SNOHOMISH, Wash. – Vandals are to blame for thousands of dollars in damage at a popular North Sound soccer complex.
Last week, somebody tore through Stocker Fields, home to Snohomish Youth Soccer, driving in figure-eights and donuts and leaving behind huge gashes in the grass and now the impact could leave the soccer club in a rut.
“I mean if we close down those two fields, that’s really going to impact our tournament,” said coach Anthony Sardon.
“It’s quite a bit of damage,” added club president Chris Miller.
“I just don’t get why you’d come and ruin the fields,” said Sardon. “That’s just heartbreaking.”
The tire tracks left by vandals in the soccer fields is like a punch in the gut.
“It’s going to cost thousands of dollars to repair,” said Sardon.
“It’s going to take the maintenance guys a lot more work this year than we’ve had in the past,” said Miller.
In some areas, the club says the ruts are half a foot deep – but the damage has to be seen from the sky to appreciate.
The vandals struck at night last Saturday, coaches told Q13 News a neighbor spotted a large truck driving through the grass and someone else nearby in a lookout vehicle.
But what’s worse, the club says the money it’s going to take to repair the field and beef up security will cut into the $90,000 it gives away in scholarships.
“It’s really our mission to provide a safe learning environment for kids that’s affordable to play,” said Sardon. “We want kids to be able to play.”
“I think it’s probably teenagers,” said Miller. “Sometimes kids don’t really understand what they’re doing.”
Whoever caused the damage went to great lengths to just get onto the field; They had to remove a pair of white fence posts which are secured in the ground with cement.
The soccer club is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. Club officials hope the weather cooperates while crews make repairs – hopefully in time for when the kids show up to hit the field.
"We got to wait a few more weeks until it warms up,” said Miller. “Hopefully we’ll be ready for the first tournament.”