NEWTON — Wherever Steven Hamersky goes, he is on patrol.
The officer with the Newton Police Department routinely patrols the community, while his other job sees him patroling the box as starting goalkeeper for the Wichita Wings indoor soccer team.
Hamersky has served with the NPD for a little over two and half years now, but his history with soccer goes back much further. He was introduced to the sport at age 6 and it wasn't long before he was moving up in competition levels. Hamersky started playing with traveling teams while in middle school. Hamersky played at Newman University.
Hamersky later caught on with semiprofessional teams from Springfield, Mo., to Vermont. Prior to joining the Wings, Hamersky was traveling to play with the Kansas City Comets indoor team (while working with the NPD) — so he jumped at the chance when Wings ownership approached him about the opportunity to join the rebooted franchise.
"I get to stay local. I get to play in front of my parents and my friends and family, so it was pretty much a no-brainer," Hamersky said. "Opening night, we had close to 4,000 (people) ... and Hartman Arena's a smaller arena so you really kind of get that feel of the fans and stuff, so it's pretty sweet."
During his semiprofessional playing career, Hamersky made a deal with his dad. If he didn't get a professional outdoor contract before turning 25, he would get a real job — as semiprofessional leagues would only pay for play (and housing) during the season. That led Hamersky to pursue a career in law enforcement, admitting he is not the type of guy who likes to sit still.
The Wings' goalkeeper has a pretty strong built-in fan base at NPD headquarters.
"They've been super gracious and super supportive in the whole thing. From the uppers to my fellow boots-on-the-ground guys, everyone's really supportive of it and they're willing to help cover shifts, even if it's just for a couple of hours," Hamersky said.
Hamersky's police background has spilled over to his soccer career in other ways, as his jersey number for the Wings is his badge number, while his glove sponsor — Outlaw — is introducing a new model, "The Lawman," based on his work history. His own customized gloves also feature his badge number and the thin blue line flag.
For more information on the Wings, including a game schedule, visit www.wichitawingssoccer.com.