CHARITY: Annual flag football game set for Saturday night.


The team captains aren’t saying much, so when it comes to talking trash about this weekend’s Falls Police versus Falls Fire charity flag football game, it’s the chiefs who are laying down the smack.

“I’m looking forward to the game,” said Falls Fire Chief William MacKay, who was still working in Virginia when last year’s game was played. “I understand a victory was snatched from the fire department on a technicality last year. We look forward to legitimizing the victory we should have had last year.”

Falls Police Superintendent John Chella quickly fired back.

“A win is a win is a win,” Chella said. “Need I remind the newest kid on the block that we beat (the fire department) in football and hockey last year. I wonder if he knew that when he applied for the job here.”

Make no mistake, both cops and firefighters will be serious about the stakes when kick-off comes at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sal Maglie Stadium. In addition to pride, the games will raise cash for the Falls Firefighters Toy Fund and for medical expenses for the husband of Police Officer Lisa MacNeil.

“The Toy Fund is a great charity, it’s very worthwhile for us,” Fire Department football captain Bernie Lucantonio said. “We’re definitely hoping to raise a little more money this year. We’re playing a little later and it will be a little colder, hopefully that won’t hurt us.”

Both Lucantonio and Police Department football captain Jim VanEgmond said there will be plenty of refreshments, including coffee and hot chocolate to keep fans warm.

The captains are each expressing quiet confidence in their squads.

“I don’t talk trash. We play our game on the field,” VanEgmond said. “But I would hope to hold the (championship) trophy again.”

Last year, the game ended in a scoreless tie and the police department was declared the winner based of more yardage gained.

“I’d like to see a little more scoring this year,” Chella conceded.

MacKay said more points could be coming from some new players in the firefighters ranks.

“We have 14 new firefighters and we’re hoping that will give us an edge,” MacKay said. “There is a rumor that our new quarterback was heavily recruited out of high school.”

Despite the smack, both firefighters and police say the game is a great chance for folks in the Falls to get out on a Saturday night and have some fun.

“It’s a great time to get out with the family,” MacKay said, “and see the hometown heroes.”

Contact Rick Pfeifferat 282-2311, Ext. 2252.

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