AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Central Texas Wolf Pack is united by more than wearing the same uniform. In fact, it is the uniform that each player wears off the field that makes this team unique. Every player on the team is a first responder.
Eight Central Texas agencies are represented on the semi-pro team that plays tackle football against other first responders from across the country in the National Public Safety Football League.
“We’ve had some guys here that have never played a snap of football. We have a couple of guys who played in the NFL,” said Lyndl Jones, a Travis County Sheriff’s deputy who plays cornerback.
Jones, who grew up in Austin, played football at Marshall and made it to training camp with the Baltimore Ravens before beginning a career in law enforcement. Defensive end and APD officer Jared Retkofsky was a long snapper for the Pittsburgh Steelers and won the Super Bowl in 2009.
“It took me about one practice to realize these guys love the game,” Retkofsky said of his Wolf Pack teammates. “You start to miss some of that in the NFL. Granted they are the best players in the world but they don’t have near the heart that some of these guys have.”
The Wolf Pack plays Saturday at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in North Austin against a team of first responders from Orange County, California. Win and the Wolf Pack are in the driver’s seat for a spot in the league championship.
Every dollar the team raises at its games is donated to the 100 Club of Central Texas, a fund for the families of injured and fallen first responders.