefighters.

The trash-talking between the two sides has already picked up, with firefighters quick to remind the boys in blue whose name is on the inaugural trophy. The two sides have been scrimmaging on and off since last spring’s matchup.

“It’s a good fundraiser for charity, but it would be nice to tie up the series,” Casertino said.

“It’s fun and it’s for charity, but there is also some competition there too,” Stafford said.

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reporter - crimes & courts, public safety and Warren County government

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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