NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Vandals sidelined a Peninsula high school soccer team Thursday by destroying a brand new athletic field.
Molly Bowes, Director of Development and Marketing at Peninsula Catholic High School in Newport News, told WAVY.com neighbors near the school called police around 2 a.m. to report vehicles ‘doing donuts’ in the field, tearing it up.
And to add insult to injury -- it was opening day for the soccer team.
"We came out here this morning, and all of us were like 'Oh No'," said Chad Goodman, a player on the team.
The tire tracks illustrate a joy ride that cancelled the first game on a brand new $100,000 soccer field. The vandals even drove off with one of the goals.
"We ended up having to cancel our game because the team we were playing also has football, so we couldn't move over there," the Athletic Director, John Jackowski said.
The school didn’t even get a picture of the new field. Principal Jenny Franklin said a photo was supposed to be taken Thursday.
"We were going to have a ribbon cutting and a blessing and dedication of the field,” Franklin said.
Peninsula Catholic is a private school – meaning it doesn’t receive any government funding. They've saved and planned for years to expand their athletic program. They're building softball and baseball fields and a tennis court, but the soccer field is phase one.
Players literally watched the grass grow for a year. The dream finally realized and they were impatiently waiting for Thursday afternoon’s game. Instead, they're picking up the pieces of overturned mangled sod.
"I just want to play on it one time, just once,” echoed players.
Their coach promises they will. The company that put down the sod is coming out to evaluate the mess. It may take some time and more money, but the Peninsula Catholic Knights will have their day.
Principal Franklin says they will be ready.
"If any lesson can be learned, I think they now know how much it meant to them, and so when they come out here the first time to play, I pity the team that they play against,” she said.
WAVY.com has learned three people were arrested and charged in connection with the incident.
Lou Thurston with Newport News Police told WAVY.com James Alexander Crawford, 28, and Dustin Robert Engstrom, 25, were issued summonses for trespassing on school property. Thurston said Nicole Christine Vitantonio, 26, was also given a summons for trespassing and she was arrested for being drunk in public.
Police say a 2-year-old and a 23-year-old Navy sailor based in Virginia were killed in a crash on Interstate 64 in southern Indiana near Corydon.
A pet adoption discount is helping animals in Hampton Roads find new homes.
Newport News police officers are in the middle of a massive operation to get wanted criminals out of the neighborhoods. They are rounding up everyone who has an outstanding warrant.
Hampton Roads Transit customers could see higher fares to ride the bus, light rail and ferry.
Running a red light could cost you a hefty fine, even if an officer doesn't pull you over. Cameras are going up at intersections across Hampton Roads, and the most recent went live Monday in downtown Norfolk.
Some local families who lost a loved one during active duty military service boarded a special flight out of Norfolk Thursday morning.
Thousands of EMTs and paramedics checked their bank accounts Thursday for one last scheduled payment from the company that suddenly laid them off, but found nothing.