UNIVERSAL CITY, Texas – As the coaches and players recited the Lord's Prayer on the baseball diamond Friday evening, they weren't praying for victory or good weather. They were praying for two San Antonio police officers, one injured and one slain in a shootout Thursday.
Officer Miguel Moreno, who died from his wounds Friday morning, and Officer Julio Cavazos were both nine-year veterans of the San Antonio Police Department.
Buffalo Valley baseball coach Jonathan Esquivel, who led the prayer, knew both men.
"We rode out together. We parked next to each other. We ate together, made calls together," Esquivel said. "It hurts, still hurts."
Esquivel, when he isn't coaching, is also a San Antonio police officer. It's something he said some coaches didn't know.
"They see that police officers are regular people. We have families. We coach. We have a whole lot of friends," he told the crowd.
After Thursday's shooting, one of those friends — his fellow coach Clay Byler — wanted to do something to show support.
"So I kind of sent out a text to all the other coaches and said, 'Hey, we should kind of do something special and kind of start out something small, like, write the badge number on the hand,'" Byler said.
From there, Byler said, the ideas took off until eventually so did their tribute to the officers. Blue and black balloons were released before the start of the games.
"We come out here to teach baseball, but in the end of all it's just kind of to teach kids it's much more (than) about baseball, it's a family," Byler said.