Saturday was a full day of activity for the Escalon Outlaws youth football and cheer squads, as they celebrated Homecoming 2017. The theme for the day was ‘Back The Blue’ and several law enforcement personnel were on hand with informational displays, equipment and vehicles.
Serving as organizer was Renee Snow, who said once they decided on the theme, people quickly got on board, looking to salute the region’s police officers.
“I had people calling me, asking if they could get involved,” she said.
Representatives from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department and Escalon Police Department officers and the Explorer unit were out in full force, and a sheriff’s department helicopter also did a ‘fly by’ late in the day in support of the Homecoming festivities.
There were also raffle baskets, Outlaws merchandise booth, face painting, shaved ice and more.
Escalon’s new Zero Motorcycle, an electric vehicle utilized by Officer Carl Poortinga, drew plenty of attention, as did a variety of weaponry on display.
Cheerleaders took the field at halftime of the Novice game, starting out their special Homecoming routine to ‘Bad Boys’ and they also brought several officers on to the field, presenting them with a huge ‘Thank You’ sign, as the crowd roared its approval.
San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Deputy Casey Schaapman had his K9 partner Gero there to meet and greet attendees and Deputy Dan Levin drove the ‘pace car’ to lead the Homecoming Parade during halftime festivities of each contest.
“We were invited to ‘Back The Blue’ and we will be out here until 6 p.m.,” Escalon Police Chief Mike Borges said, with officers setting up a display just after 2 p.m.
The chief said it gave the department a good opportunity to meet the public, especially youngsters, in the fun, informal setting.
“I just thought it would be good to show our youth that law enforcement officers are our friends and we need to show them some respect,” Snow added of the theme. “I did the (planning) committee with a couple of friends and we appreciate all the vendors coming out … it was a lot of fun.”