Vandals damage Vergennes athletic field - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vandals damage Vergennes athletic field

Vergennes, Vermont - October 25, 2011

Police in Vergennes are investigating what they say is a prank gone wrong at Vergennes Union High School.

The School's athletic field, used for battling other teams, now looks like a battlefield itself. The varsity soccer field was dug up Friday night at what school officials are calling a crucial time -- right before the girls senior soccer game Saturday.

"You may have shaving creams or eggs, toilet paper, but usually not something like this,"said Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel.

"My guess -- it was more than one, or one very determined individual," said Peter Maneen, the high school's Athletic Director.

"I didn't want to believe it -- then when I saw the field, tears came to my eyes," said Casey Shea.

Shea and Monica Birchmore are two of the eight seniors who were supposed to be honored at the game for the culmination of four years that they've played.

"It hurt a lot of people and did a lot of damage," Birchmore said.

Holes were dug with shovels all over the field in strategic places like the center and boundary lines.

"Total disappointment -- a lot of tears, a lot of emotion but they adjusted and went out and played the game -- moved it to another field and performed well," Maneen said.

"They got it really quickly -- this was a violation of their school and not just a silly prank," said Edwin Webbley, the school's Principal.

School officials say they can't just take the sod and place it back into the ground. They're going to need to call in landscapers to make sure its an even playing field, and because of the cost to fix the field -- this crime is now a felony. "Its going run well over 3-thousand dollars and I believe the threshold is 1-thousand for a felony," Chief Merkel said. "For someone to do something like this, this is really tasteless, this is a tasteless crime."

A tasteless crime that left seniors like Shea and Birchmore feeling benched for their final soccer sendoff. "It's such a mile marker in your senior year and the last game you'll ever get to play on this field and then its taken away by someone being destructive," Birchmore said.

Police say they don't have any leads now but they are looking for someone with a motive. Also since this did affect so many people at the school police say it's like having their own team of investigators all working towards the same goal.

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