LONGMONT — The Mead baseball field looked like any other on Wednesday afternoon, prior to a scheduled Legion A game between the Mavericks and Blue Chip.
That, however, is what irks first-year head coach Wes Sells after a group of yet-to-be-identified youths vandalized the field last week. While the damage to the field itself was easily repairable, there was one thing of significance they got to which has Sells the most peeved.
“We had a black wind screen from foul pole to foul pole that said ‘Maverick Baseball’ that we just put up two months ago, and they took a knife to it and ripped it all off,” Sells said as showed photos he had taken of the damage for insurance and police purposes. “They scattered it everywhere on the infield.
“We have a nice facility, but that sign made it pop a little more. Now, it just looks like a (recreational) field again. The rest of it was minimal, but we did a lot of work to fund-raise this spring to get that up there.”
According to earlier reports from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office — published in the Times-Call — the damage to the baseball and softball fields was estimated to be about $5,000. The bigger hit came with damage to the school’s security cameras, estimated to be $10,000.
The investigation is still ongoing. According to reports, however, the fields were damaged on Tuesday, June 13, and the suspects returned the following night to damage the cameras.
The home plate and pitching rubber were removed as part of the damage. Behind home plate, Sells said a message was written in the dirt that included “Class of 2014.” There were also small bits of turf torn up in the outfield.
“I just hope they catch them,” Sells said. “They targeted the baseball field. Hopefully it’s not a former baseball player or current one. I pray it’s not. They didn’t do anything to the other fields.”
“It’s unfortunate and we don’t know why they targeted us, exactly,” said Tyler Renninson, a graduated senior who plays for the summer team. “Nothing got too damaged on the field. Everything is repaired and we can play baseball still. That’s the number one thing.”
Wednesday, everything was back in order to pick up and play baseball again. However, the weather was out of sorts and Mead was forced to postpone its game.
At the very least, no home games had to be rescheduled directly as a result of the vandalism. Renninson said the team will move on with their summer.
“The St. Vrain Valley School District did a great job of getting everything back together,” Renninson said. “It’s just surprising that someone would do that to our baseball field.”
Anyone with information about the incident or the suspects is asked to contact Crime Stoppers of Weld County at 970-356-1212.
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