Powell High School soccer practice field vandalized overnight

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It was no ordinary practice for the Powell High School's girls soccer team Monday morning. They came to their practice field vandalized overnight. Just two weeks before their first game of the season.

"You can see someone has actually driven out and actually done donuts on the practice field multiple times. Cut it all the way down to the dirt," says Chris Thorson, assistant coach.

Tire marks and muddy divots are right smack dab in the middle of the field, making it impossible and unsafe to play on.

"Frustration and just anger, I was so mad, I don't understand why anyone would do this," says Katelyn Gibbs, a center midfielder on the team.

A police report has been filed but the team has no idea who did this.

"You can tell they went out there multiple times. So, it's not like they just drove out there once, they went out there spun around came back did it again," says Coach Thorson.

The damage is obvious on the field, but what's not so obvious is the damage done off the field.

It costs about 4,000 dollars to maintain the practice and main playing fields, now even more money will need to go into fixing the practice field.

To make matters worse, Knox County Schools does not have room in their budget to maintain the fields. For the last three years players have fundraised on their off-time while the coaches mow.

"We have to actually fertilize, irrigate the fields, drag them. They (players) fundraise that themselves, there's no budget in Knox County (schools) for them to pay for anything of that. We purchased the mower with our funds to be able to mow the field."

"We'll have to come out, smooth out all the ruts because there are holes that are in the field now. Probably top dust it with sand and then try and put some sod in or just let it grow in on its own," says Coach Thorson.

"We've been working all summer on it," says Gibbs, "especially the coaches, they work so hard on it. Now, right before a season when we need the field the most, when we're going to be out here the most, it's ruined."

And it'll take time, time this team just doesn't have.

In just two weeks the girls will play their first game of the season.

"It's terrible timing, terrible timing anytime, but especially right before the season, definitely discouraging," says Gibbs.

"As wildly traveled as this road is, I can't believe somebody wouldn't call the police or say something when they saw that happening."

We are told that surveillance footage shows a truck driving through the field at 5:30 in the morning but isn't close enough to identify the truck.

If you have any information please call the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

Meanwhile if you'd like to help out the team they are having two fundraising events.

The first one is a car wash at Powell High School on August 16th starting at 8 a.m.. and the other is a pancake breakfast on August 23rd at Aubrey's in Powell.

No estimate has been made on how much it will cost to repair the damages to the field.


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