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Leading the troops

They're tough on crime - and, these members of the Lexington County Sheriff's Department are showing they can be tough on the football field, too.

Resident Deputies Stacey Gadson and David Nieves and Detective Terry Govan are sponsoring and coaching the Law Dawgs, a football team of 28 boys ages 10-11.

The team is competing in this year's Lexington County Youth Football and Cheerleading League - and they've already had a win.

Football isn't anything new to the three. Gadson started coaching youth football teams in 2005, and Nieves and Govan also are experienced - with Govan a former player with S.C. State University.

Gadson collected donations to pay a $500 registration fee so the kids could play this season. The team's uniforms - navy blue jerseys, with gold numbers and gold pants - are similar to the official colors of the Sheriff's Department.

Gadson serves as resident deputy for the Three Fountains and Oak Grove community; Nieves serves as resident deputy for the East Lexington community; and Govan serves as a detective in the Major Crimes Unit.

"As law enforcement officers, we enjoy working with children when they are young so that we can teach them teamwork, loyalty and respect," Gadson said. "The values that we teach them on the football field can keep them straight as they go through the turbulent teenage years."