Vandalism at the Clinton High School soccer field left the grass around the center of the pitch badly damaged just hours before the varsity team kicked off its second-round playoff match Saturday night.
Despite the damage, the game went on and the Dark Horses would ultimately blank the visiting Currituck County Knights 5-0. However, even as the Horses prepare for its third-round playoff game this week, a Wednesday match versus the Northeastern Eagles of Elizabeth City, the Clinton Police Department is investigating the vandalism.
Dr. Steven Miller, principal at Clinton High School, first reported the damage to police late Saturday morning. The soccer field sustained obvious damage inflicted by a vehicle driving onto it and spinning around the center of the field, where a logo had been painted in preparation for soccer playoffs. Some minor repairs were made to the field leading up to Saturday night’s game, but the damage was still evident.
The incident was believed to have happened late Friday night, but an exact time was not known.
According to reports by Clinton Police Sgt. Robbie King, the damage to property was reported around 11 a.m. Saturday by Miller. The principal told police that when he and others arrived at the school, they found the field badly damaged where somebody had driven a vehicle onto the field and deliberately dug donuts into the grass over the “Darkness” soccer ball logo, designed by Clinton High School art teacher Michael Ray.
The damage was estimated at $1,000, according to police reports.
Miller saidone of the Clinton High players told him he was in Taco Bell Friday night and overheard “some kids” talking about the soccer field being damaged. The player said told the principal he did not know any of them.
Two Bud Light cans and a camouflage toboggan, found in the area of the damage, were seized by police, who are still investigating the incident.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the Clinton Police Department, at 910-592-3105.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.