‘It’s more than just playing football;’ Local team honoring fallen Clark County deputy this season

CLARK COUNTY — In Clark County, the Shawnee High School football team is working to help their community mourn the loss of Deputy Matthew Yates.

Yates was shot and killed in the line of duty July 24 and since then, the community has done a number of things to honor his service and keep his memory alive.

“When one of them goes down, it feels like you lost somebody in your family around here,” Athletic Director Steve Tincher said.

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Tincher showed News Center 7′s John Bedell the thin blue line American flag sticker, which represents fallen law enforcement officers, that will be on the team’s helmets this season. On the flag is the number 60, Yates’ unit number with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, in Shawnee gold.

“Football’s fun, sports are fun, school’s getting ready to start.; but we’re talking about a family and a life and I think we take for granted sometimes what these guys do on a day to day basis to keep our community safe,” Tincher said.

Yates was good friends with the Clark County deputy who is Shawnee’s school resource officer. Sometimes Yates would come to Braves athletic events with him.

“Brought him out here to work some of the games, either basketball or football out here,” Tincher said.

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The school’s resource officer presented the team with the stickers that will honor his friend.

“I think when they went through, it was eye-opening. There were some tears in the room when [Deputy] Pacine talked to them about all this,” he said.

Yates’ legacy is one the Shawnee Braves are happy to help carry on and learn from.

“It’s more than just playing football out here on Friday nights,” Tincher said. “It’s about more than wins and losses. It’s about getting these kids ready to be community members.”

Many people in the community have reached out to see if they can get a decal of their own. Tincher said they’re working to make as many as possible. Anyone who wants one can reach out to Tincher at Shawnee’s athletic department.

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