On the diamond

BAHS seniors, Maine Warden Service square off in May 20 softball fundraiser

Game pits Lion students against former 'North Woods Law' television stars
May 15, 2018

Belfast — It has been some time since members of the Maine Warden Service have appeared on the hit television show “North Woods Law,” but several of those wardens will look to dish out justice on the softball field — for a good cause.

The Maine Warden Service will participate in a fundraising softball game on Sunday, May 20 at 1 p.m. at Walsh Field in Belfast. The game will pit the wardens against a bevy of Belfast Area High School seniors.

It is the second time in the past three years the event has been held, which was the brainchild of Belfast Area High School coach Chris Bartlett and warden Chris Simmons.

Simmons’ daughter, Anna, played for the Lion softball team under Bartlett as a senior in 2016.

And it was around the Simmons' dinner table that the concept for the game originated.

“We were sitting around the table one night and she [Anna] made a comment about and just kidding around saying that her team could beat a bunch of old game wardens,” said Simmons. “So, how can you just sit there and take that?”

“The North Woods Law film crew taped it and aired it,” said Bartlett. “After the game we got together and said we could turn this into a charity event.”

Simmons said, “Our wardens really enjoyed it,” adding the Maine Warden Service often works with youths at various types of events.

Proceeds from this year’s game will be split evenly among Make-A-Wish Maine and Maine Operation Game Thief, both of which are non-profit organizations.

The event was not held last year “due to some searches that were on and we couldn’t time it up right,” said Bartlett, but “this year we started talking about it earlier” and everything fell into place.

There will be no admission charge for the event as Simmons said, "We want everybody" to attend the game.

“We don’t want anybody to say, ‘That’s to expensive’ or ‘We can’t afford it,’ ” he said. “We want to make this like a Sea Dogs game. They’re so kid friendly and that’s what we want to do. We’re going to have some different events and challenges for the kids there.”

Simmons, along with wardens Aaron Cross, Tom McKenney, Josh Beal, Jared Herrick, Scott Thrasher and Kris MacCabe will play in the game, among others.

There also will be several volunteers at the event, nearly all of whom have been on "North Woods Law" at some point in time.

The wardens are aware of their minor celebrity status, particularly among those in the Pine Tree State.

Simmons said while “we don’t consider ourselves that, [but] If a kid wants a picture or an autograph, we’ll absolutely do that.”

To donate or to inquire about sponsoring the event, contact Bartlett at 322-9175 or cbartlett@rsu71.org, Simmons at 557-4140 or christopher.simmons@maine.gov or Beal at 441-7105 or josh.beal@maine.gov.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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