It takes a special kind of self-centeredness to drive one’s truck all over soccer fields, causing such ruts that the playing surface becomes worthless.
Unfortunately for the Franklin-Wake Soccer Club and Youngsville Area Kids Soccer (YAKS), they have front row seats for just such a performance.
They are on their fourth round with what seems to be the same individuals and the same pair of white trucks bent on ruining kids’ fun.
YAKS has already had to pay for about $2,300 in damage from times past, including after one snow when someone evidently thought it would be fun to turn donuts in the white field. Another time, it was the main fields that were driven on.
This time, damage was discovered on Monday when a grounds keeper showed up to mow the practice fields. It looked as if a four-wheeler or similar all-terrain vehicle had been driven on the pitch. The damage was reported to the Sheriff’s office.
Two days later, before plans could even be made for repairs, Coaching Director Glen Brizendine learned the two white trucks had been back, and left behind viciously deep rutting all over the fields.
YAKS runs one of the largest club soccer programs in this area. At the height of the season, nearly 500 kids are participating. Taking out the practice fields makes it impossible to run the program.
Brizendine said the nonprofit organization only brings in about $15-$20 per kid that doesn’t go straight to expenses. This is money used for regular repairs and other expenses that crop up every now and then. And those funds have taken a beating as of late.
The current estimate of at least $2,000 in damage means it takes up to 130 enrolled kids to cover just one episode of the local grinches’ self-serving fun.
And YAKS is having to invest not just in new fields, which will take months of work and waiting to be ready for play, they are also having to install gates.
Brizendine says he figures that even if deputies catch the individuals responsible, he would likely not be able to exact his pound of flesh. The folks responsible probably don’t have the kind of money sitting around needed to pay restitution.
Brizendine is hoping that as the word spreads, someone will know something and will share that information with law enforcement.
At the very least, maybe folks will feel guilty and put pressure on the ne’er-do-well drivers, causing them to cease their thoughtless behavior.
Meanwhile, anyone with information should call Franklin County Detective Daniels at 919-291-6418.
Those so inclined can contribute to the repair fund by contacting the treasurer, Susan Kogut, firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations are tax-deductible.